The R&A has announced that the 2020 Open Championship will be played at Royal St George’s, the scene of Darren Clarke’s memorable victory in 2011.
Royal St George’s, which voted in March 2015 to admit women members, will stage the Open for the 15th time and the first since Clarke held off the challenge of Phil Mickelson and new world No 1 Dustin Johnson.
“It was an unbelievable feeling to lift the Claret Jug and know that my name was displayed on the trophy alongside so many of the greatest players ever to play the game,” Clarke said.
“The Open is what it is all about for me as a golfer and it is the championship I always dreamt of winning from when I first took up the game as a kid.
“I have so many wonderful memories from that week at Sandwich and I will be thrilled to go back there for The Open in three years’ time.”
Other Open winners at Royal St George’s include Harry Vardon, Walter Hagen, Henry Cotton, Bobby Locke, Sandy Lyle and Greg Norman.
Martin Slumbers, chief executive of the R&A, said: “We are very much looking forward to the return of The Open to Royal St George’s in 2020.
“The Open is a true celebration of sport and the global spotlight will fall once again on Sandwich.
“Royal St George’s has produced a series of outstanding champion golfers over the last 120 years and it is a thrilling prospect for golf fans to see the greatest players competing on one of the world’s finest links courses.”
James Furber, the captain of Royal St George’s, added: “We are delighted and honoured to be invited to host The Open in 2020. This is tremendous news for the club and a wonderful commercial opportunity for Sandwich, Thanet and Kent.”
The 149th Open will be played from July 16-19, 2020. St Andrews is set to host the following year’s tournament to mark the 150th staging of the game’s oldest major.