Golf Life: Crowborough Beacon
PUBLISHED: 00:16 13 December 2011 | UPDATED: 20:26 20 February 2013
Clive Agran is touring Sussex golf courses. This month he visits Crowborough Beacon, close to the former home of Sherlock Holmes author, Arthur Conan Doyle
A REGULAR in lists of the countrys top 100 courses, Crowborough Beacon is simply superb. The view from the first tee alone although not quite as good as the one from the clubhouse terrace nearly 800 feet above sea level is almost worth the green fee on its own. Dont be too distracted by the scenery, however, as the opening drive has to carry a significant expanse of heather.
A true heathland course, heather features prominently and most will tangle with it several times during a round. Assuming youre lucky enough to find your ball, the best advice is dont be too ambitious but get back onto the short stuff as quickly as possible.
The close proximity of trees and dense undergrowth to the often sloping fairways put a premium on accuracy which, since the course is not terribly long by modern standards, is more important than power. Bunkers, too, feature prominently and are best avoided.
The other key ingredient that contributes enormously to the courses appeal is the succession of wonderfully elevated tees. With so much height at their disposal, the courses designers which include the legendary Dr Alister MacKenzie who went on to create Augusta National must have relished the opportunity of working with such fine topography. There was no need to shift huge volumes of earth around to create features as nature had already done the job and the course retains a wonderfully natural look.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who lived close to the second hole, is the most famous former member. He was captain of the club in 1910 and his wife was lady captain the following year. Quite what the famous author would have made of a recent relaxation in the dress code to permit the wearing of smart jeans in the clubhouse is a matter of conjecture but he would surely have approved of the appointment of the new general manager nudging his old club into the 21st century. Its elementary really, as the managers name is Holmes.
- Crowborough Beacon Golf Club, Beacon Road, Crowborough,
East Sussex. TN6 1UJ
- 01892 661 511