53 ROYAL CINQUE PORTS

Architect: Hunter
2006 position: 79
Stats: 6,498 yds; par 71; SSS 71
GF: £65-£110
T: 01304 374007
W: royalcinqueports.com

Having hosted the Open Championship in 1909 and 1920 but not since, Royal Cinque Ports is something of a sleeping giant.

It is a classic straight out-and-back links that, from the clubhouse, looks relatively flat. But as you make your way through the front nine you begin to appreciate the rumpled fairways that are the unique hallmark of this layout.

While the front nine presents a series of subtle challenges, the back nine, which usually plays into the prevailing wind, features some brutally long holes. The only way to survive this stretch is with some powerful, committed ball-striking. NT

+ Excellent recent improvements to course and clubhouse; great atmosphere
– Lacks the stunning visual appeal of other links courses

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