Ganton Golf Club

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At A Glance

Being a championship course, the fairways at Ganton Golf Club can be narrow for the higher handicapper.

Harry Vardon and Ted Ray were both professionals here.

Ganton Golf Club was the club which gave Harry Colt his first paid commission.

Tom Doak recommends golf architecture students pay special attention to the bunkering.

Tom Doak recommends the two-shot holes all as standouts.

Ganton Golf Club earned two 7's and two 8's on the Doak Scale - the same as West Sussex and Turnberry Ailsa!

Frank Pennink wrote that no other course could be compared with Ganton with the exception of The Addington New.

Further Reading

Sean Arble's tour of Ganton Golf Club can be found by clicking here


Full Course Review

Ganton Golf Club is the singular exception to the overused descriptor that a course could possibly be an 'inland links'. Frank Pennink wrote: "I do not know whether I should describe Ganton as a course or links because the golf it provides is really seaside golf play nine miles inland. Whichever is correct no course no links is it's superior in playing conditions."

Distinguished Professionals

During the summer of 1891, Tom Chisholm and Robert Bird (the first club professional) laid out the original course. Harry Vardon was professional of the club from 1896 to 1903. During his tenure, he would bring 3 Claret Jugs back to Ganton Golf Club. In addition, Open Champion Ted Ray served the club as professional.

Impeccible Host Venue

Harry Vardon played two infamous matches at Ganton. The first, in 1896, against JH Taylor and in 1899, against Willie Park Jr. The latter came to be known as the Driver v Putter Test Match. Legend has it that Park Jr had neglected to play a practice round on account of practising his short game. He was overcome by the challenge of the back tees placed by Vardon which played to his strength.

The club has also hosted the Ryder Cup in 1949, the Curtis Cup in 2000 and the Walker Cup in 2003. The Amateur Championship or Brabazon Trophy was contested here in 1964, 1977, 1991 and will be again in 2021. Ganton, Royal Birkdale, Muirfield and Royal Lytham & St Annes are the only four clubs in this prestigious group, with Ganton being the only inland course. Gary Player felt it the only inland course capable of hosting the Open Championship.

The Only Constant is Change

With a pedigree as rich as Ganton's you could excuse it for being resistant to change. After all, there is literally no equal to it with regards to the tournaments it has hosted and perhaps those who have had a hand in making it what it is. With names such as Colt, Braid, MacKenzie, Fowler, Simpson and Hutchinson all improving the course with each successive change, Ganton is not a club which rests on its laurels.


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The Essentials

Everything you need to know before you go!


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Everything you need to know before you go!