Golf In Kent
Golf is a game that is played by around 11 million people in the UK – that’s around one fifth of the entire population. So the fact that Kent has some of the country’s very best golf courses is something we really should be extremely proud of. For example, Royal Cinque Ports, which staged the prestigious major in 1909 and 1920, and Prince’s, the host in 1932, are both regarded amongst the finest links in England that provide tough challenges thanks to undulating fairways, tricky greens and the regular presence of sea breezes.
With such fantastic golf courses across our county, we just have to brag a little… Here are just some of our favourite Kentish courses:
Hever Castle Golf Club
Set in 250 acres, Hever Castle Golf Club offers a challenging game for both the beginner and seasoned golfer. With the 18-hole Championship Course and the 9-hole Princes Course as well as a driving range, golfing lessons and a well-stocked professional shop there is something for everyone. The club even has its very own ‘Amen Corner’.
There are a wide range of membership packages to suit all budgets and playing profiles starting at just £37 per month. There is no joining fee. Playing the course is hungry work so Hever Castle Golf Club also offers a range of mouth-watering food in the bar and lounge as well as a monthly Sunday carvery.
The par 34, 2,843-yard course was originally built on the 500-acre Leeds Castle Estate in 1931 by Sir Guy Campbell of West Sussex GC fame. Overseen by golf course architect Alan Walker, Leeds Castle golf course is two years into a redevelopment programme where the course has benefitted from a new irrigation system, bunker landscaping, the levelling and relaying of all tees, as well as input from top agronomists STRi to make the course look great 365 days a year. Alan Walker, PGA Professional, past captain of The PGA and golf consultant, commented on the redesign and renovation programme: “Sir Guy Campbell did a terrific job originally,” he said, “but like many courses, golf equipment and new technology have meant that it’s become necessary to look at how the course can be updated successfully, retaining all the best things about it while enhancing the challenge for the modern golfer.
Further plans are ongoing to redevelop the Pro Shop in order to offer new leisure facilities and a new short game practice area is available. Pay & Play rounds available from £13.50, one-month trial season tickets from £39 and annual season tickets from just £295.
North Foreland is coastal golf at its very best. North Foreland Golf Club, with its superb cliff-top chalk downland course, offers stunning panoramic views from every tee and every green. North Foreland is, year after year, rated as one of the premier courses in Kent due to the fact that there are no temporary greens through the winter – it’s all natural and all North Foreland.
The distance on the holes throughout the Northcliffe Course varies between 50 and 140 yards, and on the Main Course there are eleven particularly tricky par fours to navigate.
Etchinghill Golf Course
The courses at Etchinghill in Folkestone include the Leas Course, the Valley Course, and the Academy Course.
The 6,101-yard Leas Course is Etchinghill’s main 18-hole golf course. Stretching across the beautiful Kentish downland countryside, it comprises five par 3s, ten par 4s and three par 5s, posing a fantastic challenge to golfers of all abilities. The magnificent Elham Valley lends its name to the versatile Valley Course. The course is made up of nine holes played from multiple tee positions to give the option of nine or eighteen holes. This 5,592-yard course combines four par 3s, twelve par 4s and two par 5s into a wonderfully impressive test for all golfers. The par three Academy Course is popular with families and beginners alike. Extending over an area of stunning natural parkland, it offers great golf challenges for every golfer.
With over 350 acres of grounds, the two courses at Dale Hill are laid out to take in the best of the surrounding scenery. The High Weald is at its best here, and playing golf in such a lovely place must be good for the soul.
Both the courses at Dale Hill are 18 holes. The first, designed by Ian Woosnam, is, as Woosnam himself puts it, “challenging enough to test the pros, yet accessible enough to be enjoyed by amateurs”. You can’t ask for much more than that when it comes to golf – a place where everyone can enjoy the game on the same course for different reasons. The Dale Hill course is the original one on the site, but it has lost none of its charm and it makes for a satisfying round of golf.
London Golf Club
In a world where the finest details matter, London Golf Club continues to raise the bar with 36 holes of Jack Nicklaus designed championship golf in impeccable condition all-year round, an award-winning clubhouse, first-class hospitality and exceptional service. Whether a member or a guest you can be sure you’ll have an experience to remember both on and off course from the moment you drive through the gates and into the glorious surroundings of the South East’s finest golfing destination.
The Heritage course is a Jack Nicklaus Signature design that bears all the hallmarks of the 18-time Major Champion. Host to the 2008 & 2009 European Open, the course provides an exhilarating test for golfers of all abilities. Maintained in pristine condition all year round, with fast-rolling greens and immaculately presented tee-boxes and fairways, the Heritage is rightly regarded as one of the country’s finest golfing experiences.
The International course is pure downland. Long grasses sway in an ever-changing breeze. The course is naturally firmer and the quick undulating fairways force a links-style approach, while short holes over water provide dramatic respite. Home of the 2014 Volvo World Match Play Championship and having hosted both Regional Open Qualifying and European Tour Qualifying School, this course proves a tough test for the most talented of golfers while providing the opportunity to shoot some great scores with a number of risk-reward holes.
Chart Hills Golf Club
The award-winning course at Chart Hills in the High Weald of Kent has Sir Nick Faldo’s clever hand all over it. He designed the course, making it a diverse and challenging one that is one of the most popular in the South East of England. It’s in a great location too – just 20 minutes from Ashford International Station yet sitting in 200 acres of the most gorgeous Kentish countryside you can imagine. When you join Chart Hills you will also gain access to the fantastic intelligent golf online management system, making it easier for you to plan and organise your game, view your handicap and the course status.
Knole Park Golf Club
Unique amongst golf courses in the UK, Knole Park Golf Club is located within 1,000 acres of outstanding parkland, home to the finest deer herd in the South East. Knole House, one of the greatest National Trust properties in the country, together with Knole Park itself, provides the perfect backdrop to this challenging course that was designed by J. Abercromby in consultation with James Braid. The course has been enjoyed by its members and visitors since 1924.
Regularly named as one of the top 100 courses in England by golf magazines, Knole Park Golf course, at just under 6,500 yards from the green (back) tees, with a par of 70 and a CSS of 71, is a course steeped in history and a truly inspiring place to play. The club hosts the Kent Youths Championship, is the home of the prestigious Kent Cob Amateur scratch competition, and has hosted the English Seniors Championship and a number of TP Tour events.
Tudor Park, Marriott Hotel & Country Club
Tudor Park is part of the world-renowned Marriott Hotel group, so you already know before you even take your first swing that what you find there will be absolute quality. Tudor Park is your chance to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday, busy life, and relax in a tranquil environment where you can also enjoy a marvellous game of golf.
The Tudor Park Course was designed in 1988 by Donald Steel, one of Britain’s finest course architects. It is an exhilarating showcase of his skills – 6,085 yards of beautifully varied holes, accompanied by delightful views over this picturesque corner of Kent. When playing here you will find an interesting mix of both long and short holes, many of them with tight fairways. Despite the challenge that these holes throw up, the beauty of your surroundings will keep you centred, and, with a little practice, you might even come in under par. In recent years, Tudor Park has hosted prestigious events including the EuroPro Tour on three occasions, the Kent PGA Pro-Am and, in 2010, the English PGA Championship (South) qualifier.
The London Beach Hotel is a magnificent place on its own merit, but add to the luxury a fabulous and challenging golf course and you’ve got the perfect place to play. Not only can you turn up and play to your heart’s content (and, when doing so, indulge in those hotel spa facilities for reduced rates), you can also improve your game by signing up to the excellent tuition breaks that take place at London Beach. There is a break designed to match any level of ability and experience, and the resident golf pro will gladly show you how to get your handicap down.
2,132 yards, par 32, and created primarily for the residents of this gorgeous hotel (although guests are welcome), the golf course at Eastwell Manor is delightful. Not only is it fun to play, but it is eco-friendly too. Using treated waste water from the hotel that runs through a special recycling system, the trees, shrubs and immaculate lawn are kept healthy.
Princes Golf Club
With stunning views of the coast from Sandwich Bay, Prince’s Golf Club is East Kent’s premier golfing venue. There are three 9-hole courses here offering 27 holes to get your teeth into. Take your time over one, or try all three – the choice is yours. Each course (Shore, Dunes and Himalayas) is different to the next, but the quality of the course and the enjoyment you’ll get from playing there is what links them all together.
When you have completed your game you can enjoy a fabulous meal in the Princes Club restaurant, The Brasserie On The Bay. Here you can tuck into fillet of sea bass or local Texel lamb rack to boost your energy levels ready for your next game.
Lullingstone Park Golf Club
At Lullingstone Park Golf Club there are two fantastic courses to choose from. If you want a quick game on a 9-hole course try the Valley Course. It may be shorter than Lullingstone’s second course, but it shouldn’t be underestimated – it’s a definite test of ability and the 9th hole is especially challenging; it’s a par 3 and is much harder than it looks. The longer, 18-hole course is the Castle Course, and it is from here that you will find the best views of Lullingstone Castle and the area around it. At 6,713 yards this one will really keep you thinking all the way round.
Broome Park Golf Club
Established during the reign of Charles I, the Broome Park Estate is a magnificent place to play golf. As its centre piece it has the Grade I listed Mansion House which was completed in about 1638, and is considered to be one of the finest examples of Carolean architecture in all of England. Refurbished and restored, one of the Mansion House’s most famous owners was Horatio Herbert Kitchener, First Earl Kitchener of Khartoum.
The golf course itself is a superb 18-hole parkland course set within the private 268 acre estate. The course opened in 1981, and was designed by the famous golf course architect Donald Steel. The entire course measures 6587 yards off the championship white tees, has a standard scratch of 72 and par 72. The course is an excellent test for all ages and levels of golfers and the finishing hole is particularly spectacular.
Broome Park Golf Club is easily accessible from the M2/A2 or M20 travel routes and is actually located off the A260. Come along and enjoy the great game in the Garden of England.
0800 358 6991
Cherry Lodge Golf Club
Cherry Lodge Golf Club was founded in 1969 and since then it has played host to thousands of avid golfers who enjoy the thrill of the 6,593 yard, par 72 course which is an impressive 600 feet above sea level. And although this is a private club with membership required, it is a modern, unpretentious kind of place. Visitors are always welcome, and with such beautifully kept grounds and lovely surroundings, it’s not hard to see why Cherry Lodge is so beloved.
Mid-Kent Golf Club
Being one of only two 18-hole courses in the area, it’s no surprise that Mid-Kent Golf Club brings visitors and golf enthusiasts from far and wide. Located just off the A2 yet peaceful and quiet enough to get a good round in without being disturbed, there is nothing quite like the golf that can be played at Mid-Kent. Seen as something of a hidden gem in Kent, the course was designed in 1909 by Willie Park. It’s ideally suited for winter golf since it is built on free draining chalky downland. However, it is open all year round and is an excellent challenge no matter what time of year it is.
Westgate & Birchington Golf Club
Westgate and Birchington is a cliff top 18-hole course of 4,877 yards with stunning views over the sea between the towns of Westgate on Sea and Birchington. It is suitable for players of all ages. The clubhouse at Westgate and Birchington is open daily, offering refreshments to members and visiting golfers alike. The dining area, seating up to sixty diners, affords beautiful views over the course while the lounge and the bar are the perfect places to relax after a round of golf. Secure changing facilities for both men and women are available. Both members and visitors are welcome.
Sweetwoods Park is a stunning Par 72, 18-hole parkland course situated on the A264 between Tunbridge Wells and East Grinstead.
Set within the Wealden Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the course boasts an array of spectacular views and offers an outstanding golfing experience.
Continual investment in the course is given year round to ensure it is always at an exceptional standard. 2017 sees the introduction of 10-minute tee times and a new fleet of Club Car buggies, offering all golfers an enhanced experience at Sweetwoods Park.
A contemporary clubhouse offers the perfect area to relax after your round of golf with stunning views available from the Terrace Bar. New Clubhouse Manager, Michael Blaney, joined the team earlier this year and has recently introduced a new Clubhouse menu. Offering fresh and convenient on the go options perfect for busy golfers, along with heartier mains to satisfy a greater appetite.
Welcoming visitors year round come and enjoy a round of golf this summer and benefit from £5 discount when you book online at sweetwoodspark.com, using exclusive promo code ‘ONLINE’. An array of membership options to suit all lifestyles are also available, get in touch with the team today to find out more.
Sweetwoods Park Golf Club