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Chart Hills - designed by Nick Faldo

When Nick Faldo was offered the chance to design a golf course, 200 acres of gently undulating countryside in the Garden of England would probably have topped his wish-list

That's exactly what he got in Chart Hills Golf Club and he used all the experience and course knowledge that propelled him to six major championship titles, to produce a championship course just outsdie Biddenden, whcih Faldo predicted golfers would never tire of playing.

The fact Chart Hills enjoys a high level of repeat business, with golfers often booking another round within 24 hours of having played the course, suggests 'Sir Nick' was right, and many golf societies also return year after year.

Sir Nick Faldo - designer of Chart Hills

Regarded as one of the best new courses in the country with its American-style lightning quick greens, Chart Hills was ranked No. 82 by Golf World magazine in their 2009 Top 100 Courses in Britain and Ireland.

It was officially opened in August 1993 and since then has hosted PGA European Tour qualifying schools and the Ladies' English Open four years in a row from 2004 to 2007.

Yet it hasn't been all plain sailing for its owners, the Leaderboard Group. A devastating fire destroyed much of the clubhouse in September 2005 and then Leaderboard's hopes of hosting the Ladies' Open again were ruined by the world recession.

But the clubhouse has been rebuilt to a high standard and offers everything guests could need include conferencing, dining and wedding facilities.

Chat Hills is first and foremost, a genuine championship golf course and among those disappointed when the Ladies' Open moved to pastures new in 2008 was Deal's Karen Stupples, who always looked forward to playing on home soil during one of her annual summer breaks from the US Women's (LPGA) Tour.

The former Women’s British Open champion finished joint third in the 2004 event and fourth the following year.

“I love the layout of the course and being so close to home made it a very special tournament for me because all my family and friends were able to come along and watch,” she said.

Another Chart Hills admirer is European Tour professional Benn Barham, who said: “I have played tournament golf all over the world and Chart Hills is still one of my favourite courses.

“It’s a wonderful club, with superb facilities and a great course and I have no doubt that being attached to Chart Hills for the last 14 years has helped my development considerably as a professional golfer.

“Off the back tees it’s a real test, but because there are a number of tee positions for each hole it means that any club golfer can also have a great day out there.”

From the championship tees the course measures an intimidating 7,119 yards, with a par of 72, and Faldo didn’t forget to leave his mark on the course with two memorable ‘signature’ holes: the 200-yard snake-like bunker, the longest in the country and fittingly named the Anaconda Bunker, on the par-5 fifth hole, and the elusive island green at the short par-3 17th.

Green fees for 18 holes this summer (April 18 to October 24) will be £60 on Sunday-Thursday and £75 on Friday and Saturday. Special deals are available for fourballs and societies.

For more information, or to book a tee time, call the Pro Shop on 01580 292148.

Kent Garden of England

Reproduced with kind permission of KOS Media Ltd and Visit Kent. For further information, go to www.kentnews.co.uk and www.visitkent.co.uk

 








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