Princes is a 27 hole golfing facility located on the coast in Sandwich adjacent to Royal St Georges GC
Princes dates back to 1900 when the Earl of Guildford donated the land, and Charles Hutchings and Percy Lucas designed an 18 hole course.
The course was commandeered by the military for the first World War, but survived to host The Open Championship in 1932
It was a memorable championship and won by none other than Gene Sarazen with a remarkable bunker escape on the last hole
Sadly that was the last championship hosted by Princes, which was again commandeered for the second World War, and completely destroyed..
Sir Guy Campbell and John Morrison were assigned the task of remodelling the course thereafter, and constructed 27 holes instead of 18, utilising 17 of the old greens.
The 3 nine hole loops they produced were named The Dunes, Shore and Himalayas nines, with the Dunes & Shore comprising the championship course.
The new Himalayas nine was shorter, and a nice complement to the championship course
In 2017 Princes employed Mackenzie & Ebert- The Open specialists- to renovate the Himalaya nine.
The remodelled course opened in 2018 to critical acclaim.
Subsequently MacKenzie & Ebert have returned to upgrade the Dunes & Shore nines.
We played the Himalayas and Shore nines, and thought the new Himalayas was very enjoyable.
The course was tight in places, and set up to force the golfer to make decisions constantly on line and length
It was nice to see the club history displayed on course with the replica spitfire propeller on the 3rd tee, and plaque on the 9th bunker commemorating Sarazen's win.
Princes is proud of it's history!
And I was particularly impressed with the par 3 fifth- it's a lovely hole in a gorgeous setting- quite memorable in fact
The shore course was a contrast- it looked and played like the old traditional links courses from yesteryear, with rumpled fairways and revetted pot bunkers.
Overall it was a pretty decent nine holes, however I am sure Mackenzie & Ebert will have a profound impact on the course and look forward to seeing the fruits of their labour
Notable Holes include:
- the par 5 second hole which winds around marshland
- the par 3 fifth hole named Bloody Point. The tee shot carries acres of sand and wetland to a pretty green setting with beach beyond
- the par 5 sixth hole which follows the beach all the way- it is extremely tight with bunkers left and water right
- the par 3 third with smart revetted pot bunkers threatening
- the par 4 fourth hole, with green surrounded by pot bunkers
Princes GC is historically important as one of a handful of clubs in the UK that have hosted an Open Championship.
As such it features as an optional visit on our annual Open Rota tours which play on all the current Rota courses.
All that aside, however- Princes is a true links in a traditional seaside setting.
What more can I say?
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