Another year on from my most recent ‘Top 10’ of my favourite courses in Sussex, and I sit here on a blustery Saturday afternoon looking out of the window, bemoaning the poor weather we have had so far this year which has prevented me from making it out onto the course yet. As mentioned previously, it’s not the only reason… but it is a reason nevertheless!
Within 2019, I was fortunate enough to play some fantastic courses for the first time, working my way through 6 of the 10 in my Wish List of courses that I was most looking forward to playing, and let me tell you… a number of them delivered beyond expectations.
One of the main things that I have taken away from the courses played in 2019 is that there really is something for everyone in Sussex. We are fortunate enough to be in a county that can offer Downland, Heathland, Parkland and links golf all within a 30 minute drive.
I have now played 52 courses across the county, which by my calculations is over two thirds… however it is mostly likely that a certain little bundle of joy arriving in March is likely to prevent the remaining 20 or so being ticked off in 2020. The quest to tick off all of the courses in Sussex goes on!
So let’s get started with the Top 10! As before, the list ranks the courses which I have enjoyed playing the most, but value and all round experience are also very important to me. My ‘Wish List’ is still alive and kicking, still with plenty of courses which could challenge to be in the Top 10 next year!
As always, I would love to know your thoughts! If you have any further recommendations, or can help me in ticking off some on the Wish List, get in touch through the comments section or on Social Media.
Top 10 Favourite Courses I’ve Played in Sussex
1. West Sussex Golf Club
A course which I would love to play every week. A traditional club if ever there was one, but these traditions just add to the aura of the place. One of the first courses I have played where hole after hole is memorable, and with the heather in bloom the course is stunning. It is not cheap – but it is definitely one of the courses you have to play at least once. Perfect to treat yourself for a special occasion!
2. Goodwood Golf Club – Downs Course
At Goodwood, it is all about the experience. From pulling into the walled car park (which is bound to be full of expensive sporty numbers), to sipping on a local beer in The Kennels after your round everything feels luxurious. But most importantly the 18 holes in the middle (and use of their classic ‘Woody’ buggies if your’re lucky) provide a standout Downland experience.
3. Seaford Head Golf Club
Still arguably the best value course in the county. A thoroughly enjoyable experience which culminates in the one of the a kind 18th, with its ~60m elevation change from tee to green. Other parts of the course offer spectacular views over the iconcic Sussex coastline of the Seven Sisters.
4. Sweetwoods Park Golf Club
A beautiful parkland course, set within the High Weald on the borders of Kent and Sussex. Featuring a number of valleys, lakes, mature trees, monuments and statues, you would be forgiven for thinking that you were wandering around National Trust owned gardens, but the sweeping doglegs, manicured fairways and greens give away it’s true purpose! Fantastic value also, with plenty of tee time deals.
5. Piltdown Golf Club
A course that has grown on me significantly within 2019, and is now firmly established within my Top 10. This traditional Heathland gem has no bunkers, but makes up for it with plenty of strategically placed heather. Play late in August with the heather in full bloom to enjoy it in all its beautiful purple hues.
6. East Sussex National Golf Club – East Course
Of the two courses at the fantastic venue near Uckfield, my preference of is the East. For a course only 30 years or so old, it feels very mature with tall trees, thick grown in rough, and water coming into play on a number of holes. A championship length course (and former host of the European Open), expect a tough test!
7. Worthing Golf Club – Lower Course
With 36 holes on offer, as well as extensive practice facilities and a driving range, Worthing Golf Club has to rank as one of the best golfing facilities in the county. The Lower Course, the longer of the two, offers some of the best downland golf in the county, with plenty of spectacular holes from raised tee boxes, and views out to the Rampion Wind Farm. A well bunkered layout, and some of the finest greens I have played in the county contribute to a memorable experience.
8. Willingdon Golf Club
Fantastic course nestled amongst the South Downs north-west of Eastbourne, which provide a spectacular backdrop to a number of holes. Rolling fairways ensure lots of challenging lies, and trademark Dr Alistair MacKenzie two tiered greens (who later went on to design Augusta National amongst many others!), help to provide plenty of difficulty and protection. A hidden gem.
9. Copthorne Golf Club
A bit of a ‘hidden gem’ for me. This Heathland classic winds its way through Copthorne Common, with holes framed perfectly by rows of trees, and intersected with many ditches to keep the golfer on their toes. A flat and easy walk, don’t expect ranging views over the Sussex countryside, but expect a thoroughly enjoyable round at a challenging, yet fun course, in excellent condition.
10. Crowborough Beacon Golf Club
This heathland classic, situated at one of the highest points in Sussex, offers extensive views across the Weald and beyond, and has a fantastic mix of holes from short par 3s, to risk reward par 4s, to long and tight dogleg par 5s. The elevation changes can make the course a tough walk, but the views more than make up for it! Don’t forget to bring your camera!
- Rye Golf Club
- Royal Ashdown Forest Golf Club – Old Course
- Cowdray Park Golf Club
- Nevill Golf Club
- Cooden Beach Golf Club
- Bognor Regis Golf Club
- Chichester Golf Club
- Holtye Golf Club
- Sedlescome Golf Club
- Highwoods Golf Club
– The Sussex Golfer