The 49th Open | 1909 Royal Cinque Ports

Taylor wins as Cinque Ports makes entrance

When Cinque Ports Golf Club in Deal first welcomed The Open in 1909, it appeared likely it would become a regular host of the Championship for decades to come.

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A spectacular out-and-back links running along the Kent coastline, the course at Cinque Ports was widely renowned as one of the finest around.

And its maiden Open delivered a suitably high-class Champion, as J.H. Taylor triumphed by six shots with a total of 295 to join contemporaries Harry Vardon and James Braid as a four-time winner.

"I am proud to have won the first Open ever played at Deal Links," said Taylor. "It is most worthy of such an event being held on it."

Yet although a Royal Patronage was bestowed on Cinque Ports the following year, the club would sadly only stage one further Open.

It was originally allocated the Championship of 1915, only for that year's Open to be postponed following the outbreak of World War I. Nevertheless, when the Championship was able to resume in 1920, Cinque Ports did serve as host.

Three subsequent Opens were intended to take place at Cinque Ports over the coming decades, but 1920 proved to be the last year in which Major golf was played at the venue.

Severe flooding denied Cinque Ports the opportunity to stage The Open in 1938, with its near neighbour Royal St George's pressed into action as a late replacement.

The Open of 1942 was then allocated to Deal, only for war to intervene as it had in 1915.

Recognising the elite status of a course James Braid once described as "the best in England", The R&A once more invited Cinque Ports to host its flagship Championship in 1949.

However, a severe March storm resulted in further flooding and The Open was again moved to Royal St George's at short notice.

Royal Cinque Ports duly lost its place among the rotation of clubs called upon to stage The Open, but it remains one of the most highly regarded courses in the United Kingdom.

It was the joint-host of The Amateur Championship with Prince's in 2013 and most recently served as an Open Final Qualifying venue in 2017.