Directly adjacent to Royal St. George’s Golf Club, the Prince’s Golf Club, located on Sandwich Bay in the south-east corner of England is similarly located along a highly regarded stretch of links coast that includes Royal Cinque Ports. The club was founded in 1906 by two entrepreneurs with the 1902 Amateur Champion, Charles Hutchings tasked with laying out the course. It was one of the first courses in the UK to stretch to over 7,000yards, done so to counteract the impact of the new ‘Haskell’ golf ball. As with all of its other peers on the south coast, Prince’s became the frontline during World War One and was used by the military as a training base. It was quickly returned to good health after the war and by 1922 was hosting the Ladies Open. Then in 1932, Prince’s hosted the biggest tournament of them all, the Open Championship, won by Gene Sarazen. However, before it could repeat the achievement, the Second World War broke out, and the club was requisitioned by the military once again. Despite some wartime damage, 17 of the original greens were recoverable and used in a new 27-hole layout designed by Sir Guy Campbell and John Morrison.
1932 was the only time that Prince’s Golf Club hosted the Open, but it remains very proud of having been only one of 14 clubs ever to have received that distinction. Since 1981, the club has been a Final Open Qualifying venue of four occasions when hosted at adjacent Royal St. Georges and has furthermore hosted many amateur and professional tournaments down through the years.
As for the three nine-hole courses, each is slightly different in character. The Shore nine holes run for the opening part along the sea. There is a mix of suitable driving holes, such as the 2nd which has the longest carry of any hole on the course. The Shore is also one of the most undulated parts of the golf course, and as such that presents its challenges. The 5th green, the old 18th is where Sarazen won the Open in 1932, possibly as close as most of us will get!
The Dunes Course runs in an anticlockwise loop of five out, four back. The opening hole, a dog-leg of 473yards is as tough as you will find anywhere, but certainly across the three nines at Prince’s Golf Club. Our favorite hole on this nine, if for no other reason than the fairway that resembles a bout of chickenpox there are so many bumps and dots all over it, makes the stance for the 2nd shot a lot more interesting. The Par three 8th is also a sound hole, 207yards usually played into the teeth of the breeze, the bunker front left is a favorite holding spot.
Finally, the Himalayas Course is probably the toughest of the three and more so since the extensive re-design by Martin Ebert in 2017/18. The changes were significant, with work done on virtually every hole with a close eye on the original design. Work was implemented to every green, bunkers, tee and new holes were all introduced for example by combining the 2nd and 3rd to create a unique par 5, and a new par three was introduced, resulting in the new 5th hole. The fun part of Ebert’s task was to restore the Himalayas bunker which originally was three, where golfers had to clear them from the tee. Ebert even built a new tee box for the 9th, to be played on occasions, that will reintroduce that fun element into the play of that hole.
Prince’s is one of the most iconic golf courses in the world, and the Consummate Pro will be delighted to bring you to this beautiful part of the English coastline to enjoy what can only be described as a world-class golf experience. The three nine’s here are as good as you will find anywhere and in the eyes of Martin Ebert, capable of hosting an Open Championship again in the future with ‘a little work.’