If you managed to catch a glimpse of the 2003 Open Championship you?ll know that the Kent coast offers a rugged, natural setting for a very different experience. Unfortunately the cost of a round at Royal St. George?s stops most normal people from making the trip. But just over an hours drive from London, and around the corner from Royal St. George?s is Littlestone Golf Club.

Littlestone lies on an area of land that was reclaimed from the sea over time and as a result it has a microclimate making it one of the driest spots in Britain. The upshot is that thick grass, deep bunkers, hard fairways and fast greens are guaranteed all year round. It is famed for having one of the toughest closing stretches of any links course in the world. Each of the last three holes play directly into the prevailing wind and they are extremely hard but after playing them you?ll always have a story to tell, whether good or bad.

Next to Littlestone lies the pay and play Romney Warren golf course. If you are looking for a slightly easier links lesson, this might be more the ticket. Whichever you choose, be sure to get there early and make the most of the 19th Hole café?s delicious slap-up English breakfasts.