Quality of Course
Value for Money
Beautiful, stunning, sublime BUT...
I had the pleasure of being invited to play Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club recently, and thoroughly enjoyed the true test the course gave me!
Royal Cinque Ports GC is only a few steps from the host to this year's OPEN at Royal st. Georges and both clubs, along with Princes' make up the holy trinity of courses in Sandwich, on the Kent coast.
Now the good news is I did bother to read the club website before attending, so I knew I would have to 'don' knee-length socks if I were to wear shorts on a warm summer's day.
However, despite wearing long socks for the first time since Junior school, I didn't look quite as ridiculous as I thought I would (although others may disagree!)
So to the course...
This is, without doubt, as good a course I have played ANYWHERE!
The greens are immaculate and interesting (one was more akin to a skateboard park than a golf green!), they are hard to read and QUICK!
The tee boxes, fairways, and run-off areas are exceptional and a testament to the Greenkeepers.
Tee to green the front nine might seems bland at times, but this is links golf and if you can avoid the long grass, stay straight, take into account the wind and the borrows, you'll have a brilliant day.
We played the back nine in glorious amber twilight (we started at 5pm), and the back nine displayed their undulating characteristics beautifully.
Holes 14-18 are particularly stunning with fairways at times looking like mogul fields on a ski resort, with long shadows accentuating the terrain even further.
But, if you miss 8 out of 18 fairways (as I did) be prepared for a frustrating day. That said, take my advice, if you lose a ball, DONT look for it, unless you have a VERY good idea where it is. The fescue here is punishing, time spent looking for golf balls will only irritate you more. Just take your medicine and move on.
Now to the price, the standard green fee here is circa £180 per round. This is mainly designed to keep the riff-raff away, and as the US and Japanese tourists are more than happy to pay this figure, why shouldn't the club charge this.
I would happily pay £60-70 to play here if the sunshine was guaranteed, as I consider it a treat to play on this type of links course, but I would feel short-changed if the rain fell and the wind blew.
So, all in all, a behemoth of a golf course, a delighted to play, and one every golfer of circa 18 handicap (or less) would enjoy, but if you're a high handicapper, look elsewhere, this place will eat you up.
If get the chance, just once, play this course!