Set in the beautiful setting of the Cowdray estate, I didn’t know much, if anything about this course going into my round here. It was a pleasant surprise, with some interesting design features and strong variety adding to the location.
This is evident right from the 1st, where the trench-style grass hollow around a large proportion of the green is something I haven’t experienced anywhere else. In general, the greens are great, with lots of little run offs and tiers that add intrigue.
This is definitely true for me with the stand out part of the property being the shared green between the 8th and 16th holes. It’s large, something you would expect to see at the Old Course, but for me that is a lazy comparison. The crazy, fun undulations in this green make it seem like something you would more expect to see at a place like Tara Iti or Sweetens Cove, rather than in the Sussex countryside.
The course is of a large scale, but it still blends in well with the natural surroundings. Another stand out hole for me was the extremely short par 3 11th. The bunker short of the green is certainly visually intimidating, meaning that despite the length this hole packs enough punch.
In general, from tee to green there is not loads of strategy required, and I found the routing of 17-18 disappointing as it just feels like playing a par 3 away from the next tee doesn’t make sense, whereas the rest of the course flows nicely.
All in all, it’s still a pleasant, interesting golfing experience, in a nice setting.
I live nearly 2 hours from this course and drive most Saturdays to play it. It is the perfect blend of challenging golf and wonderful countryside The most underrated course.