The five Kent golf courses that feature in Top 100 Golf Courses’ updated ranking of ‘The English Top 100 Golf Courses of England 2016’ have all improved on their positions since the last list was drawn up two years ago.
Strictly speaking, the highly-regarded Royal St George’s has not moved up as it has retained its position in the number one spot, with Top 100 Golf Courses describing the championship links on its website with the words ‘There’s nothing artificial about Royal St George’s Golf Club; there’s a natural look and feel to the course that blends beautifully into its historical Sandwich surroundings’.
Just three miles along the east Kent coast lies Royal Cinque Ports which has been awarded 15th position – up one spot – whilst the St George’s neighbour, Prince’s, lies in 58th slot thanks to an upward move of 2 places for the 18-hole combination of its two 9-hole Shore and Dunes layouts.
Another Kent links gem, Littlestone, a Final Open Qualifying Course in 2011, rises two places to 76th position while the Heritage Course, designed by Jack Nicklaus, at the London Golf Club in west Kent has risen two places to take 84th spot.
“We think it’s our best ever list. Why? Because we’ve received way more input from many more contributors than ever before, and we know that the more opinions we get, the better the rankings become,” says Keith Baxter, Editor-in-Chief of Top 100 Golf Courses.
The inclusion of these five courses in the English Top 100 shows the depth and quality of the golf offering in the county, which is home to over 100 courses.
All the courses that feature in the English Top 100 are part of Golf in Kent, a group that has been established to promote Kent as a premier golfing destination to the national and international golf tourism market.
Other Golf in Kent courses include the cliff top club at North Foreland, another of the Final Open Qualifying Courses in 2011, which is located just outside Broadstairs on the east coast and the parkland course at the Tudor Park Marriott Hotels & Country Club, designed by Donald Steel, near Maidstone.
Lullingstone Park near Orpington is another parkland layout that offers stunning views over the county’s rolling landscape whilst the downland courses of Boughton and Etchinghill, part of Pentland Golf, are both set on undulating, sometimes hilly, ground which make for challenging rounds.
Hever Castle Golf Club meanwhile is another picturesque parkland track comprising of 27 holes that is laid out in the mature grounds of the Hever Estate that is clothed in ancient history and royal associations. Well located close to London, Hever also offers excellent 5-star luxury B&B in the Astor Wing and the Anne Boleyn Wing, an Edwardian wing attached to the Castle, or in its five-star, gold-rated cottage, Medley Court, which is ideal for a group or families.
In addition to some of the finest courses in England, Kent is well located for golfers living in the south east and also offers easy access from Europe via the port of Dover and Eurotunnel as well as the rest of the world, thanks to its proximity to all the international airports in London.
The ‘Garden of England’ also possesses a great tradition and heritage in the game of golf, with many of its courses over 100 years old. Moreover Kent is justly proud to have staged 17 Open Championships since 1894 over the Royal St George’s (where is has been played an incredible 14 times), Royal Cinque Ports and Prince’s. Today Royal St George’s is the only course in the south of England that is on the current Open Championship roster.
As England’s oldest county, Kent has a wide variety of visitor attractions from ancient monuments to stately homes, gardens and national parks, a plethora of castles such as Dover, Hever and Leeds and one of England’s most visited landmarks, Canterbury Cathedral.
No wonder Kent has earned itself the reputation as ‘A golfer’s paradise in the ‘Garden of England’.
For further information on its courses, accommodation and off-course attractions, weekend breaks and longer golf tours from two to six days, visit www.golfinkent.co.uk and for more on the attractions of Kent, visit www.visitkent.co.uk or keep in touch on a regular basis by following @GolfInKent on Twitter.
The full list of courses in Top 100 Golf Courses latest Top 100 English Courses can be seen here: http://www.top100golfcourses.co.uk/htmlsite/story.asp?id=631