Prince's (Shore & Dunes) - Kent - England

Prince's Golf Club,
Sandwich Bay,
Sandwich,
Kent,
CT13 9QB,
England


  • +44 (0) 1304 611118

  • Rob McGuirk

  • Charles Hutchings, Percy Lucas, Sir Guy Campbell, John Morrison

  • Anthony Tarchetti

Prince’s hosted the Open Championship on one occasion. The winner, Gene Sarazen, only claimed one Open title, but “The Squire” was the first golfer to win all four Majors.

Date Winner Country
1932 Gene Sarazen USA



It was difficult to decide exactly where to rank Prince’s Golf Club because there are 27 holes in three loops of nine, named Himalayas, Dunes and Shore. We've since made our minds up and agree the Shore & Dunes loops form the best 18-hole combination, but only just. Recently we've added a new independent webpage for the Himalayas so we don't do any of the three circuits a disservice.

At the turn of the 19th century, it was decided that a new links should be built at Sandwich, next door to Royal St George's. The new Prince's Golf Club would welcome ladies, juniors and men. Charles Hutchings and Percy Lucas laid out the course on land donated by the Earl of Guildford. The 18-hole course, stretching out to almost 7,000 yards, opened for play in 1907.

The military commandeered the course during both World Wars; it was virtually obliterated during the Second World War. However, in 1932, Prince’s Golf Club proudly hosted its first and only Open Championship. “The Squire”, Gene Sarazen, was the eventual winner. Sarazen continued his winning streak, becoming the first player to win all four Majors.

Sir Guy Campbell and John Morrison were commissioned to re-build Prince’s after the devastation of the Second World War and, incredibly, they were able to save 17 of the original greens and incorporate them into the new 27-hole layout. They have created a classic “links and a half”, with raised greens, rippled fairways, deep bunkers and, naturally, that famous links rough.

The Dunes and Shore loops make up the “championship” course. The Himalayas is shorter but nonetheless, an enjoyable nine holes. Above all, a warm welcome awaits everyone, much as it did it when Prince’s Golf Club first opened, over a hundred years ago.

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Reviews for Prince's (Shore & Dunes)

Av. Reviewers Score:
Description: In 1932, Prince’s Golf Club proudly hosted its first and only Open Championship. "The Squire", Gene Sarazen, was the eventual winner. Rating: 4.925 out of 6

On my quest to finish playing ALL the Open Rota Courses (past and Present) and now only missing Musselburgh Old I drove 6hrs on Monday July 24th after 7 days at The Open to play this one and the following day I was scheduled a demanding test to play both Royal St George's and Royal Cinque Ports both on the same day.

Prince's (Shore & Dunes) Golf Course - Photo by reviewer

It has nothing to do but it is fair to tell that I had a 6:30am wake up call and a 6hrs drive from Liverpool arriving 1:30pm just ready for a quick lunch and tee off at 2:30pm before staying at the charming Lodge located by 5th green and neighbour to Royal St George´s.

I decided to play the "central" course (Shores/Dunes) as it was that one the one who hosted the Open in 1932 won by Eugene Sarazen. It was a tough day, cloudy but no rain and very windy with at least 30km/h in the unusual direction which is downwind 1 to 5.

With no warm up and no streching, I just went to the tee joining a father and son who happened to be a great playing group and really enjoyed it. And played great, which usually helps to get a better "memory" of the course, scoring even par from the white tees with not one lost ball and bogeying both front 9 par 5s which is always disappointing.

Prince's (Shore & Dunes) Golf Course - Photo by reviewer

Both loops despite being in the same piece of land are totally different, I would say front 9 tighter off the tee while back 9 are a little bit more forgiving. Greens rolling at a very good speed as a Junior event was being held that morning made it a perfect golf test where sometimes a tee shot would roll for 60-70 yards and into the wind the driver wouldn't go longer than 240yds.

There are some great holes out there, specially par 5 7th which played really long into the wind, par 4 10th downwind allowed a big shortcut to the fairway and easier approach to that tough narrow green. Par 3 17th was a hybrid and maybe the toughest hole on the course while 18th played really long and tough, saving one of the best bogeys of the year from that right side rough.

The Club House is not the original as the today Lodge used to be it, it is a most modern construction but very well designed and very comfortable for visitors.

The final analysis is that Prince's might be not as famous as Royal St George's and maybe a little "less good" than Cinque Ports but all in one it is a great venue, a demanding test and a very nice place to stay. And a MUST PLAY, every devoted golfer seeking to tick Major Venues has to play this one, who long ago hosted the great ones at THE MAJOR.

A final line to the Lodge ... as good as you can expect! Food top quality and staff extremely friendly and kind. An unforgettable experience!

August 01, 2017


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Richard Smith
August 02, 2017

Congratulations on your accomplishments to date and by no means skip the finish at Musselburgh Old. I would highly recommend making use of the hickory shafted clubs you can rent to savor the full experience of Musselburgh.

Both the Shore and Dunes loops are similar in the fact that the opening sequences of holes both head out to the furthest point of the property. Out here the land backs directly onto Royal St. George's but the quality of golf at Prince's means you are not even slightly tempted to jump the fence and sneak a few holes at this prestigious Open Championship venue. (OK, well maybe a little bit, but you get the point).

If you start your round on the Shore course and face a head-wind it can feel like an eternity before you reach the second green. The first is a long par four and the second a three-shot par five. However, the exquisite short third, with a wonderful lone bunker protecting the green, provides a momentary breather before you face two more strong holes in the form of par fours with some exceptional bunkering at the former and a fascinating raised green at the latter.

Dunes also starts with a demanding hole that arches round to the left and is followed by yet another splendid par three, this time played to a smallish green and protected by three deep bunkers. Fairway bunkering at the long third is the main obstacle although out of bounds can come into play down the right, especially if a strong wind is blowing off the sea. The fourth is one of the hardest on the course whilst the fifth is a true highlight as you play between large bunkers, one of which is sleepered, to an elevated green that has the luxury of a back-drop if required.

The inward stretch commences with a brilliantly designed par five. Bunkers must be avoided along the way but it is the long, elevated green on top of a huge dune that makes this hole stand out. And it is followed by yet another majestic par three, possibly the best of the quartet, where the right half of the green should be favoured in order to avoid trouble on the left. The round closes with a 430 yard par four that demands both accuracy and length.

The beauty of Prince's is that it is one of very few links courses that has accommodation on site. There are plenty of inland resort courses with hotels but not many seaside courses can cater for a large group of players away from the course like Prince's can. Here you have it all; 27 holes of top-class links golf, luxury accommodation and award winning dining.

Ed is the founder of Golf Empire – click the link to read his full review.

June 02, 2017


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There’s no doubt in my mind which is the best 18-hole configuration at Prince’s. I finally got round to playing all 27 holes last Sunday on a gloriously sunny shirt-sleeved day. Only Old Musselburgh now eludes me for the full set of Open Championship venues.

Prince's Golf Club

Prince’s was absolutely bursting at the seams with golfers last weekend – this is clearly one seriously popular club and quite rightly so. The golfing test on the main two 9-hole loops is brutal, especially in the 3-club southerly wind that we had to do battle with.

Unfortunately we played each of the three loops out of sequence. We tackled the Dunes first, followed by the Himalayas and then the Shore. The anti-clockwise Dunes loop was playing directly into the wind for the first five holes, and right from the off our scores reflected the difficulty. The opening hole is a killer par four that played like a par six into the wind. Not one of our group (including a pro) could salvage even a par on this hole. As we turned at #6 with Royal St George’s and the wind at our backs we started to score.

The Himalayas was a welcome letdown after the brutality of the Dunes, but this nine felt disconnected and rather awkward with more trees and vegetation flanking the holes. This loop was also a little unloved condition wise but the General Manager later told us that Mackenzie & Ebert has been commissioned to completely remodel the Himalayas. I just hope the Himalayas green complexes don’t change too much as I felt they were really good, a notch better in places than some greens on the Shore and Dunes.

Prince's Golf Club Shore course

My favourite of the three circuits was the Shore, which we played in the late afternoon/early evening. It may be that the shadows were lengthening and the wind had dropped a few notches. I loved this clockwise loop that follows the Channel going out and I really enjoyed the 5th with its green next to the lodge and virtually at the boundary of Royal St George’s. The bunkerless raised greensite is one the best on property and I didn’t realise until after the round that this is one of the original greens and it was the post-war 18th when Gene Sarazen won the Open.

Prince's Golf Club Shore 9th hole

6,600 yards from the yellow tees was more than enough yardage for me and I glanced back at the (7,300-yard) tips on numerous occasions thinking no way, not in this lifetime. It’s a stern test, even from the forward tees. Visit Prince’s to be examined but don’t expect too much drama, just anticipate tragedy, especially if you choose the wrong tees boxes.

Prince's is the third best course on this wonderful stretch of Kent coastline but that's purely down to the sheer quality of its two Royal neighbours.

April 16, 2017


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I had the pleasure of playing Princes at the weekend and reminded myself how much I enjoy going down there to play .Shore/ Dunes which we played is a great test of any standard of golfer and together with the welcome you receive from the team at Princes ,a truly great place to visit.Princes is a very special place where you can play a former Open venue steeped in history and yet be made to feel so welcome.The course has many great holes which in my opinion have been enhanced by the recent bunker upgrading program and superb condition.A superb place to visit for the day, and now with the old clubhouse refurbished into a lodge ,a great place to visit for the weekend.I look forward to my next trip down there !!!Robert Coles
May 06, 2015


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I’ve just returned from playing the three nines at Prince’s, having completed a personal mission to play all fourteen Open venues. Reading the club’s excellent book “A Celebration of 100 Years,” I see from an overlaid map that I managed to putt out on more than half the greens that were in play during the Open that Gene Sazazen won in 1932. The layout has been radically altered in the eighty two years since that event took place so it was particularly pleasing to still be able to hole out at the modern 5th on the Prince's (Shore & Dunes) Golf Course - Photo by reviewerShore nine, which was formerly the home hole on the old championship layout (next to the fence that separates the course from Royal St George’s), in front of what are now the new Prince’s Lodge accommodation buildings. The one abiding memory that I’ll take away from this place however is the length of carry required from the tees! All very well when you’re facing downwind of course but into a strong wind, the 150-yards required on some of the holes to get the ball in play became mentally tiring after a while, to the detriment of my already fragile game. If you’re coming to Prince’s in search of fun golf then forget it; this is a serious championship-standard track that will severely test your handicap. My favourite holes on each nine were all strong par fours (the Shore #6 with its offset tee and offset green, the beautifully cross bunkered #4 on the Dunes nine and the left dog legged #2 on the Himalayas) though, in truth, there wasn’t a single weak hole to be found anywhere on the card that I can remember. I’m a little surprised to now find out the current ranking of Prince’s in the English Top 100 chart – can there really be as many as fifty nine courses better than this one? Jim McCann
August 13, 2014


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Jan Westerkamp
June 07, 2017

This 150 yards average carry you described in your review, from which tee is that the case?

Very happy to report that all is good at Prince’s – it has been seven years since my last visit and the club continues to deliver on all fronts. The Links experience across all 27 holes here is a delight with the Shore/Dunes still the premier 18 holes and in places very, very tough. So many great holes, it would be easy to write about them all; my favourites include; the par-4 5th on Shore that has a very tricky green with subtle run-offs and also great views across to Royal St. George's – then the great par-3 2nd on Dunes, a small elevated green with very deep bunkering and depending on the wind, can range from a delicate 9-iron to a full bloodied long iron. The third nine holes must not be ignored, the Himalayas is still tough but for me is probably the most fun of the loops and the last hole is fantastic; a par-4 at 435 yards with only the right-side of the fairway in view from the tee – from here the left of the green is the line but whatever you do, do not visit the Sarazen bunker on this side, very deep indeed and the ‘up and down’ from here is, let’s just say rather difficult! My ideal day at Prince’s is … a hearty breakfast in the clubhouse, 18 holes across Shore/Dunes, then a clubhouse lunch, then 9 holes on Himalayas, followed by dinner and accommodation at the Lodge (the onsite accommodation) – difficult to fault if you ask me…

July 26, 2014


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I was fortunate enough to play Prince's a few days after they co hosted the Amateur Championship in June and the course was in sublime condition. I have played there a number of times previously but this visit was the best by far. The greens ran so true, I had only myself to blame when my putts did not fall! The whole setup down there is fantastic and the new Lodge looks amazing! I have played most of the links courses in Kent/Sussex however this one is my favourite by far. A must for anyone that is looking for a great venue and superb course on the south coast!
June 24, 2013


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Made a couple of trips a year over the last 4 years down from London to Prince's. Whatever time of year i've always found the course in excellent condition, the welcome and service is always friendly but not overly fussy. The Shore/Dunes course one of the best and fairest tests of links golf i've played. While Prince's may always be the shadow of its illustrious neighbour - RSG - it should by no means feel inferior and at certain times of the year you can play all day here for less than £50 - what a bargain in such fantastic surroundings ... i've seen the improvements to all x3 sets of nines over the last few years and this looks like a real 'championship' venue again which is probably reflected in the amateur champs being there this June 13. its not as tough a test as Deal, and probably not as aesthetically pleasing as RSG - but for the overall package i'd choose Prince's over both of the above.
June 05, 2013


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Played Princes last week with some clients and would like to take the time to congratulate the Golf Club on all the work they have carried out to the courses. Princes has always been a true test of Golf, but it was a real pleasure to witness the work they have done in taking care to restore a real Links gem on the south coast. Looking forward to going back.
April 23, 2013


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Lucky enough to have played Princes' at the begining of November. From the drive through the private estate past RSG, the Lodge and finally to the new club house you know you are somewhere special. The welcome was great the practice greens were great and so was the weather. We played the Shores and Dunes combo and have to say we were completely blown away. Fairways were immaculate, greens firm and true with a lot of subtle breaks. The work that is going on around the course did not deter from our day and i'm sure will be excellent when finished. We stayed and the Lodge overnight which was excellent value and great accomodation. Only downside for me was the food was a bit too fancy and not big enough to fill a big lad like me after a day on links. Otherwise an excellent experience which was enhanced by playing RSG the next day. Definately recommended.
December 02, 2012


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