Littlestone (Championship) - Kent - England

Littlestone Golf Club,
St Andrews Road,
Littlestone,
New Romney,
Kent,
TN28 8RB,
England


  • +44 (0) 1797 363355

  • Golf Club Website

  • M20 J10, to New Romney

  • Contact in advance - after 3pm at weekends


Founded in 1888, Littlestone Golf Club is a classic remote links course, located on the fringe of the Romney Marshes, with the English Channel as the backdrop. The British Ladies’ Open was held at Littlestone six years after the course opened, which was originally designed by Laidlaw Purves, tweaked by James Braid at the turn of the 20th century and revised in the 1920s by Alister MacKenzie. Frank Pennink made some bunker modifications after the Second World War and Donald Steel and Peter Alliss advised on some minor changes in 2000.

Littlestone is a hidden gem, overshadowed by the other famous links courses in the area: Rye, Royal St George’s and Royal Cinque Ports. The course plays across fairly flat links land, although it does have its own range of sand dunes.

New Romney is one of the driest places in the British Isles; consequently you will rarely need your waterproofs. The dry flat ground makes for some interesting tight lies but rarely will you be faced with awkward stances. The greens are true and fast making it difficult to hold the ball.

There are no tricks here at Littlestone; everything is clearly in view from the tees (including a significant number of bunkers). You will need to be on top of your game to keep your score together – the last three holes are amongst the toughest around. Littlestone possesses numerous good golf holes and Bernard Darwin painted a particularly colourful picture of the 11th in his book, The Golf Courses of the British Isles:

“At the eleventh there is one of those uncomfortable tee-shots, which are so excellent. There is a canal, a nasty insidious serpentine beast of a canal, which winds its way along the left-hand side of the course, and it is our duty, in order to gain distance, to hug it as close as we dare; yet if we show ourselves the least bit too affectionate towards it, this ungrateful canal will assuredly engulf our ball to our utter destruction.”

At Littlestone, they like to get you around in about three hours (only singles, two-balls and foursomes were allowed, but the club does now allow limited fourball play). Littlestone is a delightfully good golf course that's well worth playing and, if you are feeling brave, they allow visitors to play from the medal tees.

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Reviews for Littlestone (Championship)

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Description: Littlestone Golf Club is an unsung gem, overshadowed by the Open Championship links courses in Kent: Royal St George’s, Royal Cinque Ports and Prince's. Rating: 6.6 out of 10 Reviews: 44
TaylorMade
paul
Played Littlestone this week for the 1st time on an over-night trip down to Kent for some links golf. Nice course, would agree the fairway width and bunkers are a little more forgiving than some of the other Kent seaside links i've played but it has plenty of teeth elsewhere on the course. the greens were great while also being a little flatter than expected - no roller coaster putting like at RCP. they save some of their better holes to the last 3 run in with 16th and 17th being excellent and tough. some of the initial holes on the back nine are a little tamer than expected but there was a healthy wind up and hitting v.long irons into par 4's that are under 400 yrds is always gonna be a good test of golf. the welcome was friendly from both staff and members and not bad value for £50/round; not sure i'd stretch to paying premium green fees for this course though in summer. perhaps down my pecking order behind Prince's and RCP's.
March 29, 2011
6 / 10
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Dan Hare
Littlestone is underrated in my opinion. Whilst there may be some samey holes in the middle of your round, the greens really are fantastic and the holes over the spine of dunes are just great. You will be missing out by not playing Littlestone on a visit to SE Kent. dan
March 13, 2011
8 / 10
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Harry Cloke
This is the perfect course for links first-timers, it has wide and flat fairways, short rough and shallow bunkers compared to other courses in the area, these provide a more risk reward nature compared to RCP where if you find a bunker or the rough you have to play out with a wedge. Very obvious slopes around some of the greens make you think but without being over-complicated. Only poor hole is the 8th which is only ruined by a road running alongside.
February 12, 2011
8 / 10
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MLP
March 23, 2011
The rough at present is very tame,it gets cut right down as part of a management scheme.From May onwards put the driver away because the rough is a beast!! It becomes one of the main defences of the course,along side the firm true greens.
HarryC
March 23, 2011
I actually played the course nearly a year ago but was just a bit late reviewing it, i wasn't saying the rough was short, just shorter than Royal Cinque Ports and St George's, you could take an iron out compared to having to use a wedge in the deep rough at those courses.
Paul Barron
Having been disappointed by the poor condition of Prince’s this was great with undulating fairways with fast true greens - a test for all types of golfers. If you like your links golf you will enjoy Littlestone. This is an old type members club, with lots of character and not at all stuffy, in fact they were very helpful and understanding, when there appeared to be a mix up with the buggy hire. In the end they did not charge us for the use of one of the buggies and knocked £50 off our green fee. Special mention to the young lady behind the bar, who was brilliant! 28/7/10
August 06, 2010
8 / 10
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TR
August 06, 2010
I think you have got a bit confused here: the fairways at Littlestone are flat, it's Prince's with the undulations. Anyway, I played the course last weekend for the first time and loved it, great condition, some challenging holes especially coming home into the wind, but the fairways are fairly generous. Only issue is that we felt a little pressured on the pace of play, the members seem to be playing a slightly different game called speed golf.
Malcolm Searle
A charming place - you pay your green fees to the nice man at the bar who can also rustle up a mean bacon bap to start your day. I played on a bright,sunny, still and warm winters day and have to say the place was in excellent condition, especially notable as the day before there had been rain of biblical proportions and the nearby parkland course we'd planned to play was closed. The green-keepers were hard at work and their efforts really showed, fast greens and the whole place was in good nick, these guys really care about their course.Littlestone is very much a members two ball kind of course and although we weren't dawdling, we had to let two nice old chaps nearly twice our age play though. The 11th is a great risk/reward hole with a canal diagonally bisecting the fairway, the 17th is a tough par 3 with some intimidating bunkering, even more so if there was a stiff breeze.Would I go back? I always ask myself - yes I would - good value I thought.
December 08, 2009
8 / 10
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Lon
A nice course but not to be confused with the best links courses. Try Royal St David's, Harlech at half the price with the best last 9 holes in UK golf and a hidden gem of a true links course. Also Aberdovey on the same coastline. Cheap top golf in Wales, not like rip off England.
September 12, 2007
4 / 10
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MJB
August 26, 2010
Hardly the forum to be advertising Welsh tourism - I personally am looking for reviews of Littlestone! Some lovely courses in Wales, certainly and great for a holiday, but there is a reason Wales is inexpensive.
paulchadder
Unfortunately, the vast majority of reviewers must have rocks in their head. I think the course is well below what may have been its past glory. Set up rather nicely, the condition of both the fairways and greens was very disappointing. If I paid £30 I would happily come back, but for £65 it was pure highway robbery. Needs some tender love and care.
August 28, 2007
2 / 10
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Bruce Hilsdon
September 20, 2007
Clearly the reviewer dated 29.8.2007 spent all day in the rough and didn't sample the delights of the rest of the course. I cannot think of anywhere better to play golf.
cd
November 21, 2010
To put the record straight: the green fee in 2007 was under £50. The R& A agronomist report (as a Final Qualifying Course for the Open in 2011) states: the greens are 'magnificent and they are some of the best examples of firm, true and well paced putting greens in the UK'.
dan
March 13, 2011
Playing after 1 pm last Sunday we paid £55 each, which is great value.
barrygrannell
June 29, 2011
I have just been to Littlestones with my son who was playing in the final open qualifier. He has played many top links courses especialy in the north west of England where we are spoilt. However the area had not had any rain for a long time and the fairways where very hard and running , the greens where lightining fast and you where not able to hold the ball with the wind. However overall it was a great test of golf , especialy with the added pressure of trying to qualify for the open. Paul however shot -1 for his two rounds and narrowley missed out. His verdict was it was a tough fair challenge and a true old fashioned links. The locals where very helpful and friendly over our three day visit. we would recommend this course.
Nicholas Richards
I played this course on a lovely April day. The greens were fairly fast and the fairways were running for miles. Overall it was in nice enough condition but not in the same league as the Sandwich 3!!!!( Prince's, St George's and Cinque Ports) The club house was very traditional and fairly friendly but you have to share the 'cafe' with people playing the Romney Marsh course wearing jeans etc!
April 22, 2007
4 / 10
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Carl
July 17, 2007
I think you have to play this course a few times before it grows on you. I agree it doesn't match the two Royals ........ but Prince's?
Carl Statham
On a beautiful late summers evening in the July heat wave I managed to finally get to Littlestone. It’s one of those places that you seem to have to go a long way to get to and even then it’s a little bit further on before your actually there. It is a wonderful clubhouse. One from the old school, wooden floors, leather arm chairs, a faint musty smell and a resolute 19th century feel. It’s very much like the old bar at Deal but even more relaxed and it looks time will never change it. For example you have to sort your green fee out at the bar and the money is deposited in a battered little red tin.

The course is a good one. It has none of the rolling dune dramas of the first two thirds of Royal St George's or indeed Deal, just soft undulating dunes running along the coast line. The pinnacle of the dunes starts and finishes on the 2nd, although there is some use of them on the 3rd and 17th, which is a really classic links par three. What it does have though is great greens which seem to improve in terms of difficulty and undulations as the course progresses. In fact the state of the whole course is extremely high, everything, the paths, the tees, the rough, the semi rough looks exactly as it should do and you can see why their greenkeeper has won awards. It’s not a difficult course but it is an interesting course despite it’s relative flatness. I winds it’s way mostly around the low undulating dunes with subtle par fours and a whole host of very challenging par 3’s with the addition of the occasional meandering burn. In terms of difficulty this mainly lies in the bunkering, however instead of the deep faced riveted bunkers, there are the kinder harry colt type bunkers which leave you some chance of getting back in play. The course has a strong finish with both 16 and 17 being stand out holes, especially with the weird tower like house just to the back of them.

I would strongly recommend visiting the course if you are a links fan (I am if you hadn’t guessed), it is a step back in time and is a pleasure to play. The only complaint I would have is the main road at the far end of the course which spoils the whole tranquil feeling of the place, but apart form that you’ll enjoy an old fashioned links course in marvellous condition.
July 23, 2006
8 / 10
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Grahame

An outstanding links course, with the best greens you will ever play no matter what time of year.

November 12, 2005
8 / 10
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