Golf Course Review of Crowborough Beacon Golf Club

Crowborough Beacon Golf Club

Crowborough Beacon Golf Course

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Quick Summary: A quirky and hilly heathland course with some great holes

Our 5 Star Rating: 4.1

Crowborough Beacon Golf Club was founded in 1895 and boasts far-reaching views which are just as mesmerising as the golf course itself.

Admittedly I was a little disappointment with the condition on my visit in July 2015 but the strength of course still shone through and it’s easy to see why this venue is so highly regarded. Those taking advantage of a twilight green-fee of £25 certainly won’t be disappointed.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, author of the Sherlock Holmes mysteries, is listed as a former captain at this quirky, and at times hilly, heathland layout whilst those who quick-hook their tee-shot from the fourth are likely to spot a monument hidden in the trees which the local member I played with advised is a memorial to mark the death of nine Canadian soldiers killed when a Doodlebug came down on their camp.

The design was influenced by two legendary golf course architects; Harry S. Colt and Dr. Alister MacKenzie. Both have used the natural undulating terrain of Crowborough Common very well to create some dramatic stand-out holes.

The best of these come at the second; a sweeping two-shotter with a deep ravine to carry on the approach, the sixth; a superb par-three played across an old quarry with an option to run the ball in from the right and the tough 18th which plays out in front of the splendid clubhouse under its overlooking veranda from where the views are nothing short of glorious.

There are plenty of other fine holes that ask different questions of the golfer. The way that the opening hole falls away from the player requires you to be on your toes from the start and a number of the greens are best approached from a particular side; although doing this is not an easy task when the sloping fairways were running as fast as they were on my visit. I also particularly enjoyed the 14th which favours a ground approach and has the most wonderful backdrop.

The course has many similarities to nearby Royal Ashdown Forest and although there are sand-bunkers here there are many other natural humps and bumps for the golfer to negotiate.

At 6,319 yards versus a par of 71 Crowborough Beacon isn’t the longest course and with firm summer fairways the best advice I can offer is to ensure you keep the ball on the short stuff from the tee and avoid the masses of gnarly heather. One must often shape their ball into the fairways in order to keep on the fairway.

A word of warning also; the short 13th is unusual in that you must walk right past the 14th tee to play it before walking back. I suspect a number of first time visitors will miss this hole out in error and only play 17 holes!

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