GLO­RI­OUS KENT

The county of Kent boast the world’s most fa­mous white cli s, vast sandy beaches and its lush coun­try­side is of­ten re­ferred to as be­ing the Gar­den of Eng­land. It is also home to three Open Cham­pi­onship venues.

Golf Australia - - NEWS - WORDS & PHO­TOG­RA­PHY DAVID J. WHYTE

David Whyte trav­els to the county of Kent to play three Open Cham­pi­onship cour­ses as well as some lesser known gems and un­cov­ers a con­nec­tion they share with the cre­ator of James Bond.

The county of Kent is di­vided from France by a mere 21 miles of English Chan­nel. Ten thou­sand years ago there was no Chan­nel, just a wide, sandy ex­panse known as Dog­ger­land. The melt­ing wa­ters of the Ice Age put an end to Dog­ger­land and in a stroke gave the Bri­tish con­ti­nen­tal hol­i­days – as well as the game of golf!

As the ice melted and the enor­mous ice pres­sure lifted, Britain was separated from the rest of Europe and the coastal mar­gins rose to re­veal long stretches of lovely sandy beach that are now a ec­tion­ately known as linksland.

And for that very rea­son, Kent’s east­ern­most cor­ner be­came ideal for the game of ball and stick. When London’s ear­li­est cour­ses such as Black­heath and the London Scot­tish Club in Wim­ble­don be­came over­crowded, the cap­i­tal’s gen­try went look­ing for their near­est point of re­lief and lo and be­hold, by the Ken­tish coastal vil­lages of Deal and Sand­wich and just a cou­ple of hours from the cap­i­tal on the new-fan­gled steam trains, here was the ideal ter­rain.

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