Where is The Open 2021? Location of British golf major championship being played this year at Royal St George's

Jon Rahm, Brooks Koepka and Rory McIlroy are among a strong field - including 2019 winner Shane Lowry - to compete in the 149th British Open this year

The Open returns to Royal St George's this week for the first time since 2011.

Darren Clarke was the victor that time, with Ben Curtis taking the win in 2003 and Greg Norman in 1993 on the other two occasions Royal St George's hosted The Open.

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Shane Lowry - 2019 winner at Royal Portrush - will defend the Claret Jug at Royal St George's, with dry and warm weather forecast for the four days of The Open 2021.

The Open returns to Royal St George's this week for the first time since 2011. (Pic: Getty)

He will come up against a strong field for the 149th edition of the golf championship, including US Open winner Jon Rahm and 2014 Open Championship winner Rory McIlroy

Crowds will also return to Royal St George's this week as The Open forms part of the UK government's events research programme amid the Covid 19 pandemic.

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The golf club has held The Open on 14 occasions in its history since the first in 1894 when it became the first course outside Scotland to host the British championship.

Factfile on The 149th Open Championship. (Graphic: Mark Hall / JPIMedia)

Golf enthusiasts can look forward to a four day feast from 15-18 July - here's a little more on Royal St George's Golf Club and where it can be found in Great Britain.

Where is Royal St George's?

Royal St George's can be found in Sandwich, Kent, in the south-east of England.

The golf course touches the coastline with players having to negotiate the sea breeze as well as northern winds without shelter.

It is situated around halfway in between Dover to the south and Margate to the north of Sandwich, which is around 14 miles east of Canterbury.

The club is around an hour and a half's car journey from Gatwick Airport and is just half an hour's drive from the Eurotunnel in Folkstone.

While golf lovers have a choice of courses in the area with the Prince's Golf Club adjacent to Royal St George's in Sandwich and Royal Cinque Ports Club in nearby Deal.

When was Royal St George's Golf Club formed?

Royal St George's was established in 1887 by founder Dr William Laidlaw Purves to be a rival to St Andrew’s in Scotland.

The golf course has hosted the British PGA Championship on five occasions, the Walker Cup twice and a victorious Curtis Cup in 1988.

As well as The Open Championship, it has been the venue for the British Amateur Championship on no less than 13 occasions in its history.

Its place among the sport's most desirable golf clubs is consistent, with Golf Digest ranking it 28th in the World's 100 Greatest Courses last year.

Who designed the Royal St George's golf course?

Set on duneland on the south-east coastline, the 18-hole 7,204-yard course was designed by its founder William Laidlaw Purves.

The course has been modified over that time with many holes featuring blind or partially blind shots, with the fourth hole boasting the deepest bunker in championship golf.

Royal St George officials say the course layout has not changed greatly in the last 129 years, and "provides a stiff but fair test to professional and amateur alike".

Golfers are warned that "no two successive holes play in the same direction, making the ability to play shots in all wind conditions a necessity to score well".

"Members and visitors come from all over the world, to enjoy a world class golf course and the unrivalled standards, ethos and welcome that St George’s offers," its website states.