The Takeaway: A fun track to pick up as a secondary course to Rye, Dye, or Sandwich, but not one to go out of your way to play. That being said, the 2nd and 17th holes are fantastic and the price is right. Grade C+
Designer: William Laidlaw Purves 1888 (James Braid 1900s and Alister MacKenzie 1920s)
Cost: £60 - £90 Click for current rates
Phone Number: +44 1797 363355
Course Website: Official Website - Visit Littlestone Golf Club's official website by clicking on the link provided.
Directions: Get here! - St. Andrews Road, Littlestone, New Romney TN28 8RB – UNITED KINGDOM
What to Expect: An under the radar links course located on the Romney Marshes 30 minutes east of Rye Golf Club and an hour southwest of the famed Royal Cinque Ports and Royal St. George’s courses. The layout is mostly flat, though a bit of dunesland comes into play, and the routing is convenient so that it provides for an easy walk. The 2nd and 17th holes provide the most character with the 2nd reminiscent of something you’d see at Tobacco Road while the 17th is an attractive one-shotter with views of the sea. It is certainly not in the realm of the more famous clubs in southeast London, but it does present some quality bunkering and an enticing value.
By the Numbers
Individual Hole Analysis
Signature Hole: 17th Hole – 180 Yard Par 3 – The hole that stands out the most and provides a nice crescendo at the end of the round, the 17th at Littlestone is a charmer. Playing slightly downhill, an attractive view is afforded from the tee and an undulated putting surface awaits to test your short game.
Best Par 3: 6th Hole – 158 Yards – The 6th plays to a kidney shaped green hugging a sod stacked pot bunker. The wind swept high-faced bunker well short and left of the green can block vision of the left side of the putting surface when the tees are set on the left half of the box.
Best Par 4: 2nd Hole – 409 Yards – When I played this hole I was instantly transported to Tobacco Road in North Carolina in my mind. The Mike Strantz design isn't afraid to be bold in every way, one of which is with the opening hole that features two huge mounds where the fairway slithers through. Here at Littlestone though it is the approach shot into the green that features two mounds, with volcano bunkers, that block most of the putting surface from view. With a slightly bowled green, it can be exciting flying an approach shot over the burn, between the bunkers, and seeing how close you end up to the flag.
Best Par 5: 18th Hole – 496 Yards – The home hole plays over a burn to a fairway featuring bunkers on each side 235 yards away followed by a trio of cross bunkers 290 yards from the tee. On the approach shot players can use the left side of the clubhouse as a guide on threading their ball to the green that is flanked on each side by bunkers. With less than 500 yards to cover on this par five, the closer at Littlestone is also a great opportunity to walk off the course with a finishing birdie.
Birdie Time: 1st Hole – 297 Yard Par 4 – Opening holes can often be a "gentle handshake" with a relatively easy hole to get warmed up on, but on Littlestone's Championship course this is more like a giant hug. Tipping out under 300 yards, this opener greets players with a wide, firm fairway that begs golfers to take a rip with their driver and tumble one up near the putting surface. With a tame green awaiting, birdies can be plentiful to start with.
Bogey Beware: 16th Hole – 464 Yard Par 4 – Three of the final four holes create pretty good opportunities, but the one that doesn't is the devilish 16th. A total of five fairway bunkers are scattered across the fairway with a single bunker resting left of the green. With the fairway doglegging left, picking the best line to reduce the length of the hole while not getting too aggressive is key to setting up the ideal approach shot. The raised green with its sloping edges presents the most challenging approach shot at Littlestone where greens in regulation are more scarce than common.