Rye Golf Club Old Course Review, Green Fees, Tee Times and Key Info

Rye Golf Club Old Course is a historic links with fast-running, rumpled fairways. It's playable all year round and always maintained in excellent condition.

Rye Golf Club Old Course
Rye Golf Club Old Course - 4th hole from overhead
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Top 100 Courses UK & Ireland 2023/24

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Rye Golf Club Old Course Key Information

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Row 0 - Cell 0 Row 0 - Cell 1
AddressCamber Road, Camber, Rye, East Sussex, TN31 7QS
Phone Number01797 225241
Green FeesAll visitors should apply to the secretary
Visitor TimesInvitations to visiting golfers are made at the Secretary's discretion
Slope Rating121 (Blue), 116 (White), 112 (Yellow), 127 (Women's Red)
Designed byHarry Colt
Golf Monthly Verdict


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The Old Course at Rye offers honest, quintessential links golf from start to finish and is a textbook example of golf course architecture from probably the master of them all, Harry Colt.

A day at Rye is a day well spent giving you the opportunity to enjoy golf as it was intended to be played over 100 years ago.

The booking process maybe a little tricky but there’s no arrogance there and it's worth the effort if you can secure a game.


– Historic and pure links course harking back to golf as it used to be

– But always maintained in great condition with excellent playing surfaces

– Predominantly a members' club so if you get the chance to play, grab it with both hands


UK and Ireland Top 100 Golf Courses 2023/24 - 65

Founded in 1894 the original layout at Rye was designed by a 25-year-old Harry Colt. Even at that young age his talent for visualising and creating attractive and exciting holes was evident. This is a hugely characterful layout. Rye is one of the best golf courses is Sussex.

Indeed, Colt was the club’s first captain and Rye, his very first design, was one that would switch him from his career as a solicitor into that of a golf course architect.

The course at Rye is something of a timeless classic that has been largely unchanged since the 1930s. But it will still present a strong challenge, particularly when the wind is up.

It’s a classic links layout played over fast-running and undulating turf.

The opening in Rye is relatively gentle before things ramp up at the superb 4th playing to a hogsback fairway with trouble on both sides.

Other holes worth noting including the 6th – a dog-leg with a blind tee shot over a dune, then the superb 7th with a green featuring run-offs on all sides.

On the back nine, the 13th is a cracking hole where the second shot will generally be a long iron over a dune.

Although times for visitors are limited, bookings will be taken on weekdays by appointment.

When you do play, you’ll be made to feel very welcome. Be sure to allow yourself time for what is always an excellent lunch in clubhouse.

15th and 18th holes at Rye
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What The Top 100 Panel Said

John Slater UK&I Top 100 panel
John Slater

A bump and run links course with undulating fairways. There's a good variety of green sites, some of the greens are flattish, but some (eg the 16th) are notably contoured. Rumpled fairways and runoffs round greens all add to the challenge. The par 3s are all good. The 5th is epic across a valley. The clubhouse is excellent, very smart showers, old established comfortable, well-appointed clubhouse with many rooms and historical artefacts. The members are extremely friendly.

James Pinkstone UK&I Top 100 panel
James Pinkstone

Rye is a classic - providing a stern test regardless of the wind. The more you play Rye the more you get it – there’ll always be a new bounce, a new lie, a new challenge on the green, or a new breeze.

Despite the old-school, largely members only approach, you receive a warm welcome in the clubhouse. 2-ball golf is preferred, followed by donning jacket and tie for lunch – an integral part of the Rye experience. Golfing royalty such as Colt and Darwin have graced the fairways of Rye as past Captains, and this history only adds to the experience.

Rye Golf Club Old Course Location

Rye Golf Club Old Course Green Fees

Golfers wishing to visit should enquire by emailing the Secretary (details on club website.) Names, handicaps and the home Clubs of all players should be provided.

Best Courses Near to Rye Golf Club Old Course



A fine course that adds a fourth dimension to the strong links attraction of the Kent coast beyond the three Open Championship venues. The links at Littlestone, which dates back to 1888 shares the same designer as Royal St George's, William Laidlaw Purves, although James Braid and Dr Alister MacKenzie both played a role in its evolution.



This two-time Open venue follows a broadly out-and-back routing with one or two deviations, including an Old Course-style loop at the far end. The outward nine hugs the sea wall closely in places, and the course has benefitted hugely from Martin Ebert’s judicious and selective design touch in recent years.

Best Places To Stay Near Rye Golf Club Old Course

The Gallivant - Book now at Booking.com
Opposite Camber’s golden beach, Gallivant Hotel offers elegant rooms with homemade cake and luxury toiletries. Just a couple of minute's drive from Rye Golf Club, The Gallivant restaurant serves a variety of menu options, using seasonal and local produce.

The Hope Anchor - Book now at Booking.com
Built around 1750 for local sailors and ship builders, The Hope Anchor is thought to have once sheltered the Tenterden Gang, who used its old secret passages for smuggling. Relax beside the log fire in traditional snug bar, and enjoy the individually styled bedrooms, some of which have a four poster bed. It's in the centre of Rye just a mile and a half from the golf club.

Rye Golf Club Old Course Gallery

Rye Golf Club Old Course Historical Top 100 Ranking UK&I

  • 2023/24 - 65
  • 2021/22 - 65
  • 2019/20 - 57
  • 2017/18 - 54
  • 2015/16 - 58
  • 2013/14 - 61
  • 2011/12 - 71
  • 2009/10 - 77

Rye Golf Club Old Course Review

Frequently Asked Questions

Are visitors welcome at Rye?

Invitations to visiting golfers are made at the Secretary’s discretion. Smaller groups are more easily accommodated. To arrange a visit - email the secretary  

Is Rye a twoball course?

Yes - "All play is in two ball format with foursomes preferred, especially in the morning. No three or fourball golf is played. Players wishing to play their own ball, rather than foursomes, will generally be invited to play late morning or after lunch." 

What is the dress code at Rye?

Information on the club website reads as follows: 

When meeting before play, golfing attire may be worn in either bar. For gentlemen, a jacket and tie or roll neck is mandatory after 11.00 a.m. in either bar. In the Dining Room, gentlemen must wear jacket and tie.

Ladies may wear golfing attire when meeting before play in either bar. After 11.00 a.m. ladies are expected to dress appropriately when using the bars or dining room so as to complement the dress code applying to gentlemen in these areas.

Ladies and gentlemen may wear golfing attire in the Darwin Bar after 4.00 p.m. daily.

A high standard of dress is expected on the courses and may include the wearing of tailored golf shorts but, for men, only with long socks with a turnover top.

Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

Fergus is Golf Monthly's resident expert on the history of the game and has written extensively on that subject. He is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and the history section of "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin , also of Golf Monthly. 

Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?