West Sussex Golf Course Feature Review
Set a short drive away from London, West Sussex Golf Club is far removed from the hustle and busy of a major city. In fact, it is the town of Pulborough that plays host to one of the finest heathland courses the UK has to offer.
Opened in 1931, this members club boast an array of natural hazard, consisting of heather, gorse and ponds, that have matured over the years into the county's finest layout and a test for all.
West Sussex Golf Club Review
You will be greeted with a warm welcome in the excellently stocked pro shop by a member of the team who will be able to point you in the direction of the changing rooms, driving range, two large putting greens and two chipping greens - in short everything you would come to expect of such a venue a this stature.
The putting green does come highly recommended sat in front of the 1930's Tudor clubhouse.
The general all round condition of the course is immaculate. It's not often you will play a round of golf and want to hunt out some green keepers to offer up congratulations. You could play this course at any time of the year and would struggle not to enjoy it.
You could search high and low for a blade of grass out of place but you'd be hard pushed to find one. The greens are superb. Slick and true with subtle breaks everywhere. The fairways are soft and roll well. The bunkers are well raked and the tee boxes are plush and flat.
The front nine offers a gentle start, with the only par five on the course up first. But whilst the start seems gentle, you'd be wrong to be fooled by this (and the par of 68). The deep, well manicured bunkers offer the biggest test to begin and anything wayward will find the punishing gorse!
The second is long and narrow, again with the gorse and heather waiting to snap up anything offline, whilst the shorter third has placement off the tee high on the agenda.
The sixth will be the highlight of the front. A 214 yard par three, over water, with a narrow green and hungry bunker right of the putting surface it puts it up there as one of the finest par three around.
As you move onto the back nine, the holes will seem to get tougher, longer and even more narrow.
The tenth is a big dog leg right to left with three bunkers well placed to catch out anyone who tries to take the corner on, while the 11th is a mammoth 458 yards sweeping par four round to the right.
Although the 16th is short in length, getting the right spot from the blind tee shot is key, hitting into a raised green surrounded by the gorse means no respite if you do get a good one away.
17 and 18 are two great finishing holes. Both lengthy, both tight off the tee, they have dangerous fairway bunker plotted up the perfectly manicured fairways. A five-five finish may well be sold for a good price on medal day!
From a condition perspective you may not find better.
If you are fairly wayward from the tee then irons are the best option. Keeping the ball in play is key to a good score as the gorse and heather is brutal but fair.
It was lovely to sit outside for a cold drink after and chat to a few of the members to hear some of the history of the course, and for us to tell them in return how lucky they were to be members at such a delightful golf course.
Overall, West Sussex deserves its accolades of being one of the finest heathland course in the England, if not the UK. Due to the sand base it will hold the water well all year round and will certainly offer up great playability all year round.
From tee to green (from car park to car park!) the course, facilities, staff and member were faultless, and if you ever get the chance to visit and play, then make sure you don't pass up!
Overall Rating: 10
Course (Conditions): 10
Course (Hole Variety/Layout): 10
Course (Challenge/Difficulty): 10
Course (Green Condition): 10
Club Facilities & 19th/Clubhouse: 10
Practice Facilities: 10
Pace of Play: 10
Value for Money: 10
All Images: Copyright West Sussex Golf Club and Kevin Murray Photography