One of the prettiest courses in the Top 100, West Sussex is an excellent test of golf with great variety - a real golfing oasis
West Sussex Golf Club Course Review
Top 100 Ranking 2021/22 - 57 Previous Rankings 2019/20 - 52 2017/18 - 51 2015/16 - 55 2013/14 - 54 2011/12 - 57 2009/10 - 53
Summer Green Fees
Round - £100wd, £110we, Day - £120wd, £130we
Visitors: welcome most days, check with club for details
Medal Tee: Par 68 - 6,351 Yards
www.westsussexgolf.co.uk (opens in new tab)
Changes since previous ranking
Nothing significant though a full course irrigation system will be in place for the next review period.
West Sussex Golf Club Course Review
West Sussex, known to its friends as Pulborough, is quite simply one of the most beautiful and enjoyable courses in the country. This heathland classic twists and turns constantly as it runs over gently undulating and very springy turf sitting on a free-draining subsoil.
The course dates back to 1930 and is the handiwork of Guy Campbell, Cecil Hutchison and Stafford Hotchkin. Not a great deal has changed, and this is heathland golf at its prettiest over a layout where subtlety is far more important than length. Opening with its solitary par 5, it is subsequently blessed with five fabulous short holes and an array of testing and varied par 4s that will both challenge and delight. The main defences are heather, some excellent and very attractive bunkering, and the subtle greens that demand your full attention at all times.
Gentle changes in elevation also play a role, most significantly at the 226-yard par-3 6th. This very photogenic and memorable “short” hole is played from an elevated tee over a valley containing first heather and bracken, and then a large and very pretty pond which unusually is classified as out of bounds. This means that playing short and right is frequently the sensible and safe option. Once back on dry land, the green is long and narrow with a severe slope that makes downhill putts particularly challenging. Originally designed as a par 4, such is its severity that it could very easily now be described as a dogleg par 3!
Par 4 Challenges
Challenging two-shotters abound, particularly the 7th, 11th and 14th, before you reach the prettiest hole on the course. The short 15th, again over a pond, is picturesque. The closing three holes can make or break your score. The 16th has a severely sloping green, the long par-4 17th is beautifully bunkered, and the closing hole demands two strong, straight blows to find the green.
This Top 100 favourite is the type of course that keeps the golfer interested all the way. It rewards repeated visits as you learn to appreciate its subtleties. It is also easy-walking and good for year-round play at rates that offer fine value for such a highly-rated course.
I challenge you to find anything bad to say about West Sussex. The drive up to the club is lovely and you really get that feeling of being in the middle of nowhere as there are green fields around and no hint of a road or any civilisation when you step out onto the course.
One of the prettiest courses in the Top 100, West Sussex is an excellent test of golf with great variety - a real golfing oasis.
Rob Smith has been playing golf for more than 40 years and been a contributing editor for Golf Monthly for over ten years, specialising in course reviews and travel. He has now played more than 1,170 different courses in almost 50 countries. Despite lockdowns and travel restrictions in 2021, he still managed to play 80 different courses during the year, 43 of them for the first time. This included 21 in 13 days on a trip to East Lothian in October. One of Rob's primary roles is helping to prepare the Top 100 and Next 100 Courses of the UK&I, of which he has played all but nine. During the 2021-22 review period, Rob has played 34 of the Golf Monthly Top 200. He is a member of Tandridge Golf Club in Surrey where his handicap hovers around 16. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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