Sussex

The Sussex County Golf Union provides administration for 66 golf clubs across the county. “Sussex by the Sea” is the county anthem and for very good reason because Sussex’s lengthy English Channel coastline stretches for almost 100 miles from Camber in the east to Chichester in the west.

Sussex County Ladies’ Golf Association was formed in 1900 as Sussex County Ladies’ Golf Club, with representatives from Ashdown Forest, Bexhill, Crowborough, Hastings, Royal Eastbourne and Seaford in attendance at the inaugural meeting. Today, the association has sixty affiliated clubs under its jurisdiction, with over 4,000 female members. Its aims are to provide a framework for amateur ladies’ golf in the county, promote and encourage play at all levels, identify and nurture talent, develop elite golfers and select teams to represent Sussex.

Despite the lengthy coastline, Sussex can boast only two true links, spread-eagled at either end of the county. Rye in the east is a famous name in links golf, but few golfers will have heard of Littlehampton in the west. Ironically, Littlehampton was founded in 1889, five years before Rye. The coastal golf between these two links is very much in the upland mould and a number of fine downland courses sit proudly on the cliffs.

Heading inland you’ll find a collection of the finest courses in England. If you go down to the woods today at Royal Ashdown Forest, the only surprise you’ll get is that there are two excellent courses there. If you want to stay and play, 36-hole golf is available at both Mannings Heath and East Sussex National. But it would be remiss not to go to Pulborough to play West Sussex, a genuine star of sand and heather.

Our Sussex Best in County golf course rankings were updated in 2015. Click here to read the story.

Top 100 Golf Courses - Sussex

West Sussex

1st Sussex - Best in Area

West Sussex Golf Club is one of our favourite inland courses. It is sheer delight to play golf on this charming sandy outcrop of heathland.

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Rye (Old)

2nd Sussex - Best in Area

So, we’ve arrived at Rye Golf Club, but will we get a game? Rye is so very private, that it is exceedingly difficult to secure a tee time, it's easier to get a game on the Old course at St Andrews.

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Royal Ashdown Forest (Old)

3rd Sussex - Best in Area

Royal Ashdown Forest Golf Club is set stunningly, affording fantastic views from the high parts of the course across the forest and the rolling Sussex countryside.

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Crowborough Beacon

4th Sussex - Best in Area

There are similarities between Crowborough and its delightful near neighbour, Royal Ashdown Forest, with spectacular views across the treetops and springy heathland/moorland turf.

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Goodwood (Downs)

5th Sussex - Best in Area

The original Goodwood downland golf course was designed by James Braid. It now measures 7,100 yards but you'll need to befriend a member to play here.

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East Sussex National (West)

6th Sussex - Best in Area

The West course is considered to be the more intimate, and the prettier of the two courses at the East Sussex National golf complex.

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East Sussex National (East)

7th Sussex - Best in Area

Gordon Brand Jnr. and David Gilford won the European Opens here in 1993 and 1994 respectively. It will come as no surprise to hear that East Sussex National’s East course is a big tournament layout.

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Mannings Heath (Waterfall)

8th Sussex - Best in Area

The Waterfall course at Mannings Heath Golf Club is a beautiful West Sussex gem - part parkland, part downland and part heathland.

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Piltdown

9th Sussex - Best in Area

The bunkerless course of Piltdown Golf Club was founded in 1904 and is laid out on common land where Nature’s heathery hazards are sufficiently challenging for even the best golfers.

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Seaford

10th Sussex - Best in Area

Set on high ground with fine views over the Seven Sisters white cliffs and the English Channel, Seaford Golf Club is the archetypal downland golf course, which was designed by J.H. Taylor in 1907.