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You can retrace this Open champion's famous steps

You can retrace this Open champion’s famous steps

Three rounds in one day, a trio of courses that have all held The Open, and a chance to retrace the steps of one of golf’s most legendary figures. Check out the Hagen 54…

 

Walter Hagen’s first Open in 1920 has become the stuff of legend.

Turning up at Royal Cinque Ports in a chauffeur driven luxury car, replete with his own footman, the two-time US Open champion fell out with club brass almost immediately.

Told he must change in the pro shop, rather than the clubhouse, Hagen responded by parking his car at the flagpole outside the building every day and shipping on his shoes and sweater there.

Given how much fuss changing your shoes in the car park can still cause today at some clubs, imagine how it will have gone down then!

But Hagen’s notoriety stretched further. He embarked on an adventure of a practice round – hopping over fences from Prince’s, to Royal St George’s and Royal Cinque Ports, as he tried to get used to links conditions.

Hagen would finish 53rd, but he’d win The Open four times between 1922 and 1929 and change the face of golf for professional players.

And his impact on the Kent coast has not been forgotten. His course-jumping round is an event the members of the trio of clubs commemorate each year in The Hagen Hoof, a 54-hole one day marathon that takes in all three courses.

Walter Hagen

What is the Hagen 54?

And, next July, you could have the chance to retrace Hagen’s storied steps yourself as the clubs combine to offer visitors the Hagen 54.

The highlight is a fourball, Stableford, best two out of four to count, competition, with the 54-holes played consecutively. It’s the centrepiece of a two-night, three-day, stay that will see competitors holed up in The Lodge at Prince’s – where many players stayed during The Open three years ago.

The three courses have all played host to the world’s oldest major championship. Royal Cinque Ports had the Claret Jug in 1909 and 1920 (won by JH Taylor and George Duncan), Prince’s in 1932 (won by Gene Sarazen), and Royal St George’s on 15 occasions between 1894 and 2021. Collin Morikawa was the last player to win on the Kent coastline.

With all green fees included, and guests enjoying a two-course dinner each evening at The Lodge’s Brasserie on the Bay, the event will be staged between July 23 and 25.

For more information, and to register, visit the event website or email [email protected].

Walter Hagen

Now have your say

Have you tried to emulate Walter Hagen’s feat? Will you have a go at the Hagen 54? Have you played at Prince’s, Royal Cinque Ports, or Royal St George’s? Let me know your experiences of the Kent coast by leaving a comment on X.

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