Golf Life: Mannings Heath Golf Club
PUBLISHED: 01:16 06 June 2011 | UPDATED: 19:30 20 February 2013
Clive Agran is on a tour of Sussex golf courses. This month he visits Mannings Heath Golf Club
A coupleof mysteries surround the glorious Waterfall Course at Mannings Heath Golf Club near Horsham. Was it built in 1905 or just before the First World War? And what involvement did the legendary course architect Harry Colt have in its design? What is indisputable, however, is that the course is one of the finest in the county with an exceptional set of par threes.
The fifth is the first of them. Because the tee is elevated way above the bowl-shaped green, the hole plays much shorter than its 184 yards. A similarly lofty tee at the signature tenth creates loads of hang-time and not a little anxiety before the ball happily thumps onto the green way below.
The 14th is the final and shortest par three. The tee is tucked into the edge of a wood and a sign attached to a nearby tree pays tribute to the Second World War crew of a Halifax bomber, two of whom were killed when their plane was forced to ditch nearby after an engine caught fire in February 1945. One of the propellers hangs in the clubhouse.
Because the course nestles in a valley, water is never very far away and is a factor on no fewer than 11 holes. Theres also plenty of mature woodland and the undulating terrain adds significantly to the courses enormous charm.
Gary Player described the challenging 11th as one of the finest par fours in the world. Other greats who have played the course include two past European Ryder Cup captains Seve Ballestero and Sir Nick Faldo and the present incumbent, Jose-Maria Olazabal.
With 13 sets of new tees recently constructed, the Waterfall course is in better shape than ever. The only problem is getting on as play is restricted to Mannings Heath members and their guests, visiting societies and those staying either in the nearby South Lodge Hotel or the on-site Fullers Cottage.
Fourteen-year-old Gregor Macintosh, a junior member at Mannings Heath Golf Club has hit a stunning vein of form early in the season, winning the Sussex Under 14s Scratch Championship and his first senior club trophy, the Mannings Heath Masters.
The Crawley based player, who picked up his first club at the age of four, has reduced his handicap by a massive 16 shots since the start of last season and now plays off 10. Gregor carded a 77 (net 65) to win the Under 14s Scratch Trophy at Hollingbury Golf Club and then to add to his growing tally of titles won the Mannings Heath Masters, his first senior club title, with a staggering 78 points over the 36 hole event.
Gregor, who counts the flamboyant American Rickie Fowler as his favourite player, was introduced to the game by his father Neil and is coached by former European Tour Professional and Mannings Heath's Resident Teaching Professional Carl Watts.
Mannings Heath Golf Club has a designated and flourishing Junior Academy under the guidance of Carl Watts who also runs the Exclusive Golf Tuition School and brings more than 25 years of competitive and coaching experience to the youngsters within the Sussex club.
Mannings Heath Golf Club
Mannings Heath, Horsham
Satnav: RH13 6PG
T: 01403 210228