Royal Cinque Ports

Royal Cinque Ports

Royal Cinque Ports

Royal Cinque Ports | NCG Top 100s: GB&I Golf Courses

Royal Cinque Ports sits on a stretch of golf course royalty in the corner of South East England. With Royal St. George’s a short drive away in Sandwich, and with Prince's over the fence from that, you can rarely find three venues that have hosted the Open Championship in such small proximity.

Royal Cinque Ports is tucked at the start of a dirt road in the popular seaside town of Deal, just along the coast from Dover. 

The sea wall runs down the side of the course, which also features some tee boxes for those brave enough to play from the back tees. This is one of many features that makes this one of the best golf courses in Kent and one of the best golf courses in the UK.

Book to play on the NCG Top 100s Tour at Royal Cinque Ports.
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A Brief History of Royal Cinque Ports

Harry Hunter became the first greenkeeper of Cinque Ports Golf Club in Kent in 1892, and he became responsible for the design of the first nine-hole course.

A meeting was held in nearby Walmer in the February of that year to establish a golf club in Deal. The links opened on May 30, 1892.

The first competition was held in June and the clubhouse was opened in November. The 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 5th holes of the first layout resemble today’s outlook, while the original 7th, 8th and 9th became the last three holes of the present course.

18 holes were opened in 1899 and this was also the year Deal Ladies’ Club was founded. 10 years later, the course hosted its first Open Championship which was won by JH Taylor.

The first evidence of association with the Royal Family is found in 1910. The Prince of Wales, later Edward VII, played the course regularly when he visited Deal. The official title of ‘Royal Cinque Ports’ came in 1949.

George Duncan won the second Open Championship held at Deal in 1920, while Roger Wethered won its first Amateur Championship in 1923.

Royal Cinque Ports was denied the chance to host the Open due to severe flooding in 1938 and 1949, while the First World War and the Second World War prevented the club hosting the 1915 and the 1942 championships.

Royal Cinque Ports Review | NCG Top 100s: GB&I Golf Courses

If you were to look on the golf course map, Royal Cinque Ports is very much out and back. The 1st hole, despite being very short, provides the daunting prospect of the clubhouse to the right of the fairway.

This is followed by a challenging par 4 and par 5 before you come across a treacherous, but stunning par-3 4th hole that hugs the sea wall. A pinpoint tee shot is needed here to avoid tricky chips back up the slope both long and short of the green.

After another par 5, the drivable par-4 6th hole can leave you pondering an iron to the middle of the fairway to leave a short approach to the raised green, or going for the putting surface over the mound.

The 7th hole ventures in-land with a series of bunkers dotted in the fairway, and an undulating green at the end. You hit back towards the sea wall with on the par-3 8th hole.

Holes 8, 9, 10 and 11 form somewhat of a zigzag to and from the coast, but once you reach the long par-4 12th hole, you’re at the furthest point from the clubhouse and hitting home. When the wind is blowing from the sea, this poses a strong challenge. The par-4 13th requires precision off the tee with a row of fairway bunkers hungry to gobble up your ball.

Regardless of the conditions, you’re grateful for a par on the par-3 14th hole, which will require a long iron at best to reach the putting surface. The teeth of the course are revealed in the final four holes. The 15th fairway epitomises the wave-like formation of many other fairways on the course.

The 16th hole is unique in the way you can choose between two fairways on your way to the green, but even the most exact of approaches can miss this raised putting surface protected by a large front slope, a bunker and long grass short and right.

The 17th is drivable for bigger hitters with favourable wind, but two large bunkers before the green could have other ideas, and the 18th hole is divided by a stream that can suck in a well-struck tee shot.

Walking off the final green, you’ll know you’ve just played one of the top 100 UK golf courses in England and one of the top 100 UK golf courses too.

What facilities are there at Royal Cinque Ports?

The pro shop is situated at the end of the members' car park. Once you come out of that, there is the driving range to the right which is predominantly grass. There are a handful of bays to the right, and a couple of hitting nets behind them.

On the other side of the clubhouse, there is the putting green and the chipping area next to the visitors' car park.

In the clubhouse, there is the casual club bar upstairs. Through the door from this the Jack Aisher Room can be found. This is the club’s formal lounge which offers great views of the golf course.

The dining room is downstairs close to the entrance. Head chef Dennis Van Meir heads up a kitchen that prides itself on the finest ingredients from local sources.

How much does it cost to play at Royal Cinque Ports?

To play at Royal Cinque Ports during the summer months will cost £235 in 2024. Visitors can play at Cinque Ports from Monday to Thursday.

It is cheaper to play the course in the shoulder months, at £185. It would cost £150 for you to play Royal Cinque Ports during the winter season.

Where is Royal Cinque Ports located?

Royal Cinque Ports is situated on the south eastern tip of England, in Kent. It is the southern most of three Open Championship courses in that area, with Prince's and Royal St George's just north of Cinque Ports.

London Heathrow, London Gatwick and London Stansted Airports are all within two and a half hours from the trio of courses on the Kent coast.

Book to play on the NCG Top 100s Tour at Royal Cinque Ports.
Visit Royal Cinque Ports' website here.
Go back to the NCG Top 100s Homepage.