Scenic but a tough course
Set in the midst of parkland in deepest West Sussex you find a beautiful course with heather at pretty much every hole. Not a very long course at Par 68 but don’t get fooled into thinking you will be able to drive and pitch for easy pars. This is a tough course which will penalise you if you stray of the straight and narrow. The combination of heather and the well positioned bunkers are always lying in wait. I played the day after the hottest day of the year in July and the fairway’s were parched and heather not in full splendour (as would be expected after a long dry spell) which meant the ball ran longer than usual making the course even tougher.
All in all, an excellent course with all the amenities of food, drink, locker/shower in very good condition and good practice facilities close to the clubhouse (even 2 putting greens), chipping area, driving bays (not covered) and a reasonable pro shop.
Is it worth the 1hr travel it too me? I’d say yes but maybe a bit far to play this regularly. Would love to play this in spring when fairways are a bit more plush to see if it is less challenging - my guess is not as the the hazards are well positioned to equalise the game against long hitters.
Immaculate charming course
This one had been on our wishlist for a while - a heathland course located on the South Downs where the land is great and there are many fine courses. It's rated number 1 in Sussex and very posh - they only allow visitors to play in 2 balls - and don't usually allow riff raff like us!
However, my playing partner showed excellent initiative, blagging a tee time by explaining that we are not members of a club at the moment: we are based in Frankfurt on business and are former members of the London Club - what a great liar that Phil Boyd is!
We arrived at 8:30am and paid £70 for a winter day ticket, which was excellent value. It is a very pretty place indeed with a gorgeous clubhouse, friendly staff and superb practice facilities. Also it was perfect weather - around 10 degrees and sunny.
The course was as manicured as any I have ever played - in perfect condition despite the time of year and recent rain. The turf was a pleasure to play irons or chip from. We played off winter tees - par 68 and 5600 yards - but the course runs fast and plays shorter than its distance.
Not as difficult as I expected but then we both played tidy golf - there is plenty of trouble if you are wayward, with some deep bunkers and lots of heather. Anyway, the good thing about playing as a 2 ball was that we comfortably played 36 holes on December 29th.
I thought the par 3s were very pretty holes, but if I had any criticism it would be the lack of great 'shot making' holes for better players - such as the 2nd or 6th at Crowborough. However, it is a joy to play and I'd recommend it to any golfer who enjoys fast running golf - if you can get a tee time!