18 reviews of Crowborough Beacon Golf Club
Trees have replaced heather in many parts of the course which, in a few places, has severely weakened the architectural merits of the course. A few pictures of the course from its hayday will indicate to the expert exactly how so. Nonetheless, Crowborough is a cracker. If you can play a course you know to be well below what it should be but still be hugely impressed, you know you've played an outstanding layout. Crowborough has a quaintness to it which has you half expecting Bertie Wooster to appear from the clubhouse, Jeeves following behind with hickories over shoulder. A great experience.
Crowborough was once a course for the local aristocracy and, in keeping with it's history, it still oozes class.
It's not the open heathland it once was when it was at it's very best and a chainsaw here and there is needed to restore it to its past glories but, by and large, it will still impress those who appreciate fine golf. It may currently be a slightly damaged masterpiece but, nonetheless, it remains one of the finest of Sussex courses.
If I'm critical of Crowborough, it's important to note that I'm only being critical when placing it in a bracket with top end second tier courses. Crowborough is a VERY long way above average.
So what's wrong? Well, the club website gives more than hint when it mentions trees replacing heather on the dogleg of the 2nd. Refreshingly honest but an indication that the club has no idea just how fundamental an architectural no-no this is. Bernard Darwin pointed out that the hole back in the 20's was a Cape Hole, meaning the player was required to consider just how much of that dogleg could be cut off. Sadly, trees in place of heather then means the integrity of the hole is destroyed. There are similar faults in a number of places where trees have been allowed to stifle architectural qualities. Essentially, a trained design expert needs to throw a bit of intelligence and TLC at the layout. There are plenty amongst the new breed of architects who are passionate about these classic courses and restoring the course surely wouldn't be too tough.
For all that, Crowborough has a class and charm like very few others. It is wonderfully English, olde worlde even, and the sort of place you can't be unhappy about for too long. There's an uncommercial, 'money is a vulgar word' mentality here which will leave you wanting to return.
I do hope Crowborough can make the changes necessary to get it back to its very best. The game needs more courses like this.
Played here on a Sunday afternoon having booked through Teeofftimes for the princely sum of £25.
This is a very special golf course: the views alone are worth 25 quid although, they're a double edged sword in that it's a bit difficult to concentrate at times. And concentration is an absolute prerequisite here because, in places this is a brute. As previously mentioned, there're serious carries, ball hungry heather, steep run offs and punitive rough.
There are parts of the front nine that are seriously intimidating and the rest is only slightly easier.
I play (badly) off 21 and managed to scramble 33 points and consider it one of my finest achievements!
If you're a 12 - 15 h'caper who thinks he/she can play a bit, get down there and give yourself a test.
Having said that, whatever your h'cap, if you like a challenge, great views and something really different, you'll be hard pressed to find something better in the south of England or indeed, anywhere.
One negative: I went in the clubhouse for a drink before the round and there's a bloke in there, presumably a member, holding court at the bar who's effing and blinding like a good 'un despite the fact that there were two women serving at the bar; just struck me as a bit odd.
I agree entirely with the general tenor of the previous good reports. When you are met by the Secretary who explains that the course is not playing it's best after a particularly cold and difficult winter it almost raises your expectations - it did not disappoint.
Plenty of brutal carries, plenty of ups and downs, a bit of ball searching, but all offering an enjoyable challenge. One of the best heather & gorse (Surry type) courses I have played, made even more enjoyable by the friendly reception of the staff and Pro.
As noted by some other reviewers, the first thing that strikes you at Crowborough Beacon are the views. I was lucky enough to play on a crystal clear April afternoon and from the balcony of the clubhouse all I could see was miles and miles of unspoilt, rolling countryside.
However, this is not all Crowborough has to offer....far from it! The course itself is superb and extremely challenging. The general make-up is heathland with large swathes of heather and gorse ready to gobble up loose balls. On many holes you are required to carry these obstacles from the tee but if you are striking the ball reasonably well they will not come into play. The course also includes several changes of elevation which make for some great looking tee shots and challenging approaches. There wasn't really one weak hole and some were real brutes.
The day I played followed an unseasonably good period of weather and the course was absolutely rock solid. This meant that you really need to think about where you land your ball, both off the tee and on approaches. There was certainly no attacking the flag and stopping it dead on the green.....land it short and bounce on was the order of the day.
Despite being bone dry the course condition was good. Greens were occasionally like lightning, cut very tight but still with a perfect covering of grass which ensured a good roll.
Pro shop welcome and service in the bar were excellent. All in all a great set-up.
Played here midweek ,Sept. 09 ( £ 22 after 2.30 ).
Good quality tree lined & heather course combined with great views & plenty of elevation changes.
Virtually all the holes are interesting & have got something about them .Well designed ,i'm struggling to think of a hole that i thought was weak .
Nice variety in the holes & the balance is just right .Two excellent short par 4's (8th & 11th ) & as a collection ,the par 3's here are hard to beat .Usually it's quite easy to pick out a favourite hole but there are so many decent holes that it's difficult to single one out.Everyone will have a different favourite .
Far reaching views from the many high points & the routeing means you don't often see other holes apart from the one you're one & fairly quickly you get lost & lose your bearings out on the course .
Quite a few dramatic, elevated tee shots & if a golf magazine came here wanting great course photos they would be spoilt for choice .
Slick ,testing greens & i thought it was a fair course .e.g the par 5 7th gives you a chance to reach in two but you need to be ultra precise with your second as it all narrows right down near the green & you have to allow for a sloping faiway .
There aren't many fairway bunkers but the approaches are tricky i.e at the 1st i had to land the it short of the sloping away green.It's quite an exacting course ,so to shoot a score all parts of your game have to be working well .
Great clubhouse terrace position which sits 800 ft above sea level.
Friendly & welcoming pro.
I found it a tiring course to play ,particularly the finish ,& because of this i probably wouldn't want to play it regularly ,but for the twilight rate ( normal g.f is £56 ) if you've never played here it's a definite play .
Played here on March 31st using their Winter offer of a day ticket for £33 and gave myself the target of playing 54 holes!! Was first out so went round quickly and found the course in very good condition - some tough holes - a few dog-leg lefts where the fairway slopes away to the right to punish you further. Om my 2nd round was partially held-up by a society but not too much to make it a problem and had no issues on the 3rd round.
Clubhouse was excellent - good service and tasty food at good value. Pro shop was very helpful and I would love to go back there again.
Played this local course to me and found it very good. There is no water on the course and not many bunkers either. They have made great use of the surrounding countryside to give you natural hazards such as heather. The rough is deep and stray off the narrow fairways at your peril. It is not a long course by any means but hilly making it feel like youve worked hard around the course. Accuracy is the key here. There are so many elevated tees. A real treat for me as I love them. All in all a good course, but a little up market the members were not a particularly pleasant bunch giving you looks as if you shouldnt be there, but apart from that it was good. 2 Fore 1 vouchers are a must as the round is too expensive otherwise.
Beautiful course set out well in forest/heathland with holes often well screened from each other, so without experience of the course you really do lose yourself in the layout (in a nice way!). Many elevation changes throughout the course keep each hole interesting, but some respite is recieved on many greens, where a potentially arduous route from tee to green is met with a welcome level surface. Not to say that there aren't some in there that will give you something to think about for your line!
Fantastic holes have been mentioned before and I'd certainly go along with what they say.
Course condition was very good, even having endured a pretty dry summer, with greens running well.
Downside? Well, we were pretty annoyed before we started as the pro-shop, situated in a separate building from the clubhouse, doesn't take cards for green fee payments. So we had to remove our golf shoes and change back into regular shoes (golf shoes not allowed in the clubhouse), go into the clubhouse to pay at the bar, then change back into golf shoes to go out and pay. That's a pretty big oversight at a club where you are paying £50 per person (if you don't use 2-fore-1). Do many people carry that amount of cash about with them? Well, you'll be better prepared than we were having read this :)
I played this great course last summer, a real hidden gem. Great views, beware you will need to be at your best to play to your handicap! Good 19th as well .
A marvellous heathland course with splendid views, as others have already said. Hole 2 has a super 2nd shot over a crater, while the par 3 6th requires a 150 yard carry over a ravine. Excellent final 4 holes as well. Played at the end of January and the greens were excellent. Green fees are now £50 per round, but they do take 241 vouchers which makes it good value.
Good food at the 19th, and special mention for the friendly welcome from the pro and members.
Extensive work with the woodland trust has only improved on the magnificent views. The new greenkeeper and his team has restored the course to rival the best available in the UK. The course demands and rewards accuracy from tee shots. On late summer evenings every hole gives hazy views across the downs dotted with hot air balloons. Afterwards a drink on the terrace cannot be bettered.
I played this course just over a week ago. This has got to be one of the best courses in the whole of England. Accuracy is very important with lots of beautiful heather just waiting to swallow your bad shots. Previous reports talk about the views and they are more than justified. The 2nd hole is great, as are the 5th and 6th - each one of those memorable golf holes. The greenkeeping staff must be very proud of what they have done. I look forward to playing there again.
Great views. Take plenty of balls.
A magnificent rolling heathland course in the heart of sleepy East Sussex.Superb views over the south downs as far as Eastbourne on a clear day.Tight and long making it a real test of all your shot making abilities.Played it the same day as "Tarby" and 3 of his friends!!!!
An excellent heathland course with super views of the southdowns. Long caries of some tees but good shots are rewarded. Look out for the sixteenth tee, the views are excellent an the hole is superb.
A great course with some great views.\r\nThe greens were true and quick.\r\nThe view from the 2nd tee is worth the green fee alone,shame i shanked my ball into the trees!!\r\n\r\n1999\r\n
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