Review's of Cottesmore Golf Club
Had been really looking forward to playing here but overall was left a little underwhelmed...
At first glance the course looks very pretty with wide fairways and rolling countryside. The first tee boxes were tidy but sadly these got progressively scruffier as we made our way round.
The course itself feels very disorientating (with some long walks between tees) and I never felt like I really knew were I was on the course at any one time (Perhaps its one of those courses that you have to play a few times!).
That said, its fairly typical that a club never looks at itself in the way visitors do. I felt the signage in and around the course to be poor too and despite the boards on each tee showing you the hole layout - on one occasion, it felt like it completely contradicted the 'actual' hole lay out.
Now to the greens... I believe there was a lot of rain the day before but this should not make for heavily sodden greens and tee boxes if they drain properly. In some cases the greens was also in poor condition, bare and uneven. However, the ones that were good - we're very good.
All the above aside, there are some VERY good holes on this course, notably the Par 5 10th hole/green and the Par 3 17th hole.
Food was good and service adequate but not sure I'll be rushing back here, which is a shame as I think this course could be REALLY good!
Reconfiguration of the Griffin & the Phoenix: a winning formula....
My hat off to the owners of Cottesmore, the Rogerson family, for the way they reconfigured this already beautiful course, since they re-took control (Summer 2013) of the running of Cottesmore Golf & Country Club after a spell in the hands of Crown Golf.
"THE GRIFFIN" has become a longer, proper Championship course, taking 3 holes from the other course (THE PHOENIX) and thus releasing 3 holes to the actual new 9 hole course. It may seems a little complicated when you dont know the original layout but make perfect sense when you play. I have updated the scorecards accordingly with new yardage and SSS. The PROSHOP sells a new course planner covering both courses for £5 only.
The GPS devices will need to be updated otherwise one wont be able to get accurate layout.
The new "PHOENIX" is the best designed 9 hole I have ever played where the most attractive & challenging holes have been kept, the walk is well sign posted and very pleasurable, take time to admire this very picturesque part of Sussex.
So to recap, a sort of a swap of 3 holes between the 2 courses, not sure what is happening to the land left over the the shorter course. A winning combination of 18 and 9 holes totally geared to the wishes of many 21st century golfers, in fact perfect for lots of members, seniors/juniors, visitors etc...It takes less than 80 minutes to play the PHOENIX, absolutely perfect for the modern day, time precious life we lead.
The natural landscape is as beautiful as ever and I cannot wait to return and play in the Springtime when all the rhododendrons are in bloom. I personally believe the course is more suited to summer and spring play due to the amount of streams, ponds & lakes, some paths can be a little muddy. some fairways as well. There was a temporary green on the 10th GRIFFIN course.
The tee boxes, fairways and greens were in good condition, some bunkers had standing water. The whole set up is showing sign of TLC.
The Hotel rooms and the swimming pool have been totally refurbished to excellent standard.
The Hotel reception is warm, you are always made welcome.
The Proshop is well stocked, equipment and clothing, I was given very favourable rates for the TSGers who joined me either on Sunday or Monday, a very good turn out.
The Bar/Restaurant very pleasant with reasonable prices for food or drinks.
A winning combination for this set up and looking forward to returning.
by Q.O.C.R. (my new title Queen of Course Review)
Very challenging course with fastest greens I have played on.
A tough blind challenge
Cottesmore is situated in pretty Pease Pottage. Plenty of parking near the clubhouse.
The Sales team and Pro Shop were very welcoming and happy to help with where to go. Some of the signage is out of date, in that it was OK to go in with soft spikes.
Ladies locker room is lovely and security locked. There are no visitors lockers.
The upstairs bar with terrace overlooking the 18th green on the Griffin course offered great hospitality and a fantastic value breakfast - enough for 2 - as discovered by a playing partner!
The putting green was in great condition. Very fast grass so I was all set for the course.
The views from the courses are absolutely stunning. However, the course itself is desperately lacking markers. You need to buy a course planner or play with someone who knows their way around. It was one blind hole after another, with no idea of which way to hit, or what was over hill after hill. The greens were very slow; the complete opposite of the practice greens.
The 17th par 3 over the water is a great hole. At least we could see the target.
It is a very tough course, so you need energy as well as a guide.
Little pigs no more, but a Griffin & a Phoenix instead.........
The 247 acres, once a pigs farm on the Cottesmore ground of the Manor House (now a private school) provide the perfect setting for 2 very different golf courses, the Griffin and the Phoenix.
The owners, the Rogerson family who must have been keen golfers designed the 36 holes nearly forty years ago, no famous golf architects but certainly had a creative talent resulting in very inspiring holes with lakes, streams & ancient woodlands. Cottesmore was once run by American Golf, then Crown Golf and has recently returned to the hands of the Rogerson family. So one can expect some real monetary investment getting back into the 2 courses & the Estate as a whole.
The old farm buildings provide hotel accommodation in comfortable rustic style bedrooms with pool, gym and tennis, so an ideal place for a few days of golf in tranquil & pleasant surrounds. There is also 7 very attractive wooden log cabins on the Estate, should one wants more privacy etc... These can be seen when playing the Griffin.
THE GRIFFIN: the more mature & challenging of the 2 courses, with elevated tees, sloping fairways, lakes, ponds and stream and valleys, all amongst mature woodlands. Longer as well but can be enjoyed by all levels of golfers.
Every hole is attractive & different, so I will describe just two:
Hole 14, Par 5: raised tee box, slight dog leg right, fairly wide fairways sloping to the right, and down to a ditch some 50 yards from the raised & sloping green, nicely contoured by trees/bushes.
Hole 17, Par 3: a beauty, a real beauty, over a large lake with lots of natural vegetation & life, uphill with old mature trees with large branches in full vision, hope for no wind on the day you play. No one can forget this hole, specially so if you stand by the 18th tee box (red, in my case) as a golf ball from a shot from the 17th onto the green, ricoched of the big tree and hit me on the arm. "Dear Tony" was so apologetic, but I made sure he kissed my arm better. I think Tony felt a little embarrassed as Mr L. was looking on..... (The bruising has now gone). So a warning if you stand on the 18th tee box waiting for your turn to play, anything can happen as fairly close to the 17th uphill green.
Course in excellent condition, lovely true/fast greens with interesting shapes & ondulations.
THE PHOENIX is more forgiving but very attractive with its long walks to the next tees through woodlands. One can get a glimpse of the elegant red brick Manor House also of the few private houses around, all owned by the Rogerson family.
15th, Par 4. A tough drive over a deep valley full of wild bushes, small trees, rough etc. so better avoid it. Blind uphill fairways with mature trees on either side.
16th, short Par 4: raised tee area, sloping fairway to a valley and a very large & very,very deep bunker just before the raised green, a lovely semi circle of pine tree at the back of the green.
This course was not in a very good condition, the greens need attention, but the challenge on this shorter course is the many ditches across the fairways, so knowing distances and what club to select is the challenge .
I played the 2 courses with the Pine Tree Society (Roger Akerman's) with a residential stay (mid August) in the cosy, comfortable "rustic" hotel briefly described at the beginning. The food was good, the atmosphere lively, the facilities excellent, the staff extremely accommodating, the surroundings relaxing. Good deals for Societies if you book in advance, same if you want to extend your stay as I did. Easily accessible from London or Gatwick, Brighton not far either, but NO plane noise.
The accommodation (used to be old farm buildings) is either upstairs or downstairs, some have private balconies & overlook the golf course entry is via a big square surrounded by wooden balconies full of colourful flowers, large water fountain (lit at night)in the middle of the square, lovely feature.
The Clubhouse is upstairs overlooking the Griffin 18th green. They serve very nice food reasonably priced.
ProShop is well stocked, lots of Ladies clothing, always prepared to offer the best deal & reduced green fees if you play on extra days during your extended stay.
There are practice facilities. Nets, practice green, and a large open air driving range as well.
Well laid out Car Park providing for Sport Club members, golfers and hotel residents.
A large & separate Reception area for hotel checking.
Very friendly reception all around. I believe that all Pine Tree Society members are unanimous in returning next year for their 2 away days, as conveniently situated, choice of 2 golf courses, pool, Jacuzzi etc.. everyone had a great time. Thanks Roger A. for organising the deal. (by the way, I have already posted the photos...)
Well, this review may seem longer than usual, but it covers 2 courses, a golf hotel etc.. and Ms Lockwood is the writer....
Played the Griffin course
This is a very wooded course with some tightish fairways, especially on the front 9, so most definately not a course where the driver comes out at every tee.
This is a very pleasant place to play with some very nice holes, although maybe if you hit it long and wayward you will find yourself reloading on numerous occasions.
The greens and fairways were in good condition so no complaints there, although we did find ourselves trying to figure out where next tee would be on a few occasions.
Overall this was a very enjoyable place to play.
I only played the Griffin course, so I can't vouch for the Phoenix through this report.
Lovely course, unusually poor greens at the moment
it's a lovely course, the Griffin, and always enjoyable to play. Was disappointed with the state of the greens this time which were uneven, especially as other courses seem to be in tip top condition. Played here a few times last year and they wew superb, so may be just a one off.
Really liked this course, hope to play better next time. will return.
Cottesmore - GRIFFIN
This is the club I am a member of and i highly recomend it as Cotttesmore has 2 courses and is a member of crown golf so other option are open to you.I ahve played this course in all types of weather and the dry months it is especailly good as you have to place the ball and think your way round.This makes for a very enjoyable game of golf.
I have scored the course down a bit due to the wet weather recently.Considering the amount of rain and snow it palyed quite well.You had to be on the fairway each time to have a chance as they drained well but off the fairway would cost you a shot.
The greens were slow due to the wetness,overall though well worth a visit as I probably played it at its worse and it played very well if you were on the fairway.I would advise taking the extra shot to stay on the short stuff as chipping out always costs you dear.
Despite continuous rain, I thoroughly enjoyed my round today at Cottesmore. We played The Griffin course which is apparently by far the better of the two. The holes were challenging and interesting, with good fairways and excellent greens. Would certainly come back again.
Probably the worst greens I've ever putted on but all they had to do was cut them! No course Marshall anywhere to be seen on the one time you really do want to see one.
Very tight course with lots of mature trees. Very unforgiving. Would play it again but only if they promise to cut the greens.
GRIFFIN & PHOENIX
Anyone who is just staring the game of golf, should know not only have you missed out of so much years of fun, but should try out the phoenix first. But if your already a player or just getting back into the game after a break then griffin is for you.
Played Phoenix for the first time yesterday.
Quite a short course in places and probably not much of a challenge for an experienced player, especially the back nine. I play off 28 and went round the back nine in 41 shots, so I can't see much point in playing here regularly, as I like a bit more of a challange.
I have played the front nine of the Griffin, which is much better.