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The Wonder That is East Sussex National

By: Liam Moore | Wed 19 Jan 2022

East Sussex National is one of the most popular golfing venues located in the south of England and its long and extensive history with the sport is glittering.  

The property is set in 1,100 acres of vast and visually appealing countryside, which provides the perfect environment for a round of testing golf.

The idea for the club came in the mid 1980s as Brian Turner, an entrepreneur from Canada, had the vision of creating the ultimate golf complex.

An American course architect who went by the name of Robert E Cupp was selected as the head designer for the 36-hole resort.

Cupp, who had previously worked with Jack Nicklaus on numerous occasions, designed both layouts and the 3-hole academy course to USGA standards.

Due to this, the drainage features of the site are peerless and the putting experience is second-to-none.

After the surfaces had been laid and constructed, it was time to build a contemporary and stylish clubhouse that boasted facilities to bolster the class.

East Sussex National

Since opening, the club has attracted the likes of the European Tour on two occasions and the alternative course, labelled the West Course, hosted European Tour Qualifying School from 1994 to 1997.

There have been five Challenge Tour events held at the club, Open qualifying and a tournament on the 2016 PGA EuroPro Tour.

Moreover, with iconic golfers such as Ernie ElsVijay SinghColin Montgomerie and Sir Nick Faldo having walked its fairways, isn’t it time you recreated their footsteps?

Golf Courses

The East Course is the main event at East Sussex National, and there’s a reason why the European Tour felt the urge to visit here for two successive years.

Cupp decided upon bent grass from green to tee, which is partly the reason why this revered course plays like an American, stadium-designed layout.

To simplify, every standard of golfer will find some sort of challenge on this course, which is a credit to the designer.

From the back tees, a whopping 7,100 yards will need to be negotiated with but for those who are new to the game of golf, there are plenty of forward tees to lessen the harshness.

Considering the greens are constructed to USGA standard, the putting experience is tremendous as the pristine and immaculate greens roll truly.

Moreover, Cupp had intentionally kept the East Course wide open and thus, ripping those drives has never felt so satisfactory.

Its signature hole - or should we say daunting hole - is the 17th, a 450-yard par-4 - from the back tees - with a creek that absolutely must be avoided at all costs within the vicinity of your landing zone.

East Sussex National

You may get the level of difficulty you’re seeking from the East Course, but the West Course offers a more controlled and elegant journey.

It is the prettier of the two courses and it was previously unavailable for visiting golfers, although that has changed now and the experience of the West Course is open to all.

Again, Cupp designed this layout and he also utilised bent grass from tee to green, mirroring an American course which was intentional during the design process.

Ironically, the West is also longer than its sibling (7,154 yards) and this was beneficial when it won hosting rights to the Challenge Tour Championships between 1995-1998.

Boasting incredible views of the South Downs from all directions of the course, it will not take long before you meander to the third hole: the first par-3 and an attractive hole at that.

To the right of the green, a pond acts as protection but this two-tiered putting surface holds the capability of converting simple two putts into a nightmarish three-stroke effort.

What allows this layout to truly stand out is the creative use of par 5s - all of which measure in excess of 500 yards from the furthest tees.

Perhaps the 12th is the greatest of them, a difficult yet impressive hole that will certainly see you jumping for joy if you can salvage your par.

With 36 excellent and award-winning holes, East Sussex National has successfully carved itself as one of the nation’s finest golfing facilities.


East Sussex National

The complex’s hotel is luxurious and stylish, everything that you would expect from an establishment that holds a 4* rating.

There are 104 rooms available for renting and they are all equipped with amenities that you will require during your stay.

If you’re fortunate, you’ll also be given a room with awe-inspiring, sweeping views of the large estate.

With numerous places to eat, you’ll seldom be waiting for food or service and there are four eateries on-site, with the Hunningtons Restaurant and the Pavilion Restaurant being the classier of the options.

Alternatively, you can head to The Lounge Bar or the Ryder Bar, where the atmosphere is more relaxed and the latter providing the perfect location to enjoy the 19th hole.

The complex also boasts its own spa, where you can enjoy an extensive options of treatments or a quick dip in the indoor pool to help you recover from the previous round.

Finally, this hotel is located conveniently as both Brighton & Hove Albion’s football ground and Hove Cricket Ground is easily accessible from the premises.

Due to its proximity, East Sussex National is located only an hour away from London and positioned nicely from other towns and cities in the south of England.

With two first-class golf courses, lavish accommodation options and a relaxation-inducing spa, East Sussex National is one of the standout golfing hubs located in England. 

For more information and the latest packages, please visit Golfbreaks.

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