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Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club
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Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club

Deal, Kent, England

Kent golf boats a trifecta of links that have hosted an Open Championship – Royal St George’s, Prince’s, and Royal Cinque Ports – affectionately known as Deal to locals and members.

Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club lies directly on the sea, and several holes border it. Like Royal Birkdale, Hillside, and Southport & Aainsdale on England’s Golf Coast, the three standouts of Sandwich Golf directly border each other.

Originally designed for the gutta-percha ball, in 1919 James Braid was enlisted to make changes and lengthen the course, which had been severely damaged in WWI in preparations for the 1920 Open.

Guy Campbell made additional enhancements in 1946 in preparation for the scheduled (but not held 1949 Open) and further upgrades and modernization tweaks have been under Martin Ebert’s masterful direction.

Course Details

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World Top 100 Golf Course
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British Open and Open Qualifying Venue
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Designed by Henry Hunter
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Founded in 1892
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Ideal Location for South England Golf Tour
Royal Cinque Ports rough

Royal Cinque Ports History

In 1898 Legendary golfer Freddie Tait made a wager that he could traverse cross country the 3.2 miles between the Royal St George’s clubhouse and the Royal Cinque Ports clubhouse in less than 40 shots using the same ball. Achieving the feat with shots to spare his 32nd shot errantly struck not only the Deal clubhouse but broke a window in the process, that Tait had to pay for out of his winnings

While it only hosted two Opens in 1909 and 1920, won by JH Taylor and George Lowe respectively, it was scheduled for two more in 1938 and 1949. Unfortunately, untimely high tides in those years flooded the course and required The Opens to be reassigned.  The lack of available land for modern infrastructure has led to Deal being dropped from the current Open rota. That hasn’t diminished its value to The Open and it was one of four qualifying courses for the 2023 Open at Royal Liverpool.

In England golf (and now also Scotland) every public (in Britain that means private) schoolboy and alum of those schools knows Deal as the home to the annual Halford Hewitt Public Schools Championship, the largest amateur tournament in the UK. Over a week each of the 64 qualifying schools submit five teams of foursome pairs. As with most private Kent golf clubs, Royal Cinque Ports plays mainly as a two-ball foursomes club for members, especially on weekends.

Royal Cinque Ports, a perfect addition to any England golf tour, welcomes visiting golfers with advanced reservations. Should the day be on the chilly side, be sure and order a “Shovrill” to take the chill off at the halfway house. This member’s favorite, a mixture of Sherry and Bovril, was inspired during the historic evacuation of Dunkirk.


royal cinque ports
Royal Cinque Ports green

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