Littlestone GC has become the first club in the world to successfully complete a test of its management procedures against the guidelines set out on the R&A's course management best practice website, www.bestcourseforgolf.org.
The club has been awarded a certificate to mark its achievement in working through the auditing system. Club secretary, Colonel Charles Moorhouse, said: "Working through the best practice website proved most worthwhile. It emphasised the need to document all aspects of course management and to work closely with regulatory authorities. To receive this certificate is wonderful recognition for Malcolm Grand, head greenkeeper, and his hard working team." Over 1,150 golf facilities from 85 different countries have now registered with the best practice website.
Laidlaw Purves originally laid out the Kent, UK course with alterations from a number of architects, including Braid, Pennick, Alliss and Steel. However, Alister Mackenzie is responsible for the most significant changes to the original layout, following an invitation to modernise the links in 1922–23. His recommendations have been implemented over time and as recently as 1996, and eight holes on the current layout are attributed to his influence.
The club hosted the Tropicana Ladies' British Open Amateur Championship 2005, which was successfully defended by Louise Stahle of Sweden.
This article first appeared in issue 1 of Golf Course Architecture, published in July 2005.