Best golf courses: England - South East

Golf on the Kent coast: A short distance north of the White Cliffs of Dover you’ll find three close neighbours that have all hosted the Open Championship. Royal St George’s (still on the Open roster), Royal Cinque Ports and Prince’s sit cheek by jowl on a dune-filled stretch of Kent coast between the towns of Sandwich and Deal.
Royal Cinque Ports and Royal St George’s are two of nineteen English golf clubs with a Royal prefix conferred by the sovereign. The oldest of England’s “Royals” is Royal Blackheath near London. Established in 1608 it lays claim to being the world’s oldest golf club, while Royal North Devon in Westward Ho! is England’s oldest golf course. All three courses are standard bearers for English links golf.

Make the most out of your golf trip to the Kent Coast. Look up the location of the golf courses on the map; it will help you with your planning to play the best during your holidays. To each golf course visited we have applied a rating. The scale, 5 (highest) to 2 (lowest), attempts to provide an indication of the golfing experience you can expect at each rated course. Hover your on-screen mouse pointer above the rating key hereafter to read our definitions.

5-PLUS: In the world’s elite - has few peers; one of our top-rated 5s!
Weekdays only
Dover
Purves, Dr Laidlaw

Visitors?

Weekdays only

Nearest city

Dover

Designer

Original design by Dr Laidlaw Purves (1887); later revisions by Dr Alister MacKenzie (1924).

4-PLUS: Must play course - excellent standard; worthy of 4½ stars.
Wkends restrictd
Brighton
Hutchison, Campbell & Hotchkin

Visitors?

Wkends restrictd

Nearest city

Brighton

Designer

Original design by the firm Ferigna (Cecil K. Hutchison, Sir Guy Campbell & Col. Stafford V. Hotchkin).

4-PLUS: Must play course - excellent standard; worthy of 4½ stars.
Visitors welcome
Crawley
Scott, Archdeacon

Visitors?

Visitors welcome

Nearest city

Crawley

Designer

Original design by brothers and founding members William R. and Francis A. Lee; some input from the two other founding members: Robert Birch and Rev A.T. "Archdeacon" Scott. Later modifications made by Harry Hunter and longstanding Ashdown professional Jack Rowe (1897); final significant changes made by Jack Rowe (1922).

4-PLUS: Must play course - excellent standard; worthy of 4½ stars.
Visitors welcome
Dover
Hunter & Braid

Visitors?

Visitors welcome

Nearest city

Dover

Designer

Original 9-holes laid out by Henry Hunter (1892), and extended to 18 (1896). Layout redesigned by James Braid (1919). Sir Guy Campbell restored the course after WWII, substantially retaining the earlier Hunter/Braid routing.

4-PLUS: Must play course - excellent standard; worthy of 4½ stars.
Visitors welcome
Dover
Campbell & Morrison

Visitors?

Visitors welcome

Nearest city

Dover

Designer

Original course designed by Charles Hutchings & Percy Montagu Lucas (1906). Current 27-hole layout resulted from a significant post-war redesign by Sir Guy Campbell & John Morrison (1950).

4-PLUS: Must play course - excellent standard; worthy of 4½ stars.
On application
Dover
Colt, Harry

Visitors?

On application

Nearest city

Dover

Designer

Original design by English course architect Harry Colt and Scottish professional Douglas Rolland. Later revisions by Tom Simpson (1932), Sir Guy Campbell (1938), Major H.C. "Charles" Tippet (1947).

4-star: Above average course - well worth a visit.
Visitors welcome
Brighton
Rowe, Jack

Visitors?

Visitors welcome

Nearest city

Brighton

Designer

Original design by Royal Ashdown GC professional Jack Rowe (1904). Later revisions by J.H. Taylor, Frank Pennink and club member Philip Russell-Vick.

4-star: Above average course - well worth a visit.
Visitors welcome
Guildford
Taylor, J.H.

Visitors?

Visitors welcome

Nearest city

Guildford

Designer

J.H. Taylor

4-star: Above average course - well worth a visit.
Visitors welcome
Brighton
Cupp, Bob

Visitors?

Visitors welcome

Nearest city

Brighton

Designer

American course architect Robert E. "Bob" Cupp designed the East and West courses.

4-star: Above average course - well worth a visit.
Rsrt guests only
Brighton
Braid, James

Visitors?

Rsrt guests only

Nearest city

Brighton

Designer

James Braid

4-star: Above average course - well worth a visit.
Visitors welcome
Dover
Faldo & Smyers

Visitors?

Visitors welcome

Nearest city

Dover

Designer

Nick Faldo & Steve Smyers

4-star: Above average course - well worth a visit.
Visitors welcome
Crawley
MacKenzie, Dr Alister

Visitors?

Visitors welcome

Nearest city

Crawley

Designer

Original designer unknown. Dr Alister MacKenzie was commissioned to make design improvements in the 1920s.

4-star: Above average course - well worth a visit.
Visitors welcome
Dover
Purves, Dr Laidlaw

Visitors?

Visitors welcome

Nearest city

Dover

Designer

Original design by Dr Laidlaw Purves (1888); later revisions by James Braid and Dr Alister MacKenzie (1924).

3-PLUS: Good course - several memorable features; worthy of 3½ stars.
Visitors welcome
Brighton
Cupp, Bob

Visitors?

Visitors welcome

Nearest city

Brighton

Designer

American course architect Robert E. "Bob" Cupp designed the East and West courses.

3-PLUS: Good course - several memorable features; worthy of 3½ stars.
Visitors welcome
Brighton
Steel, Donald

Visitors?

Visitors welcome

Nearest city

Brighton

Designer

Donald Steel

3-PLUS: Good course - several memorable features; worthy of 3½ stars.
Visitors welcome
Dover
Colt, Harry

Visitors?

Visitors welcome

Nearest city

Dover

Designer

Current design by English course architect Harry Colt (1927).

3-PLUS: Good course - several memorable features; worthy of 3½ stars.
Visitors welcome
Brighton
Taylor, J.H.

Visitors?

Visitors welcome

Nearest city

Brighton

Designer

Course designed by J.H. Taylor in 1907, when the club moved to its current Blatchington location.

3-PLUS: Good course - several memorable features; worthy of 3½ stars.
Visitors welcome
Brighton
Hutchinson, Horace

Visitors?

Visitors welcome

Nearest city

Brighton

Designer

Original nine-hole course designed by Horace G. Hutchinson and Charles Mayhewe (1887). Later extended and modified by unknown others.

3-PLUS: Good course - several memorable features; worthy of 3½ stars.
Visitors welcome
Crawley
Nicholson, Peter

Visitors?

Visitors welcome

Nearest city

Crawley

Designer

Peter Nicholson

3-PLUS: Good course - several memorable features; worthy of 3½ stars.
Visitors welcome
Brighton
Woosnam, Ian

Visitors?

Visitors welcome

Nearest city

Brighton

Designer

The Dale Hill course (also known as the "Old course") dates from 1976. The "Woosnam course" was designed by Ian Woosnam (1997).

3-star: Good course – an enjoyable test for your game.
Rsrt guests only
Crawley
Williams, David

Visitors?

Rsrt guests only

Nearest city

Crawley

Designer

David Williams

3-star: Good course – an enjoyable test for your game.
Visitors welcome
Dover
Fowler & Simpson

Visitors?

Visitors welcome

Nearest city

Dover

Designer

Herbert Fowler & Tom Simpson (1913).

3-star: Good course – an enjoyable test for your game.
Visitors welcome
Dover
Braid, James

Visitors?

Visitors welcome

Nearest city

Dover

Designer

Original design by James Braid. Restored and re-opened in 1948 after WWII (when the course was covered in barbed wire and defensive positions). Extended and improved by John Lawrie (1960s).

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