Sea shore at the edge of the Royal Cinque Ports golf course in deal, Kent
Sea shore at the edge of the Royal Cinque Ports golf course in deal, Kent

Kent - Royal Cinque Ports Golf Course

Is this the toughest links course in England?

Founded in 1892, Royal Cinque Ports (also known as Deal golf course) is widely considered to be one of the best links courses in England, and possibly one of the toughest too.

Depending on the wind, you need to make your score well before the tough closing seven holes, which pits you against the prevailing south-westerly wind.

Benefitting from some of Britain’s most naturally undulating terrain, this is a fast-running course with rippling fairways and unexpected green locations. It has a host of world-class holes and should definitely not be overlooked in favour of its more celebrated neighbour, Royal St George’s.

Founded in 1892, James Braid, Henry Cotton, and most recently, Martin Ebert, have all been involved in its development over the years.

The Open visited in 1909 and 1920 and was scheduled for two further stagings in 1938 and 1949. Sadly, both were thwarted when easterly winds and high tides inundated the course. To this day, it remains strong enough to stage the Amateur and for regular golfers, it's entertaining because of the near perfect links terrain. The topsy-turvy 3rd and its concertina-style fairway is worth a visit in itself.

Significant changes to the 3rd and 16th holes were made in 2019, with Martin Ebert overseeing the improvements. The fairway is lined with large rough-edged bunkers. A new short-game area, also designed by Ebert, features two greens and three bunkers to enhance the club’s practice facilities.