West Sussex GC
On another beautiful warm English summer day we motored down from Windsor to West Sussex Golf Club.
West Sussex is tucked away near the country town of Pulborough an hour or so south of London.
Many years ago when I first started planning this trip, West Sussex was one of the first courses I selected- in all my reading it had always appealed to me.
The course was designed by Sir Guy Campbell and Major CK Hutchison in 1930.
On arrival it was apparent that West Sussex was pretty low key compared to the Heathland courses we had been playing, but very welcoming nonetheless.
Over the years the club has made a determined effort to maintain the look and feel of a traditional heathland course.
Their 15 year plan is to keep thinning the trees rather than let the trees gradually dominate the course..
The first couple of holes traverse relatively flat land, and are a nice, but unremarkable start to the round.
The course then turns toward the back of the property, encountering some wonderful undulating terrain.
Whilst West Sussex is a short course, it does have significant variation in the types and length of hole.
Course par is 68.
Fairways are framed by heather, pine and birch, so accuracy off the tee is vital.
Their are five par 3's on the course.
They are all quite different, playing different lengths, and all are good.
I am also partial to a short strategic par 4, and West Sussex boasts a few that got my attention.
The fairways were firm and fast.
Some approaches had to be bounced in well short of greens to avoid barrelling through the rear..
Notable holes include:
- hole 4, a dogleg left par 4 with a blind drive
- hole 5, the first of consecutive par 3's uphill to a green surrounded by bunkers
- hole 6, an intriguing long par 3 over water
- hole 12, another strong par 3
- hole 14, a long par 4 which arcs to the right. The approach must deal with cross bunkering 100 yards short of the green, which is itself protected by more bunkers and a pond left
- hole 15, a beautiful par 3 over water (see pic top of page)
I came away thinking that West Sussex is perhaps not a championship course, and cannot be compared easily to the other heathland courses we have played.
But it has a lovely country feel, and enough charm and interest to seriously consider coming back for an extended stay.
In fact I loved the place!
It would make a lovely place to be a member for a week or two each year.
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For suggestions on great golf trips see Destinations: The London Heathlands.
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