Royal Ashdown Forest GC was founded in 1888.
The Old Course was designed by William R. Lee and opened for play in 1889.
It was originally a short course measuring 4900 yards, but was gradually modified and extended, reaching it's current length of 6400 yards in 1922.
Not much has changed since that date.
The club was bestowed 'Royal' status by Queen Victoria in 1893.
The Ashdown Forests are protected by Acts of Parliament.
No changes to the terrain are allowed.
This has clearly contributed in retaining the natural beauty of the site.
So if you go out in the woods tonight you surely won't get a big surprise!
(Winnie the Pooh was written by A.A. Milne who lived locally. He and his son Christopher Robin were members of the golf club.)
The ladies at Ashdown Forest formed their own club in 1889 with a nine hole course and separate clubhouse.
This was extended to 18 holes and also bestowed 'Royal status' in it's own right in 1932.
After the second world war the ladies joined the men's club and the course was reduced to nine holes before being redesigned and reopened as an 18 hole course in 1966.
It was renamed The West Course in 2002
The Old Course has a gorgeous setting within an undulating forest terrain seemingly untouched by human hand.
The landscape is lush with pine trees and heather.
The course is steep in parts but walkable by most.
A point of difference is that the course has no bunkers at all!
But one hardly notices their absence as the heather frames the holes and penalises the errant shot.
In season the heather adds colour to an already impressive pallette.
It is a very natural course with no two holes alike.
Notable holes include:
- hole 2 (Goose Green), a unique short par 4 that plays long. The tee shot is blind uphill with tall trees creating a funnel effect. The approach must clear a burn snaking across in front of the raised green with black boarding a particularly penal feature for any balls not quite carrying to the green.
- hole 5 (Quabrook), a par 5 with heather hither and tither for the duration of the hole. It's very pretty and very penal. The green is protected by a burn and uneven ground on the front
- hole 8 (Hutchinson), a straightaway par with heather demanding accurate shot play. The green is semi blind with heather covered dunes needing to be carried with the approach
- hole 9 (Heather), a short uphill par 3 to a back to front sloping green (see pic top of page)
- hole 11 (Four Counties), a long downhill par 3 with spectacular views
The Old Course at Royal Ashdown Forest is a unique and picturesque heathland course.
And it's just a lovely place to be!
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