This year's British Open golf championship will be played Thursday through Sunday at Royal St. George's, a seaside links course at the English Channel village of Sandwich, in county Kent.
When TV cameras show the course and surrounding countryside, the views will bring back fond memories of the two years I lived beside this famed golf venue.
During 1986-88, I was finishing a dissertation at the London School of Economics.
My research was nearly finished, and I needed a quiet place to organize the material and do the writing. My wife, Priscilla, and I were living in the pulsating West End of London but had the opportunity to buy a cottage in the tranquil village of Sandwich.
The home bordered one of Royal St. George's fairways. The only fact I knew about the course was that James Bond author Ian Fleming used the course as the golfing venue for the 1964 film "Goldfinger," starring Sean Connery. That is the film in which Goldfinger's Oriental valet, Oddjob, in frustration, crushes a golf ball in his hand after being outwitted by Agent 007.
Actually, this English course was founded in 1887 and was intended as the English rival to St. Andrew's in Scotland. Royal status was conferred by King Edward VII in 1902.
The Royal and Ancient, the golfing authority for Britain, rotates the Open Championships based on a formula of eight Opens in Scotland, and one each in England and Wales. So once every 10 years, the Open returns to Royal St. George's.
For exercise, I walked parts of the course on many occasions. There was no fence separating the course from the village. The best hotel and restaurant in Sandwich, the Bell, is also adjacent to the course. After brunch there, Priscilla and I would walk across several fairways en route home. Arnold Palmer's name is prominent among the golfers listed as having stayed at the Bell during the Open there.
Sandwich cottages attracted premium corporate renters during Open Week.
I would gladly have vacated my cottage for seven days in return for what amounted to six months of mortgage payments.
Alas, we sold the cottage before the Open returned to Royal St. George's in the mid-1990s.
Jim Wentz was born in Hollidaysburg and grew up in Morrisons Cove. He is a Sunday columnist for the Mirror.