Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club Course Review - The two-time Open host is a classic links that can be seriously tough in the wind.

Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club Course Review

Green Fee Range: £90-£185

Medal Tee: Par 71 – 6,501 Yards

Visitor Times: Every day, check with club for details – 2-balls only except Thursday


Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club Course Review

A strong course with a great variety of holes forging out to the turn and then back into the prevailing wind. A fine run for home from the 12th; one of the most challenging stretches you will find on our links.

Related: Top 100 Courses UK and Ireland

Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club Course Review

Set among the rolling dunes to the north of the Kentish town of Deal, Royal Cinque Ports is one of the finest links courses in the south of England.

Twice host to The Open, it forges out from the clubhouse, following the coastline towards the turn. The last seven holes can be seriously challenging into the wind!

Narrow undulating fairways, bounded by tangled grasses, gorse and the imposing coastal wall that separates the layout from the English Channel, lead past cunningly placed bunkers to wonderful sloping greens.

It’s a superb and secluded setting for golf on an impressive stretch of golfing coastline; Royal St George’s is next door.

Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club has twice played host to the Open Championship: in 1909 when JH Taylor picked up the fourth of his five Open titles, and in 1920 when George Duncan was champion.

It’s a course that’s welcomed numerous other significant competitions over the years, including the 2013 Amateur Championship.

From 2014 to 2017, the course is one of the four used in Final Qualifying for the Open Championship.

Out on the links, the prevailing wind helps on the front nine, and it’s over these holes a score must be made.

An uphill struggle waits if too many shots have been given up by the turn, and many promising scorecards have been ruined by the closing stretch. This is a layout that asks for powerful ball striking and creative shot making in equal measures.

Course changes since previous ranking

According to club manager James Leah, “We have very recently finished some extensive works to the 3rd and 16th. The 3rd tee has moved to the left of the 2nd green and the fairway has been reshaped. The hole is a bit longer, too. 16th is being made back in to a par 5, with the fairway being brought back towards the tees. A second fairway has also been put in, to give players an option of going right and playing to an elevated green, or to the left and seeing more of the green. A lot of bunker work has taken place on 16, too. We have also redone a bunker on the 10th – converting from a small revetted style into a big, rough edge bunker. A new championship tee has also been constructed on the 2nd. Work has now moved on to building a fantastic new short game area to practice pitching and chipping – replicating some of the shots you face on the course. All the changes are designed by Martin Ebert and carried out by 1st Golf Construction. The new fairways should be in play by the spring (provided the winter is not too harsh) and the short game area should be grown in by the summer.

Golf Monthly Verdict

Former Open venue that sets a befitting test.