One of the more recent centurion clubs in England, Nevill Golf Club was founded in 1914, when Willie Park Junior established a 9-hole layout for the members. Five years later, within twelve months of The Great War ending, James Braid was commissioned to modify the original course and add another nine holes in order to fashion a full 18-hole track.
Braid’s scope of work included upgrading a number of the greens: re-laying the putting surface on the 1st and 8th, enlarging the surface area of the 5th and re-contouring the 6th. He also set out seven new holes on newly acquired land over the railway bridge, where the old master made skillful use of the undulating land.
After the end of World War II, Ken Cotton’s design company was engaged in to make modifications and a new 6th hole was added. Henry Cotton then redesigned the layout in the mid-1960s, bringing the current par four 14th and par three 15th into play and he altered five other holes, extending the course by around 400 yards.
Just ahead of the club’s centenary, Donald Steel was asked to review the course infrastructure then recommend improvements that would hopefully see the club through its next one hundred years. This resulted in the removal and relocation of a number of bunkers, the lengthening of several holes and the restructuring of the club’s tree management program.
Today, the course measures a respectable 6,380 yards from the back tees, playing to a par of 70, with the back-to-back par fives at the 10th and 11th considered the best two holes on the card. All of the par three holes at Nevill are demanding, especially the last one at the 15th, where a little stream cuts across the front of the green.No fewer than three European Tour professionals – Jamie Spence, Paul Way and Jamie Harris – have come through the ranks at Nevill, which speaks volumes for the quality of the club’s academy system. Of course, it also indicates the course’s ability to offer a stern enough challenge to steel elite players for the rigours of the professional circuit.
I have been a member of this club for over 15 years. The course currently is, without doubt, in the best condition I have ever known, which is testament to the excellent works completed around the course over the last 3 years. The greens are fast, true and fair. In my opinion, this course is certainly one of the best ones in Sussex and indeed Kent. As a result of the above the club is currently attracting numerous new members, especially as The Board have dispensed with the "joining fee". Well done the Management and volunteer Members who have done a magnificent job of clearing the course of unwanted trees / bushes, having a very positive effect on "air flow" throughout our wonderful course. We also have many resident deer by the way, which look lovely, but sometimes create their own issues!
I have been a Nevill member for 3 years after moving to the area and recommend it highly. The course is a Par 70 with narrow, tree-lined fairways and a challenging but beautiful mix of holes, you certainly need to think your way around. The greens are particularly good, some of the best in the South of England - very true and fast in the summer months. The club is friendly and welcoming for visitors and societies, with great food and nice terrace to have a drink after the round. Halfway house is also excellent.
The Nevill now has,probably,the best greens in all of Sussex ,if not beyond.All year round.Very challenging but fair.