18 Aug The Lost Opens – 1915, 1938, 1942 and 1949
Having hosted the Open in 1909 and 1920 (the latter postponed from 1915 due to the first World War), Deal was awarded the Open in 1938 but serious flooding from unusually high tides in February left the course, according to The Times, like “an inland sea several feet deep.” It was transferred to Royal St. George’s and the winner was Reg Whitcombe.
The floods necessitated major reparations to the course, and commentators were glowing in what they saw as major improvements. Bernard Darwin wrote in Country Life that “Deal is emerging from its trials a course transfigured, and I am prepared solemnly to assert that there will be no finer one in the whole world of golf.”
Deal is allocated the 1942 Open but as in 1915, war intervenes.
In 1948, Deal is invited by the R&A to host The Open in 1949 and potentially the Ryder Cup. However in March of that year, following a night of 80mph north westerly gales, the sea breaks through the shingle banks along the whole length of the links. Such was the level of flooding that the decision was taken in May to transfer The Open to Royal St George’s, although interestingly, Deal was still able hold the qualifying rounds. The 1949 Open was won by Bobby Locke.
To date The Open has never returned.