Prince's Golf Club, Sandwich

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Prince's Golf Club, Sandwich is a links golf course located in Sandwich in Kent in South East England. Prince's is immediately adjacent to the more famous Royal St George's golf club, and both clubs lie on the same stretch of coastline as nearby Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club.

The 7th hole on the Shore 9 from the tee, before the demolition of the cooling towers at Richborough Power Station

Prince's was financed by Sir Harry Mallaby-Deeley, Bt and designed by Charles Hutchings, the 1902 Amateur Champion on land donated by the Earl of Guilford. It was completed late in 1906 as an 18-hole course, and was the first course designed to counter the significantly longer Haskell ball. Club captain A.J. Balfour, a former British Prime Minister, drove the first ball in the Founder’s Vase in June 1907.

The Illustrated London News, 21st May 1904. The Parliamentary Golf Tournament: Mr. Balfour leaving the Granville Hotel, Ramsgate, for the links, under the following caption: For the Parliamentary Golf Tournament on Sandwich Links many of the competitors, including Mr. Balfour, brought down their own motor cars. Others went to and from the links in the private cars supplied by the management of the Granville Hotel. Lombardi Ramsgate photo.

The present-day 27-hole layout is the result of a 1950 re-design following war-time damage to the original course. World War II was very hard on Prince's, but Australian entrepreneur Sir Aynsley Bridgland intervened, engaging Sir Guy Campbell and John Morrison to re-design and restore the course. The new layout incorporated 17 of the original greens (but with most played from different directions to the original course), and eliminated any blind tee or approach shots. The re-design always envisaged a centrally located clubhouse, and this was finally opened in 1985 by Peter Alliss, allowing the 27 holes to be played in three loops of nine holes, known as “Shore”, “Dunes” and “Himalayas”, each starting and finishing beside the new clubhouse.

The original clubhouse still stands at the entrance to the course and adjacent to the 14th tee of Royal St. George's. It no longer serves as the clubhouse but instead has been completely renovated to provide a brasserie and luxury lodge with accommodation for visiting golfers.

Prince's is notable for hosting the 1932 Open Championship, which was won by the American Gene Sarazen. Sarazen debuted his newly invented sand iron at the Championship, and his original club was on display at Prince's for many years, until insurance costs became prohibitively expensive. The greenside bunker beside the 9th green on the Himalayas course, a bunker he played from on his way to victory, was unveiled as The Sarazen Bunker in his honour by Pádraig Harrington in June 2011.

Prince's is one of only two clubs to host The Open just once, the other being Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland. The club remains an Open Championship Local Final Qualifying course, and hosted qualifying again in 2011 when The Open returned to Royal St. George's; Prince's professional golfer Francis McGuirk finished tied second to claim one of the three available spaces.

Prince's has also hosted various other senior and minor professional tournaments, and a number of tournaments for amateurs, including the 1956 Curtis Cup, the 2006 Amateur Championship (co-hosted with Royal St George's), the 2006 Ladies' British Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship, the 2008 Senior Open Amateur Championship (co-hosted with Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club) and the 2013 Amateur Championship (co-hosted with Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club).

The late WWII ace, Member of Parliament and 1949 Walker Cup captain Percy Belgrave "Laddie" Lucas was born in the old clubhouse at Prince's, his father being the first club secretary. During WWII, Lucas used his knowledge of the course to make an emergency landing after his Spitfire was crippled over northern France. Today, a commemorative plaque by the 4th tee on the Himalayas course marks the spot where he landed. In memory of Lucas, Prince's hosts an annual golf tournament, the Laddie Lucas Spoon, for boys and girls aged 8–13 years.

Phil Mickelson and Gary Player are both honorary life members of Prince's Golf Club. Ladies European Tour player Helen Wadsworth is a former member and played at Prince's as a junior.

In August 2009 Troon Golf announced an agreement to take over course management at Prince's and the club has undertaken a number of renovations to the course.

The Open Championship[edit]

Prince's Golf Club hosted The Open Championship in 1932.

Year Winner Score
R1 R2 R3 R4 Total
1932 United StatesGene Sarazen 1st 70 69 70 74 283
  • Note: Superscript number besides the player's name is the number of the Open Championship in their respective careers.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°17′28″N 1°22′22″E / 51.2911°N 1.3729°E / 51.2911; 1.3729