East Sussex National (West) - Sussex - England

East Sussex National Golf Resort,
Little Horsted,
Uckfield,
East Sussex,
TN22 5ES,
England


  • +44 (0) 1825 880088

  • Russell Lines

  • Bob Cupp

  • Sarah MacLennan


Visit Golfbreaks.com for a golf holiday at East Sussex National (West)

The West course is considered to be the more intimate, and the prettier of the two courses at the East Sussex National Golf Resort. Once the reserve of the members, the West course can now be played as part of a visitor’s package.

Bob Cupp designed both courses and they opened for play in 1990. Cupp used bent grass from tee to green, and the result is an American-styled course, with plenty of definition between the various cuts of grass. The West is the longer of the two courses, measuring a massive 7,154 yards from the back tees. Host to the Challenge Tour Championships between 1995-1998, the West course represents a serious test of golf. It was also used for the European Tour Qualifying School between 1994-1997. But don’t be put off, there are four separate teeing areas and the course measures only 6,069 yards from the regular men’s tees (5,199 yards from the ladies’ tees).

Attractive views of the South Downs are part of the package. The ground is undulating and there are plenty of mature trees to negotiate. There are also many memorable holes. The 3rd is a pretty par three – aim for Little Horsted Church. Protecting the green to the right is a pond. The green itself is two-tiered and it’s an especially difficult hole to play when the flag is at the back on the upper tier. But it’s the par fives that are special. From the back tees, they all measure in excess of 500 yards. Little Horsted creek meanders along the entire length of the 12th hole, a demanding and impressive par five. The creek turns into a small pond, lying in wait to the right of the green. A par here will be cherished.

The Strokesaver beautifully sums up the West’s closing holes: “The golfer has been restricted at 14, tempted at 15, devilled at 16 and exhausted at 17. Now he stands on the elevated tee, looking across a deep chasm to a fairway lined right and left by giant oaks, and a green guarded by huge bunkers and the clubhouse beyond.”

East Sussex National is a stylish golf complex. It was voted Golf Club of the Year in the 1994 edition of Following the Fairways. There is no doubt that this is one of the country’s most welcoming and customer-focused golf clubs. A day playing the West and the East will be exhausting, but well worth the effort.

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Reviews for East Sussex National (West)

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Description: The West course is considered to be the more intimate, and the prettier of the two courses at the East Sussex National golf complex. Rating: 7 out of 10 Reviews: 16
TaylorMade
Josh P

The West Course at East Sussex National is a brutal test of golf. From the tee, it’s extremely tight and narrow, so make sure you have plenty of balls. This claustrophobia means the player is left with no options but to hit the shot required from the tee.

From the start the course dictates to you how you must play it, the opener is a sharp dog leg left where the player must position themselves perfect to even have a shot into the green.

The greens are tough, and at times (such as the long well bunkered par 5 2nd), are extremely small even with a lot of trouble from tee to green. This is not true of the short par 3 16th postage stamp style hole, which is a lot of fun to try and hold a small green with only a wedge in hand. There are also bigger greens throughout the 18 holes.

A personal favourite here is the 10th hole, a dog leg to the right, with water guarding the green. Even without the water, the green is narrow, and so distance control is crucial, and the two-tiered green means some interesting putts. The par 5 12th has two brooks, which does give the player the option of some risk/reward golf, and the green is hard to hit with even just a wedge left in hand.

Overall, this isn’t my favourite style of golf- a hard slog which is narrow off the tee, but when the conditioning is good I can imagine the greens would offer some interest.

July 20, 2020
4 / 10
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Joe Sheldrake

I was very impressed with both courses at East Sussex National And find it hard to split them.

As for the West, the conditioning was great, the course was fun, interesting and played across beautiful undulating countryside. Yes, it’s not an old-fashioned design - it’s pure modern parkland and the turf isn’t as sandy as some of the best in the region - but this is still a place with a lot of charm.

The first hole requires good strategy - a simple enough drive but it needs to be placed perfectly to have a good view of the green (which is at a 90 degree angle to the fairway, nestled at the bottom of the hill amongst the trees).

2 is a long but interesting par 5 and 3 is a lovely short par 3 with a pond short and right.

4-6 are all quite similar, interesting enough holes played on the slightly more open ground before you cross under the road.

7 is a long par 3 and the start of a great stretch of holes all the way to 14. 8 is an interesting par 4 played severely downhill To a large green that is hard to hold in the Summer months. 9 is a tough uphill par 4 that sweeps around to the left beautifully and 10 is a great par 4 with the second shot needing to carry a lake to a tiered green.

11 plays downhill from an elevated tee (a great driving hole) and 12 is a brilliant par 5 (extremely tight with a stream running all the way along the hole and the green sloping Menacingly towards it. 13 - another good par 3 played from an elevated tee and 14 is a great hole with Trouble all the way down the right and a tough approach into an elevated green.

The final few holes are strong. 16 is incredibly short and gets a bad review from some below but I really enjoyed it. It was playing about 100 yards for us and was Downwind. The greens were rock solid and to hold this narrow green with a wedge was a great challenge.

17 is a pretty par 5 with the trees coming into play on the right hand side, as well as some mature trees In the middle of the fairway - requiring a lot of strategy.

18 is a tough final hole with mature trees on either side of the tight fairway. The approach is uphill to a tricky green.

This is a delightful little gem and Definitely worth playing alongside the East.

May 04, 2020
7 / 10
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RM61

Upon opening ESN The West course was billed as the members course. Like its counterpart the conditioning was excellent and the routing through old oak trees, brooks and ponds gave the course a special feel. The West is less demanding than the East but still has some standout holes. I quite like the 1st a dogleg from right to left although if you do not hit your tee shot far enough a couple of large trees will block your approach. Hole 10 is a dog leg left to right par 4…the right side of the fairway is the area to place your tee shot as this shortens the approach to this two tiered green. The 12th is a cracking par 5 with a brook that splits the fairway and pond that protects the approach to the green. Hole 16 is an interesting short par 3 with a raised green….this hole is devilishly difficult when windy. I prefer the East course at ESN although both courses are worth a visit.

April 06, 2020
5 / 10
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James
I remember making the trip to play here when the courses first opened in 1990 to great fanfare. The much anticipated opening was big news back then. Billed as England's Augusta, no expense was spared in laying out the course and by implementing fastidious maintenance, they kept it beyond immaculate. It was built at a time when the propensity for building new courses to satiate demand from an oversubscribed golf market was at gold rush fever pitch. Established clubs at the time had waiting lists in years and I for one remember waiting patiently in the car park in a numbered bay for a tee time at the local municipal in Southampton from 4 A.M. for a midday tee time the same day. So it looked like a good Idea, until we had the ERM, Norman Lament and a not inconsiderable recession. The original credit crunch was the full fat, pips squeaking variety that turned sure things into folly overnight.Since then many courses have happily come along, Some as extravagant in concept as East Sussex National, Some even more so. Some not. East Sussex has subsequently changed ownership a few times and some lesser tracks like Botley Park in Hampshire are sadly going to disappear under a new housing estate very soon, not 25 years since they were laid down. I digress. I was keen to see if the initial awe I experienced here, when my Balata balls, spanked with persimmon clubs (I Know, late adopter) only just reached the fairways from the back tees. Would that view still resonate in the new titanium century? Back then it seemed outrageously long and a real privilege to play. How times have changed. We arrived on a bargain Golf break. It really is unbeatable. On arrival the gilded gates remain but are now perceptibly burnished and since the huge expense at the beginning you get the feeling that there has been an understandably more pragmatic approach to the commercial elements put in place. The West is my pick of the courses, still a majestic layout on clay. I prefer the routing through the mature Oaks and the variety of the holes. They moved a lot of Earth here to create the courses but they were also aided by some excellent parkland that they worked with and not against. Condition is not what it was back then, it could not possibly last commercially at that level. It is perfectly acceptable however. It is still very good. You will enjoy these courses.I feel now that this complex has survived its difficult birth and precocious adolescence, the difficult and impecunious early twenties might soon yield to an era when perhaps new money will elevate these courses with a few tweaks. The off course facilities lack soul but are first class none the less. The bones are there. All courses must evolve, I hope this one does. It deserves it.
November 11, 2014
6 / 10
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david warrick
Big American style course with a lot of space for most, but not all, drives. Fun to play, it invites you to go for shots. Greens in good condition, though I found them difficult to read. I thought the Par 3s were good, especially 13th. The 16th is a bit quirky being so short, but that adds a bit more variety. A superb run of holes from 10 to 14. The front nine less memorable, with some of them - 6,8,9 - seeming quite similar. The long rough has been left to grow very thick which looks good but I would guess slows up play when its busy. Locally, Chart Hills is similar; to me East Sussex is a bit more varied, but greens not quite so good.
July 05, 2013
8 / 10
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Malcolm Searle
Sussex isn't blessed with an abundance of great courses unlike neighbouring Surrey, so it was a pleasure to play this one. I'm sure it gets a fair amount of corporate traffic in the week, but on a Saturday in August it was pretty, tranquil and not too busy. I agree the 16th was a little lacklustre, but 17 & 18 more than compensated. Loads of variety here - good fast greens, excellent service, great practice facilities, good value I thought. Can't wait to go back and see if the East is as much fun.
August 06, 2011
8 / 10
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Goffy
I had heard good things about East Sussex National so I was looking forward to playing the West course and I have to say that I was not disappointed. We played off the very back tees which probably made it a little too long for me but it didn’t detract from the experience. It's one of those courses where the holes seem to get better as you go through the round, I really liked the 10th hole where a good drive will set you up a mid-iron over water to a 2 tier green. I also liked the 12th, 13th and the long par 4 14th. The practice facilities were excellent as was the service from the staff.
September 17, 2010
6 / 10
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Andy Newmarch
I have recently returned from an overnight trip staying at the East Sussex National Resort to play both courses and have to say, I really enjoyed the visit. I did play here back in the mid 90's but could not remember many holes.East Sussex Nationa (West) - Photo by Andy I played the West course first and thoroughly enjoyed the variety of holes - in fact it is not until the 9th that consecutive holes have the same par. Pick of the front nine is the 8th; a par-4 around 400 yards with a blind drive and then a tricky downhill approach. Toughest hole has to be 10th; another par-4 around 400 yards but the shot to the green this time is over water at the green. The 12th is a conundrum; a par-5 and without a doubt the key shot is the second as there is a water hazard about 150 yards from the green - an exact lay-up is required. There is a negative point on the back nine and that is the 16th; I love par-3's but this is a poor hole - it is ultra short (70-133 yards) and there are no features to justify this length ('take the tee back, there is room'). Overall the course is very pleasing on the eye and when compared to similar style of courses (Hanbury Manor, Chart Hills and even Brocket Hall), the West certainly holds it's own and probably is just ahead of the second course here, which is the East (but it is a close shout).
August 29, 2010
8 / 10
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2 people found this review helpful

richard
have to agree played here back in 02 and had a great stay played two rounds and loved it a good challenge and lovely scenery would visit again
February 25, 2010
6 / 10
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Max
A lovely american-style course. It has several mounds and undulations. The back nine were brilliant but apart from the first the front nine was comparitively dull. The greens were of a very high standard. Be sure to carry the ball on to the green on the full. The course makes great use of the trees and hills and it is a must play. However the bar afterwards was dreary and dull.
November 08, 2009
8 / 10
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