Local knowledge proved invaluable as members of Royal Cinque Ports triumphed at the club’s celebrations for the centenary of the 1909 Open Championship at Deal.
Representatives of virtually all the clubs to have hosted the Open were present, including Prestwick, the first venue, and the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, the organisers of the Open.
England’s JH Taylor won the 1909 Open, which was the first to be played at Royal Cinque Ports. The centenary event – a foursomes Stableford held on the nearest weekend in June to the original date – was blessed with sunshine as Findlay Gordon, a past captain, and Roddy George took the men’s prize and Anne Fox and Anna Fent the ladies competition.
The Open was due to return to Deal on a number of occasions but the world wars and winter floods meant it played host again only in 1920 when George Duncan became the champion golfer.
As part of the celebrations there was a gala dinner and a pre-tournament cocktail party attended by the club’s patron, HRH The Duke of York, whose late grandmother Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother was Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports and a prestigious club trophy is presented each year in her name.
The Duke was particularly keen to meet the Club Juniors as he is considering bringing his own Duke of York Young Champions Trophy to Deal in the future. The successful scheme earned further endorsement when Anna Nordqvist, of Sweden, won the LPGA Championship to be its first graduate to become a major champion.
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