Himalayas: The lair of the monster that awaits shattering dreams in The Open

He’s seen pictures and watched videos but even they didn’t adequately prepare Steve Carroll when he came face-to-face with the legendary Royal St George trap.

It actually scares you off the tee. This majestic sand scar is etched into the heart of the dunes – but the biggest golf tournament’s hideaway is even more intimidating when you stand right below it.

The Himalayas in Royal St. George, which dominates in her house to the right of the fourth aisle, is the stuff of legends.

It’s a “coffin” for the members, a card-crusher in the most obvious sense, but only when you get close do you really understand how hard it really is.

I’ve seen the pictures in magazines and I’ve seen guys rambling on YouTube but they can’t – they can’t – reflect the scale of this monster.

Standing more than 40 feet deep and 25 feet wide, people look like pin pricks from below. Just check out Alex Perry’s photo of NCG, no sag in the height department at about six feet four but barely visible from the depths, and you’ll see what I mean.

There are no illusions of grandeur for those who indulged in this Venus fly trap. Escape should be the only thought, however, by no means guaranteed. So look in your bag and resist every heroic thought your mind has to offer. Pick your highest club, give it the biggest swing, and pray.

Or dig a hole and bury your hopes.

However, the genius of this lair lies not only in the misfortunes that befall those who enter its surroundings. Try as much as possible to get it off the tee, there it is – a big hole – and that feeling is there not just for the handicapped hackers but for the Open competitors who really have to send their shots soaring over its top in search of the legendary Elysian fields behind.

He will occasionally fish casual and unguarded. And there will be a well-positioned camera waiting for the opportunity to emerge from the disaster.


If this is the first time in 10 years that you have caught your eye on a menace that is simultaneously denounced as a circus and hailed as an architectural marvel, you will notice something different.

Once leveled by the rafters, the slats add another impregnable layer of defense, and those artificial trusses are gone.

He says “no longer a gimmick” Paul Larsen, Head of Plant Conservation at Royal St George. “We made it a perfect natural dune hideaway that is more in line with the golf course.”

The word “Proper” does not adequately describe this masterpiece. It has spawned many imitations – one being the source of an April Fool’s joke that still haunts Google watchers – but the original is still the best.

Will open dreams be destroyed this week? Who knows. But rest assured, then You are ever in Royal St. GeorgeHimalaya will wait.

Did you face the Himalayas and win, or did you come up with the harvest in this brutal sand trap? Let me know how you got in the comments, or tweet me your memories.

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