By Jordan Fuller
Known as the garden of England, Kent is considered one of the most beautiful counties in the country.
It is also home to many amazing golf courses, both links and parkland layouts have hosted top European Tour tournaments.
If you’re making plans to play in the area there are several courses that should be on your list, and make certain to pay attention to these holes.
Royal St. George’s - 6th hole
Long considered one of the best courses in England, Royal St. George’s is also one of the most challenging. As such, the course has served as host to 13 Open Championships since 1894 and will do so again as host for the 2020 Open Championship this July. With full exposure to the sea, coastal winds frequently cascade throughout the undulated fairways and greens creating havoc for even the most seasoned of golfers - conditions that create a perfect setting for hosting the Open.
Surrounded by dunes, the two-tiered green on the par-3, 176-yard 6th hole rests in a natural setting with four bunkers complementing the large masses of sand. Named “The Maiden”, windy days provide a true test of accuracy and strategy, as keeping the tee shot low is a must to keep the guests from tossing shots astray. While the hole can provide ample opportunity for a birdie, it should be noted that even as a relatively short play, The Maiden produced more double bogies than any other par three during the 2011 Open.
Leeds Castle - 5th hole
For more than 900 years, Leeds Castle has been a place to entertain and impress visitors, and from the fields that hosted the medieval jousting tournaments emerges a historical nine-hole golf course. Created by Sir Guy Campell, the course offers a challenging track with spectacular views from the 1st to the 18th tee, but none more notable than the 5th hole. The 417-yard downhill par-4 boasts views of the moated castle in the backdrop as your tee shot heads toward the fairway.
Walmer & Kingsdown - 7th hole
The par-4, 451-yard 7th hole at Walmer & Kingsdown is a favourite at The Club on the Cliffs. Setting up on the tee as you prepare for a downhill, dog-leg right tee shot, on a clear day in the background is a spectacular view of the coast of France. Occasionally the majestic sound of a Rolls-Royce engine can be heard as Spitfires fly over and across the nearby White Cliffs of Dover. The hole itself is no easy feat, as that tee shot will need to split a group of trees on the left and a grouping of brush bordering the out of bounds on the right - but the risks are far outweighed by the reward of a spectacular view.
Knole Park - 1st hole
At nearly 200 yards the first hole at Knole Park follows designer J Abercromby’s affection for par-3 opening holes. The gentle slope uphill requires a well-struck iron to reach the green, but off to the right, the land falls off sharply, while a line of bunkers run diagonally across the fairway to punish any mishits. With the green sloping from back to front, keeping up with par from the start at Knole Park is no easy task.
Tenterden Golf Club - 12th hole
From the 12th tee, the highest point at Tenterden Golf Club, the view of the mature trees and streams, rolling hills and wooded valleys are a serious distraction from the need to keep it straight. Those trees are all strategically placed for that slight stray drive, so while enjoying the view, don’t forget to pick the right club and keep your head down.
Chart Hills Golf Club - 5th & 17th hole
When Sir Nick Faldo designed the tract at Chart Hills Golf Club, he succeeded in creating a true parkland masterpiece. A challenge to golfers at all levels of play with 138 bunkers, intertwined with water hazards and lightning-fast greens, the picturesque course features two of the most challenging and beautiful holes in the area. Shortly after your round begins you’ll find the need to navigate the 5th hole and the famed “Anaconda Bunker” that runs about 200 yards through the path from tee to green. But that’s not all, because before you’re allowed to finish up you’ll have to successfully land upon the island green on the 17th hole.
Jordan Fuller is a golf coach and mentor who also loves to travel for golf. Jordan is a passionate writer too, he writes about golf and owns a golf publication site, golfinfluence.com In his blog, he shares some tips and tricks on how to improve a game.