Jeremy Ellwood ventures to the golf course and lodge on this famous Sussex estate
Cowdray Park Stay And Play Review
Par 70, 6,325 yards
Greenfee: £35-£60 per round
This downland course offers up some magnificent views from the higher holes, most notably from the 5th tee after a steady ascent.
The 4th is perhaps the toughest of the opening four, climbing steeply to a green partly hidden by trees, especially if you stray too far left off the tee.
The double green on the 8th/16th features some very interesting mounds and contours, while the 9th is then a delightful short par 3 close to the woods with another challenging green.
The long par-4 10th may be the toughest test of all, sweeping down and up to one of several two-tier greens, one or two of which slope away from you.
My visit was in January, but thankfully the downland turf ensures excellent year-round playability when other less-fortunate courses are struggling a little.
Also play… The Top 100-ranked heathland course at Liphook in Hampshire (liphookgolfclub.com) is just 20 minutes north of Cowdray.
Much has changed at Cowdray since my last visit, which was longer ago than I’d thought.
The main change is that the clubhouse I knew has been transformed into a very classy golf lodge, while the spacious new clubhouse sits closer to the 1st tee and 18th green.
The accommodation in the old clubhouse comprises four rooms and two suites, all of which have recently been refurbished to a very high standard, with exposed beams, low doorways and a comfortable ambience the order of the day.
The most recent addition to the accommodation offering is the Bothy, which now offers the height of self-contained bijou luxury – a snug, comfy and classy retreat for two.
The breakfast in the clubhouse is both hearty and delicious.
Where else… The Weald and Downland Living Museum at Singleton (wealddown.co.uk) features more than 50 rescued and preserved rural buildings.
Stay and play packages start from £85pp for one round of golf, bed and breakfast, or from £120pp for 36 holes, bed and breakfast. Sunday/Monday stays are popular.
Cowdray Golf Lodge stands on the A272 in the village of Easebourne, a mile or so east of the West Sussex town of Midhurst.
Buggy hire: £30 per round Trolley hire: £4 per round Power trolley hire: £12 per round Club hire: £10 per round per set Driving range: Yes Putting green: Yes Short-game area: Yes Pro shop: Yes Changing rooms: Yes Sky TV: Yes Price of a pint: From £4
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Jeremy Ellwood has worked in the golf industry since 1993 and for Golf Monthly since 2002 when he started out as equipment editor. He is now a freelance journalist writing mainly for Golf Monthly across the whole spectrum from courses and Rules to equipment and instruction. He also edits The Golf Club Secretary Newsletter, a highly regarded trade publication for golf club secretaries and managers, and has authored or co-authored three books and written for a number of national papers including The Telegraph and The Independent. He is a senior panelist for Golf Monthly's Top 100 UK & Ireland Course Rankings and has played all of the Top 100 plus 91 of the Next 100, making him well-qualified when it comes to assessing and comparing our premier golf courses. He has now played well over 950 golf courses worldwide in 35 countries, right across the spectrum from the humblest of nine-holers in the Scottish Highlands to the very grandest of international golf resorts, but put him on a links course anywhere and he will be blissfully content.
Jezz can be contacted via Twitter - @JezzEllwoodGolf
Jeremy is currently playing...
Driver: Ping G425 LST 10.5˚ (draw setting), Mitsubishi Tensei AV Orange 55 S shaft
3 wood: Ping G425 Max 15˚ (set to flat +1), Mitsubishi Tensei AV Orange 65 S shaft
Hybrid: Ping G425 17˚, Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Orange 80 S shaft
Irons 3-PW: Ping i525, True Temper Dynamic Gold 105 R300 shafts
Wedges: Ping Glide 4.0 50˚ and 54˚, 12˚ bounce, True Temper Dynamic Gold 105 R300 shafts
Putter: Ping Fetch 2021 model, 33in shaft (set flat 2)
Ball: Varies but mostly now TaylorMade Tour Response
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