Prince's Golf Club, Sandwich

Prince's Golf Club, Sandwich

Prince's Golf Club, Sandwich is a links golf course located in Sandwich in Kent in South East England, on the same stretch of coastline as the more famous Royal St George's and Royal Cinque Ports Golf clubs. The original 18 hole course was completed late in 1906, and club captain A.J. Balfour, a former British Prime Minister, drove the first ball in the Founder’s Vase in June 1907.

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, taking the course in hand and bringing it to a new level of quality. 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 9 holes, known as “Shore”, “Dunes” and “Himalayas”, each starting and finishing beside the new clubhouse. The disused old clubhouse still stands at the entrance to the course, but was extensively damaged by fire in 2008.

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 is still on display at Prince's. 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 Final Qualifying course (most recently in 2003). The club 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 and the 2008 Senior Open Amateur Championship (co-hosted with Royal Cinque Ports).

The current Championship course yardages are:-

* Shore/Dunes 7275 yards (par 72)
* Dunes/Himalayas 7054 yards (par 71)
* Himalayas/Shore 7055 yards (par 71)

The course can also be played in other 18 hole configurations, using holes from all three 9 hole loops.

The late WWII ace, Member of Parliament and 1949 Walker Cup captain Percy Belgrave "Laddie" Lucas was one of the most famous sons of Prince's and was actually born in the old clubhouse. There is even a commemorative plaque by the 4th tee on the Himalayas course which marks the spot where he used his local knowledge of the course to make an emergency landing after his Spitfire was crippled over northern France during WWII. Today an annual golf tournament, the Laddie Lucas Spoon, is held each year at Prince's for boys and girls aged 8-13 years.

Current European Tour player Zane Scotland represents Prince's Golf Club, whilst Phil Mickelson and Gary Player are both honorary life members.

The Open Championship

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

External links

* [ Official site]

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