Littlestone Golf Club Course Review

Littlestone Golf Club adds a fourth string to the bow of the Kent coast when it comes to top-notch links golf

Littlestone Golf Club - 17th hole
The excellent par-3 17th
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Littlestone Golf Club Course Review

GF £75-£110
Par 71, 6,438 yards
Slope 133
GM Verdict – A fine course that adds a fourth dimension to the strong links attraction of the Kent coast beyond the three Open Championship venues.
Favourite Hole – A toss-up between the excellent par-3 17th and the exceedingly difficult long par-4 16th hole that precedes it.

Littlestone Golf Club - 3rd hole

Looking across the 3rd green at Littlestone

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The links at Littlestone, which dates back to 1888 and is one of the best golf courses in Kent, shares the same designer as Royal St George’s in William Laidlaw Purves, though James Braid and Alister MacKenzie have both played a role in its evolution. There’s a seemingly straightforward opener to ease you into your round if you don’t try to force things prematurely, tempting though it may be, especially downwind. But things then gradually become more complex as you make your way round the essentially flat, but invariably intriguing, linksland.

Littlestone Golf Club - 2nd hole

The approach to the 2nd is played through a gap in the dune ridge

(Image credit: Kevin Murray)

There are no towering dunes to negotiate really, though you will have to thread your approach between two of the taller ones on the 2nd through a dip in the dune ridge that affords you a helpful sight of the flag if you haven’t strayed too far right or left off the tee – a little like the 3rd at Muirfield. The 3rd is then a strong par 4 where anything too far right off the tee will make the approach much harder, especially from long range into the wind.

Littlestone Golf Club - 17th hole

The par-3 17th is one the best holes on the course and tough, too, into the wind

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The quartet of par 3s here is particularly strong, all the more so for playing to all four points of the compass, so you’ll typically have to try and master a fully array of different wind directions. The 17th is the pick of the quartet, a long one-shotter playing slightly up to a green protected by a scattering of cunning bunkers and mounds. The 6th is perhaps the second best of the quartet, with run-offs either side testing your short game skills - or wisdom - should you miss the target, which is highly likely in the sea breeze

Littlestone Golf Club - 16th hole

Regulation figures will invariably be hard-fought on the demanding par-4 16th hole

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The links finishes with a flourish, with the 16th a long, tough par 4 (a par 5 for many in all but name!) that turns gently left and up to the green. After that excellent 17th hole, where the green can prove quite elusive if the breeze is up, the closing par 5 may allow you to potentially repair any scorecard damage from the two holes that precede it, but it must still be treated with suitable respect.

Littlestone Golf Club - 18th hole

The par-5 18th may raise hopes of a closing birdie

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There is a second links at Littlestone too in the Warren course, which started life as Romney Warren golf course in 1993. This shorter layout opens with a surprisingly long and testing par 4 before settling into a pattern of short, sporting par 4s interspersed with the occasional par 3. Any of those par 4s could represent a real chance depending on wind direction, while the 7th is the toughest one-shotter at over 200 yards.

Jeremy Ellwood
Jeremy Ellwood

Jeremy Ellwood has worked in the golf industry since 1993 and for Golf Monthly since 2002 when he started out as equipment editor. He is now a freelance journalist writing mainly for Golf Monthly across the whole spectrum from courses and Rules to equipment and even instruction despite his own somewhat iffy swing (he knows how to do it, but just can't do it himself). He also edits The Golf Club Secretary Newsletter, has authored or co-authored three books and written for a number of national papers including The Telegraph and The Independent. He is a senior panelist for Golf Monthly's Top 100 UK & Ireland Course Rankings and has played all of the Top 100 plus 89 of the Next 100. He has played well over 900 courses worldwide in 35 countries, but put him on a links course anywhere and he will be blissfully content. On his first trip to Abu Dhabi a decade ago he foolishly asked Paul Casey what sort of a record he had around the course there. "Well, I've won it twice if that's what you mean!" came the reply...