fbpx
Piltdown Golf Club

Piltdown: The Sussex heathland with a colourful history

Piltdown Golf Club is one of the lesser known gems in the south of England, but it is a stunning venue.

 

There are special pockets of prime golfing land dotted around the British Isles and one of the lesser known, but most delightful, is to be found in the north of Sussex close to Uckfield.

It has given us Royal Ashdown Forest, Crowborough Beacon and, perhaps the prettiest of them all, Piltdown Golf Club.

Cutting through this uneven, elevated, heather-clad landscape are firm, sandy fairways and, in the case of Piltdown, a shade over 6,000 yards of unadorned, bunkerless pleasure.

Yes, the 18-hole course has no bunkers, but its narrow fairways, small greens and abundant heather, gorse and gullies provide a tempting challenge for the bold, strategic player, and staff will offer tips and tricks for playing your best round.

With an investment of over £500,000 over the past few years redesigning and improving the greens, Piltdown can now safely say it has some of the best greens in the area adding an extra dimension to the already challenging course.

All you need to know about Piltdown Golf Club

History

Piltdown was skilfully carved out of ancient Sussex heathland in 1904.

The club’s origins started with a German aristocrat, Count Alexander Munster, who wanted a course to rival Royal Ashdown Forest so he could tempt his visiting golfing friends and relatives to stay and play locally rather than heading to the seaside links.

Less designed than uncovered, the Royal Ashdown club professional Jack Rowe was responsible for turning this land into a golf course.

The five-time Open champion JH Taylor was responsible for improving if not re-designing the seven holes on what is now the near side of Shortbridge Road.

Over the last 20 years, a club member and landscape architect by profession, Philip Russell-Vick, has been responsible for the course’s continuing evolution and his work has concentrated on the removal of trees and restoration of heathland characteristics.

Piltdown became world famous when in 1912 amateur archaeologist Charles Dawson claimed to have found a 500,000-year-old skull, which proved the missing link between ape and man. Forty years later, it was established that the skull was an ingenious combination of a human cranium and an ape’s jaw.

Piltdown has featured in numerous books over the years, most notably in Frank Pennink’s ‘Choice of Golf Courses’ and the author commented that the course was “… one of the most charming clubs in the writer’s experience, with a natural, bunkerless course”.

What makes Piltdown Golf Club special?

Piltdown is a charming club with a clubhouse to match.

The listed building dates from the late 18th century and has not lost its simple style or atmosphere despite modernisation. As a visitor recently said, it remains “a sort of country inn with golf course attached”.

Piltdown is simply delightful from the moment you arrive – a course that will charm and confound in equal measure.

Where is it?

Piltdown is located in East Sussex just outside Ashdown Forest near the town of Uckfield.

Get in touch

For more information about the club and course, visit Piltdown’s website or call them on 01825 722 033.

Have you ever played at Piltdown? What did you think of the course? Let us know with a post on X/Twitter!

Latest Posts

Muirfield

Courses and Travel

How much is too much to pay for a round of golf?

Read full article - How much is too much to pay for a round of golf?
St Andrews

Courses and Travel

I shudder to think it – but I might never play the Old Course again

Read full article - I shudder to think it – but I might never play the Old Course again
Goswick Golf Club

Courses and Travel

The perfect golf trip on a budget? Here’s where our experts say you should go in 2024

Read full article - The perfect golf trip on a budget? Here’s where our experts say you should go in 2024
You can retrace this Open champion's famous steps

Courses and Travel

You can retrace this Open champion’s famous steps

Read full article - You can retrace this Open champion’s famous steps
Royal County Down

Courses and Travel

‘It’s not going to stop’: Expect to pay even more to play GB&I’s top 100 courses

Read full article - ‘It’s not going to stop’: Expect to pay even more to play GB&I’s top 100 courses
Turnberry

Courses and Travel

Could new changes to Turnberry get it back on The Open rota?

Read full article - Could new changes to Turnberry get it back on The Open rota?
Amendoeira Golf Resort

Courses and Travel

Amendoeira Golf Resort: Tour-Level Golf and Stunning Architecture

Read full article - Amendoeira Golf Resort: Tour-Level Golf and Stunning Architecture
Golf skiing hotel riml

Courses and Travel

Golf, Skiing & Spa – Hotel Riml has it all!

Read full article - Golf, Skiing & Spa – Hotel Riml has it all!
infinitum golf

Courses and Travel

Infinitum: Endless quality on and off the golf course

Read full article - Infinitum: Endless quality on and off the golf course