West Sussex

West Sussex

West Sussex (Pulborough) Golf Club

West Sussex (Pulborough) | NCG Top 100s: GB&I Golf Courses

West Sussex Golf Club is nestled within the South Downs, approximately 50 miles south of London, and boasts some of the most captivating panoramic vistas of the surrounding countryside.

The West Sussex Golf Club was officially opened in 1931, having been designed by three outstanding golf architects, Hutchison, Campbell & Hotchkin. They are acknowledged to have created one of the most natural and aesthetically pleasing heathland courses in England.

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A Brief History of West Sussex (Pulborough) Golf Club

The history of West Sussex Golf Club in Pulborough is rich and steeped in tradition. It all began when Commander George Hilluyard recognized the potential of an area of marshland overlooking the beautiful landscape. This location, with its commanding views and natural beauty, seemed perfect for a scenic golf course.

In 1930, this vision became a reality when the course was designed and constructed by the skilled hands of Campbell and Hutchinson. The course was officially completed and opened for play in that same year.

Over the years, West Sussex Golf Course has remained true to its original design, changing very little. However, nature had its own plans. The course saw the gradual growth of numerous trees, primarily pines and birches, which were thoughtfully planted in the 1930s. These trees transformed the landscape from a more open setting into a lush and picturesque golfing environment.

To keep up with the evolving demands of the game, there have been some modifications to the course over time. Holes were lengthened to challenge golfers, and perhaps one of the most notable changes was the transformation of the 6th hole. Originally a dogleg par-4, it was altered to a straight par-3, adding variety and intrigue to the round.

Through all these changes and adaptations, West Sussex Golf Course has retained its unique charm and character. It continues to offer golfers a blend of history, natural beauty, and challenging play, making it a beloved destination for golf enthusiasts seeking a timeless golfing experience in the heart of Pulborough.

West Sussex (Pulborough) Review | NCG Top 100s: GB&I Golf Courses

At under 6,400 yards from the back markers West Sussex is the apotheosis of a traditional, heathland course. This “little sandy jewel set in the Sussex clay”, as Bernard Darwin put it, is among the best-loved inland courses in the British Isles. But while Pulborough, as it is known to the locals, is a simply delightful place to play at any time of the year, do not make the mistake of expecting a pushover. Rather, the modest yardage is a consequence of the longest hole, the 1st, being only 484 yards. The first-time visitor will inevitably wander on to the 2nd tee with his guard very much down.
By that time, the charming clubhouse will have been noted, surrounded as it is by pleasant woodland and firm fairways extending away into the distance in several directions. With a bit of luck, this gentle opening hole will have yielded a comfortable five, or maybe even a birdie, and all will seem well in the world.
Unfortunately, the only par 5 on the course has been and gone and lying in wait ahead are no fewer than six par 4s in excess of 410 yards while two of the quintet of short holes come in at over 220.

In other words, it is real and serious golf from this point onwards. The par is a measly 68 and a glance at the standard scratch of 70 will tell you all you need to know. Designed by Cecil Hutchison and Guy Campbell, Pulborough can fairly be described as a golfing oasis.

This is no Surrey sand belt and the area is not renowned for its courses. Yet, somehow, it is all the better for that.

In style, it is a layout where thoughtful driving is rewarded and the springy, fast fairways mean that an accurate shot is well rewarded by a generous couple of bounces forward. The short holes are outstanding. Perhaps the pick are the two longest, the 6th and 12th.
The former looks like a par 4 in miniature – and that is exactly what it is. From an elevated tee, it curves around a pond to a green protected on the left by a bank of heather. It calls for a draw with a long club and playing short and right is often a good idea if a four is the limit of your ambitions.
The 12th is beautifully framed by heather and does what all good holes of this type should – namely offer a generous, flat target considering the distance but demand a well-struck shot if a par is to be recorded. This hole marks the beginning of Pulborough’s outstanding closing stretch.

The 13th is honest and uphill while the next sweeps down and to the right to a sunken green. The shortest hole on the course follows, where a wickedly sloping green is defence enough, before arguably the best two-shotter, which is high praise indeed.
Here, you must play uphill to an unseen plateau and the quality of the drive has a huge impact on the second shot, played over a valley of heather to the green beyond. From the right place, you will have a flat lie, a good view and a short iron in hand.
Otherwise, the approach is treacherous. The green slopes steeply from back to front, and a four here is a particularly good score despite the modest yardage.
If this is tricky, the last two holes are quite simply tough. Both are well over 400 yards and in total four of anyone’s best shots are required to find the greens in regulation. At which point, you may be wondering what happened to your relaxed air as you left the 1st green looking forward to a profitable round ahead.

Is there accommodation at West Sussex Golf Club?

No, West Sussex Golf Club does not have its own accommodation, however there are several hotel nearby.

How much are green fees at West Sussex Golf Club?

Throughout 2024, the most expensive green fee at West Sussex (Pulborough) comes on the summer weekends. That will cost you £175, while a round through the week will cost £140.

In the winter season, from November to March, the rate comes down to £110, which stands for the entire week.

Where is West Sussex Golf Club located?

West Sussex Golf Club is nestled within the South Downs, approximately 50 miles south of London, boasting some of the most captivating panoramic vistas of the surrounding countryside.

A mile from the town of Pulborough, West Sussex is around 30 miles from London Gatwick Airport. That makes it within easy reach of international visitors. London Heathrow Airport, the busiest in the United Kingdom, is located 50 miles to the north of West Sussex.

Visit West Sussex's website here.
Go back to the NCG Top 100s Homepage.