Best Golf Courses In Kent

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Best Golf Courses In Kent

Occupying a beautiful landscape between London and the sea, Kent is blessed with a diverse landscape of woodland, rolling hills, rivers, cliffs and beaches. With more than 80 affiliated golf clubs, there is much to choose from to suit all tastes and pockets. Commencing with its three outstanding Golf Monthly Top 100 links, this guide highlights a selection of the county’s very best golf.

Royal St. George’s

The short sixth at Royal St. George’s, a superb par 3 of 176 yards from the back tee

(Image credit: Getty Images)

  • GF £250
  • Par 70, 6,630 yards
  • Contact Royal St. George’s Golf Club

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This classic Open Championship links is unrelentingly strong from start to finish with every hole posing its own questions. Running over a vast expanse of unspoiled seaside land, every hole is separate from the others despite the lack of trees. It would be very hard to pick individual holes as more worthy than others. Ultimately, this Top 100 favourite is a course of strength in depth and uniformity, with eighteen new and uncompromising challenges.

– Read full Royal St. George’s Golf Club review

Royal Cinque Ports

The par-3 eighth at Royal Cinque Ports with the sea wall beyond

(Image credit: Jason Livy)

  • GF £185, Mon-Thu
  • Par 72, 6,623 yards
  • Contact Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club

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Royal Cinque Ports is unquestionably one of the best links golf courses in England, and no doubt one of the toughest too. Depending on the wind, you need to make your score well before the brutally tough closing seven holes. Recent refinements including the creation of some waste areas has only further improved this classic links.

– Read full Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club review

Prince's

The short fifth on the Himalayas at Prince’s is a very scenic new par 3

(Image credit: Paul Severn)

  • GF £110 Mon-Thu, £130 Fri-Sun
  • Shore – Par 36, 3,419 yards
  • Himalayas – Par 36, 3,376 yards
  • Dunes – Par 36, 3,436 yards
  • Contact Prince’s Golf Club

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It would be hard to think of a better recent upgrade in England than the Martin Ebert work at Prince’s. For years, the Shore and Dunes were considered the main 18, but the Himalayas was the first of the nines to receive a full makeover. This includes a spectacular new hole as well as waste areas and bunker reworking. Now that all 27 are complete, it is very hard to say which nine is the best. The obvious solution is to play them all.

– Read full Prince’s Golf Club review

North Foreland

Looking down on the two-tier green of the SI1 par-4 twelfth at North Foreland

(Image credit: Jason Livy)

  • GF £80 Mon-Fri
  • Par 71, 6,412 yards
  • Contact North Foreland Golf Club

Just up the coast from the big three, North Foreland is an established but still improving and characterful course that boasts the architectural input of Fowler and Simpson, and more recently Martin Hawtree. It has elements of parkland, clifftop and links, but is something altogether different, and all the better for it. There is great variety in the two loops of nine that run either side of Convent Lane, and the 18-hole par-3 Northcliffe course is also great fun.

Walmer & Kingsdown

The approach to the third green at Walmer & Kingsdown

(Image credit: Walmer & Kingsdown Golf Club)

  • GF £45 Mon-Fri, £55 Weekend
  • Par 72, 6,471 yards
  • Contact Walmer & Kingsdown Golf Club

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Heading south down the coast past Sandwich, you come to this spectacularly-sited downland/clifftop hybrid. There are fabulous, elevated views out to sea and inland over the Kent countryside, and many of the greens are cut into the hillside. Wind will almost always be a feature, but pick a reasonably peaceful, blue-sky day and it can be heavenly.

Littlestone

The par-3 seventeenth at Littlestone is a superb short hole that provides a real sting in the tail

(Image credit: Jason Livy)

  • GF £110, £75 after 14:00
  • Par 71, 6,438 yards
  • Contact Littlestone Golf Club

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Littlestone is a very enjoyable and historic links where Alister MacKenzie made a number of key changes in the mid-1920s. His legacy remains its defining style and the course is in the Golf Monthly Next 100. The 2nd is very strong with its approach over a ditch and between two large dunes, while the penultimate hole is a superb par 3 played across a dip to a raised and very well bunkered green. The famous water tower serves as a backdrop, and the green at the closing par 5 is a trademark MacKenzie rollercoaster.

– Read full Littlestone Golf Club review

Canterbury

The excellent short second at Canterbury is played over a valley to a well-protected green

(Image credit: Rob Smith)

  • GF £50 Mon-Fi, £60 Weekend
  • Par 71, 6,287 yards
  • Contact Canterbury Golf Club

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The incomparable Harry Colt designed the course here and it opened for play in 1927. The course works its way through woods to the east of this historic city, and although it’s not long, the undulations and positional play required through the trees create a very enjoyable and fair test of golf. There are some thrilling, elevated drives and a warm welcome back in the clubhouse.

Rochester & Cobham Park

A view over the eleventh green and on to the spacious course at Rochester & Cobham Park

(Image credit: Rob Smith)

  • GF £60 Mon-Fri, £80 Weekend
  • Par 71, 6,597 yards
  • Contact Rochester & Cobham Golf Club

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Hidden away but close to the M2 is a real surprise; a scenic, peaceful and expansive golf course which was beneficiary of a major upgrade by Donald Steel in 1997. The result is 18 strong, varied and very enjoyable holes with subtle and consistent greens. The short par 4s at 4 and 17 are not as simple as they look, and throughout the course there is a premium on approaching the greens from the correct angle.

– Read full Rochester & Cobham Golf Club review

The London Club

Looking back from behind the par-3 eighth on the International Course at The London Club

(Image credit: Rob Smith)

  • GF £145 Mon-Thu, £165 Fri-Sun
  • International – Par 72, 6,594 yards
  • Contact The Lo

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    ndon Club

There are two very fine, modern and extremely well presented courses at The London Club. The Heritage is the preserve of members and their guests only, but the International is just as good and was good enough to host the 2014 Volvo World Matchplay Championship. There are some thrilling water holes, plenty of risk and reward, and a very informal, welcoming atmosphere.

– Read full The London Club review

Royal Blackheath

The final hole at Royal Blackheath with the historic clubhouse beyond

(Image credit: Rob Smith)

  • GF £95 Mon-Fri, £110 Weekend
  • Par 71, 6,278 yards
  • Contact Royal Blackheath Golf Club

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Beneficiary of a recent and comprehensive course renovation, Royal Blackheath is a historic club that has very much moved with the times. Although golf was played on the heath even earlier, the formal institution of this famous club is reckoned to be 1608. Ken Moodie upgraded the James Braid design, and this easy-walking course is greatly improved both strategically, and very importantly, visually. The impressive clubhouse is home to one of the game’s finest museums.

Sundridge Park

Looking down to the ninth green on the West Course at Sundridge Park with the London skyline beyond

(Image credit: Sundridge Park Golf Club)

  • GF £90 Mon-Fri either course, £135 all day
  • East – Par 71, 6,476 yards
  • West – Par 69, 5,911 yards
  • Contact Sundridge Park Golf Club

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There are two enjoyable parkland courses at Sundridge Park, with the West dating back to 1903 and designed by Willie Park Junior with modifications from the ubiquitous James Braid. When CK Hutchinson and Guy Campbell were called in to create the East Course in the early 1930s, they also made changes to the West. The Quaggy River and the Kyd Brook cross the property coming into play on a number of holes, and the majority also run through trees adding to the challenge at the same time as making the holes separate and peaceful. 

Chart Hills

Chart Hills has greatly benefited from a painstaking renovation over the last couple of years

(Image credit: Chart Hills Golf Club)

  • GF £100 Mon-Thu, £120 Fri-Sun
  • Par 72, 6,530 yards
  • Contact Chart Hills Golf Club

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This different and very original parkland design was the first course in the UK&I designed by six-time Major winner, Sir Nick Faldo. Opening for play in 1993, Chart Hills was a pioneer of modern, high-tech, top-end courses. Having lost its way a little, new owners took over at the end of 2019 and made the brave and not inexpensive decision to close the course in order to relay and restore the almost grassless fairways as well as upgrade just about everything on and off the course. The result is a born-again beauty running through mature woodland and mixing the very best of the natural landscape with a bold and exciting design.

Knole Park

There are six par 3s at beautiful Knole Park, including this, the downhill eighth

(Image credit: Rob Smith)

  • GF £100 Mon-Thu, £120 Fri-Sun
  • Par 70, 6,480 yards
  • Contact Knole Park Golf Club

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Dating back to 1924, the course is blessed with a beautiful setting in a large, still-active, gently undulating deer park. Next door is palatial Knole House, and despite some lengthening half a century ago, the course is pretty much as it was. Every hole is different and distinct and the course frequently changes direction. Two of the prettiest short holes are the 5th which is played over a valley up to a perfectly-sited green, and the downhill 8th which is flanked by ponds and bracken. There is as much variety here as just about anywhere.

– Read full Knole Park Golf Club review

Wildernesse

Looking back from the clubhouse down the closing hole at Wildernesse, a sweeping par 5

(Image credit: Andy Hiseman)

  • GF £125
  • Par 71, 6,539 yards
  • Contact Wildernesse Golf Club

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Virtually next door to Knole Park, Wildernesse could hardly be more different. This superbly manicured and challenging layout runs through and around mature, attractive and at times impenetrable woodland. There are lovely short holes at the 5th and 15th and there is a fine flow, feel and balance to the course with its greatest defence perhaps the tougher par 4s such as the 2nd, 3rd, 16th and 17th. The par-5 home hole offers a very enjoyable conclusion, sweeping round to the right to a green overlooked by the elegant and stylish clubhouse.

– Read full Wildernesse Golf Club review

Lamberhurst

The final hole at Lamberhurst is a driveable par 4… for some!

(Image credit: Rob Smith)

  • GF £60
  • Par 72, 6,448 yards
  • Contact Lamberhurst Golf Club

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Not far to  the east of Tunbridge Wells, Lamberhurst was a 9-holer until its expansion almost 50 years ago into a full 18. The gently-undulating course features plenty of doglegs and is one of those great designs that is playable by golfers of all standards. Highlights include the pretty par-3 12th played over water, and the three-shotter that follows which will ask questions as it has the River Teise crossing just in front of the green.

Hever Castle

Looking back from behind the thirteenth green of the Championship Course at Hever Castle

(Image credit: Hever Castle Golf Club)

  • GF £40 Mon-Fri
  • Championship Par 72, 6,502 yards
  • Contact Hever Castle Golf Club

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There are three loops of nine at Hever Castle with the King’s and Queen’s making up the Championship 18 and the Prince’s a very enjoyable but slightly shorter alternative. The original 18 holes date back to 1992 and have plenty of water and trees. Look out for the penultimate hole, just 644 yards from the back tee!

West Kent

The approach to the penultimate hole at West Kent

(Image credit: West Kent Golf Club)

  • GF £75 Mon-Fri
  • Par 71, 6,427 yards
  • Contact West Kent Golf Club

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Fowler and Abercomby designed this charming layout, then the course of Downe Golf Club,  almost a century ago. It fell into disuse during WWII and had become almost unrecognisable before West Kent took it over in 1946. Happily, their enthusiastic golfers lovingly restored it and it is now a lush green golfing oasis right next door to Biggin Hill Airport. This is a course that gets better and better all the way.

There are of course plenty of other courses that are more than worth visiting in Kent. From Ashford to Gillingham, from Lullingstone Park to Redlibbets, and from Sene Valley to West Malling, you will never run out of very enjoyable golf throughout the county.