Golf Course Architecture: Issue 57 - July 2019

73 Illenis erume sitatatur maio int maxim alitiis dolor atquatium que vit exeria paritio reiuntia vellest, sequissit voluptis int, alit I n these days of information – or at least data – everywhere, it isn’t too often that one gets a real surprise. Head to a course you haven’t seen before, and you can pretty much guarantee that some golf course writer or blogger will have been there before you, and trumpeted it for whatever it has to offer. And so, when I visited Canterbury GC in Kent, southern England, this spring, the last leg of a three day golf outing with good friends that had also included Le Touquet in France and Prince’s in Sandwich, I had an inkling that there would be something good for me to look at. Though Canterbury is way below the radar in international terms – there are plenty of golf tourists come to East Kent, but they are generally heading for the classic links of Royal St George’s, Prince’s and Royal Cinque Ports – I had heard gossip in golfing circles that the course was more than worth seeing. Golf course architect James Edwards, who consults at Canterbury, and who introduced me to club general manager Roger Hyder, had dropped a number of hints that I was in for a surprise. The Canterbury course was built in the middle 1920s, though the club itself dates back to 1892. Like so many of Colt’s courses of that era, it was constructed by his preferred contractors, Franks Harris Brothers, on land leased from the War Office – the large Howe Barracks was next door until it closed in 2015, which enabled the club to buy the freehold of its site. Colt reported that: “the first six holes appeared excellent, and the next three on rather duller land should, with bunkering, be good!” This part of Kent is generally quite undulating, so to find some good ground contour on the site was not a total surprise. But the sheer quality of the terrain must CANTERBURY GC , ENGLAND Sitting on some great ground, and with a typically brilliant Colt design, Canterbury Golf Club in southern England is a true hidden gem, reports Adam Lawrence. Now it just needs a sympathetic hand Photos: Andy Hiseman