Crowborough Beacon Golf Club is an undulating heathland delight. The course is laid out on the southern slopes of the East Sussex High Weald, 800ft above sea level, affording panoramic views of the South Downs.
Golf at Crowborough began modestly in 1895, with nine holes laid out simply on the Alchorne estate. In 1905, the course was extended to 18 holes. Can anyone answer the elementary question as to who designed the course? Or perhaps we should assign Sherlock Holmes to the case? The author of the famous novels, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, was the Club Captain of Crowborough Beacon in 1910, and he lived close to his beloved course.
We still don’t know who originally designed Crowborough Beacon, but the club recently acquired a rare book, written by Bernard Darwin and published in 1926, entitled “The Crowborough Beacon Golf Club Ltd”. In this book, Darwin refers to ‘ingenious’ work that Dr Alister MacKenzie had carried out at the club. Apparently the Dr redesigned eight Crowborough holes and the club has now officially been added to the worldwide list of clubs associated with the famous architect.
There are similarities between Crowborough and its delightful near neighbour, Royal Ashdown Forest, with spectacular views across the treetops and springy heathland/moorland turf. There are, however, bunkers at Crowborough that punctuate an otherwise natural landscape.
Accuracy, rather than length, is all-important. The course measures a little over 6,200 yards but finding the right position on the fairways is easier said than done, and hitting the small greens is also a challenge. Crowborough has many fine holes, but the signature hole is a par three called “The Speaker”. Measuring 190 yards from the back tees, the tee-shot must be struck across a gully, whilst avoiding a large, threatening pit that lurks to the left of the green.
It’s an enchanting, pretty golf course and also a genuine member’s golf club. But you can be assured of a warm welcome. They will make your visit enjoyable and memorable because they have a long history of entertaining. We’re sure that you’ll be captivated by the charm of Crowborough Beacon.