William Laidlaw Purves, Frank Pennink, Dr. Alister MacKenzie
The Royal St. George's opened only seven years before it hosted the first-ever Open Championship outside Scotland, in 1894. For the next half century the course hosted the tournament repeatedly, but by the time of Bobby Locke's victory there in 1949, the infrastructure of Kent had become incapable of handling the ever-increasing crowds. Thankfully the city improved its transportation system, and Royal St. George's has since 1981 again become a regular site for the Open. The challenge here is truly monumental; it is as if the course itself fights back against the player, while at the same time creating opportunities for golfing glory. The course is especially dear to Londoners, since it is probably the only links course that they can enjoy fully without an overnight trip. Great deference is given to the pace of play, with three and four balls being the maximum permitted out of hours or from alternative starting points.