East Sussex National Golf Resort
The East Course was designed to test the talent of the world's finest golfers, and measuring 7,138 yards from the gold tees, is a formidable test. The East was the chosen course for the 1993 and 1994 European Opens, and has subsequently played host to five European Challenge Tour events and four PGA European Tour qualifying schools between 1994 and 1997. Cleverly placed tees permit the less competitive golfer to enjoy the character of the East, with blue tees providing a challenging 6,760 yards or, for the less ambitious the white tees measure a modest 6,046. The ladies have course ratings on both the white tees and their own LGU markers which measure 5,294 yards. Well bunkered greens and fairways on the front nine lull you into a false sense of security for the challenging back nine which contains arguably one of the best closing stretches in golf.
The West Course, formally known as ‘The Members Course', is often regarded as the more scenic, but is tighter from the tee and more undulating. Surprisingly, it is slightly longer than the East Course (7,154 yards) but there are tees to suit varying standards of golfer, the blues measuring 6,638 the whites 6,069 and the ladies 5,199. After a gentle opening dog leg par four, the second takes you uphill on a long par five to a tight green. From there you face a par three over water, followed by a gentle par four and the 5th, a long and the sprawling par five. Soon you reach the halfway point of the West, as you approach the 9th green and the magnificence of the country house hotel, Horsted Place. The closing stretch demands powerful and accurate ball-striking to ensure that you protect your score.
The Academy, at East Sussex National Golf Resort & Spa, has some of the finest practise facilities in Europe. The facilities include a 13 acre driving range, with open grassed and covered bays, greenside and fairway bunkers, pitching and chipping areas, three putting greens and a championship standard three-hole academy course.
On the West Course's long 17th, see if you can emulate the mighty John Daly in carrying your drive over the towering oak tree that guards the right side of the fairway.