Mannings Heath (Waterfall)Horsham, England
- AddressHammerpond Rd, Mannings Heath, Horsham RH13 6PG, UK
Mannings Heath Golf Club is set in 500 acres of rolling Sussex downs and the Waterfall is one of England’s best but least well known inland courses. There are 36 holes to enjoy at Mannings Heath, but the Waterfall is the original course and it’s widely considered to be the best (the second course is called the Kingfisher). The Waterfall course dates back to 1905, we don’t know for certain who originally designed it, but we are led to believe that Harry Colt was an influence. We’d love to hear from anyone who knows more.
The 1st tee is set in the shadow of gorgeous 17th century clubhouse and it’s a spectacular and daunting prospect. From the elevated tee, a long and accurate drive over a wooded valley is the order of the day. The 2nd is a very short par four, but this comes too early in the round for most of us to take too much advantage. The 5th is one of the most dramatic one-shot holes in Sussex with an elevated tee shot to a green set in a most unusual punchbowl. It heralds the beginning of a fine run of holes.
Measuring 6,683 yards from the tips, the Waterfall course is not the longest layout in the land but many of the holes are supremely testing and demand accuracy from the tee. There is a lovely feeling of seclusion, created by the mature trees and the dramatic undulating terrain. The up and down nature of the land presents a tough walk in places and many people opt to take a buggy, especially if 36 holes are on the agenda.
It’s hard to categorise the Waterfall course, it’s a bit of a hybrid, a mix of heathland, downland and parkland. But this is an exciting, amusing and entertaining course which holds the interest all the way round. Mannings Heath is well worth a visit.
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Harry Colt studied law at Clare College, Cambridge. Twelve months after his 1887 enrolment, he joined the committee of the Cambridge University Golf Club and in 1889 became the club's first captain.
East Sussex National (West)