Opens: 1909, 1920
Location: Deal, Kent, England
Just a few miles along the coast from Royal St George’s, Royal Cinque Ports is a very traditional links course, with large sand dunes, undulating fairways and an out-and-back routing which demands that players finish their rounds into the teeth of the prevailing south-westerly wind. It makes for a tough golf course that neccessitates straight hitting, particularly when the marrom grass rough is up during the summer.
Held in 1909, Royal Cinque Port’s first Open was won by J. H. Taylor, one of the great triumvirate, who hit such a patch of form over the two days of the event that he finished up six strokes clear of his nearest rival. The 1920 event was a more dramatic affair, however, witnessing as it did the greatest turnaround in the history of the Championship. Abe Mitchell shot opening rounds of 74 and 73 to give himself a six-stroke lead; further down the scoreboard, George Duncan had shot a pair of 80s in his opening rounds, and found himself 13 shots back. Perhaps in desperation, Duncan bought himself a new driver at the on-site equipment exhibition and proceeded to shoot a 71 in the third round as Mitchell slumped to a disastrous 84. Duncan then shot 72 in his final round to secure the Championship; his overhauling of a 13-shot deficit in the process remains the largest turnaround by an eventual winner.
|Deal at a glance|
|Course length (1920 Open)|
6,710 yards (est.)
George Duncan buying a new driver at the Championship Exhbition of Golf Equipment after disappointing opening rounds of 80-80. He used the club to help him shoot 72-71 in the final two rounds to come from 13 shots behind and win the title.
Though Deal, as it is often known, has only hosted The Open twice, it has come very close to doing so on several other occasions. It was due to host the event in 1915, but the outbreak of war prevented the Championship from being played; and then again in both 1938 and 1949, when a combination of high tides and easterly winds brought the sea over the course rendering it unplayable.