On the East course at East Sussex National Golf Resort, Gordon Brand Jnr. and David Gilford won the European Opens 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.
Bob Cupp designed the course, using bent grass from green to tee. In 1990, after two years in the making, it opened for play. The East is laid out in an American, stadium-styled design – no wonder, because Cupp is American. The earth certainly moved here, because huge mounds flank many of the holes – making ideal vantage points for thousands of spectators. The layout wends its way across the rolling, undulating hills of the South Downs.
Cupp has designed a cracking course that will test every level of golfer. The huge East course measures more than 7,100 yards from the back tees. But don’t be disillusioned; there are numerous forward tees to choose from. Putting is a real pleasure on the immaculate, manicured greens – no excuses for three putting. Driving is also thrilling – you can really open your shoulders and let rip. This is a relatively open course, with generous fairways. Thankfully, the rough is normally kept under control.
There are many testing holes and memorable ones too. But without a shadow of doubt, the piece de resistance is the 17th, a 450-yard par four. From the tee, everything is laid out clearly in front of you – it’s a daunting prospect. There’s a wily creek lying to the right of the green. It widens and narrows and widens again, almost reaching back to the tee. At all costs, the tee-shot must avoid the creek, leaving an approach across the water to a large, receptive and inviting green.
The whole East Sussex Nation complex is massive, from the car park and clubhouse, to the two excellent courses (East and West). In the British Isles, the level of customer service at East Sussex National is second to none. They certainly know how to look after you – your clubs will be cleaner at the end of the day, than at the start.
We thoroughly recommend a day playing the East and the West. It will be tiring – but well worth the effort. Take the pressure off and treat yourself to a buggy for the afternoon round.