Founded in 1889, Littlehampton Golf Club is the oldest club in West Sussex and the only true links course in the west of the county. The English Channel and harbourside location combine to make an ideal seaside links.
Our Society played yesterday on an eventually lovely day and thoroughly enjoyed our game. The course mixes up links holes with more relaxing in land holes but all with good firm turf and true running links greens. The strong opening leads along the beach side dunes until the turn, an excellent par 3, after which a number of holes run along a wide stream that as OOB gives good definition to what on other courses can be more dull homeward holes. Very friendly staff in the comfortable club house. Speaking with the manager after our round, the new green keeper is continuing to make great progress with work on bunkers also planned. A quick, very good value round of golf an ideal Society venue where non Links golfers can get a taste of the real thing, but I would recommend to anyone in the area. as the only links between Rye and Hayling and the course going in the right direction, its star should continue to rise.
Littlehampton has one of the best starts to any links course I have played. The opening two holes really are of the highest order.
The first is a formidable opener with fairway bunkers to initially avoid down the right but it is the green setting that makes this such an engaging starting hole.
It sits beyond a ridge that houses two deep bunkers with a further hazard eating into the putting surface short and right. The hole climbs from tee to green gradually and has a real air of quality about it.
The second doesn’t quite have the grandeur of the first but makes up for that with the options it presents from the tee; a gathering bunker at around 230 yards, in a shallow gully down the left side of the fairway, is the key to this hole. It can be skirted down the right on higher ground but only the purest of shots will achieve this and there is also a bunker to navigate there too. The shelf green sits on the hillside beneath dunes with a steep drop off to the right and a very deep bunker waiting for anything leaked to that side. And with this hole running alongside the shore it is prone to crosswinds too, making the challenge even harder.
There’s no way a course could maintain this high standard for the remainder of the round and Littlehampton inevitably doesn’t but there are enough holes throughout to make this a worthwhile visit, especially for those seeking links golf on the south coast, an area not rich in this style of golf.
Ed is the founder of Golf Empire – click the link to read his full review.
Littlehampton is a neat little links course in an area not rich with links courses, Hayling at about an hour west and Rye at about an hour east the nearest neighbours. The front nine is the more interesting and varied with the back nine played over fairly flat ground. There is a ridge of dunes that run down the border of the course and it forms a great backdrop for a few holes and comes into play off the tee on a few of the longer holes on the front 9. The placement of the bunkers was excellent thoughout the course, the greens had a bit of give in them so were receptive to the odd good shot in I managed to play in and were quite large and flat with subtle borrows. The fairways were in reasonable condition and the shape of a number of holes were good, often favouring the draw. The rough was usually thin enough to find it but in some places it was fairly heavy. This is #47 in my quest to play all the links courses and I have yet to play a bad one (Southport Muni, barely a links but in the “True Links” book, the lowest ranked so far) and LHampton comes in towards the end as well but still a good course. Warren from Australia.