Golf Life: Piltdown Golf Club
PUBLISHED: 00:16 31 December 2011 | UPDATED: 20:29 20 February 2013
Clive Agran is touring Sussex golf courses. This month he heads for Piltdown and enjoys a welcome break from ending up in the sand
If you hate bunkers, youll love Piltdown because theres not even one of those nasty sand-filled hazards anywhere on the course. However, there are plenty of other problems, not least pretty clumps of heather. Strategically placed to cause maximum mayhem, they gobble up golf balls and grab clubheads.
There are in fact two types of heather flourishing on the course, which between them ensure Piltdown goes purple from July to September. Heather is encouraged, seeding is carried out and plants are imported from Ashdown Forest. Less welcome are the silver birches, many of which have been taken out to help restore the course to how it was when it opened in 1904. There were fewer trees then because grazing sheep munched the saplings. So Piltdown Golf Club has invited them back and a flourishing flock of black Hebridean sheep, which has expanded from five to 15, is now happily assisting the greenkeepers.
Like the heather, gorse is another pretty feature of this gorgeous heathland challenge that is best admired from a distance and there are numerous gullies, humps and streams scattered about to prevent even the most accomplished golfer from becoming complacent.
Remarkably friendly and welcoming, Piltdown is primarily a two-ball club that is particularly fond of foursomes where players hit alternate shots. The Tuesday Boys is an especially well established institution where approximately 50 gentleman turn up each week, draw for partners, tee-off from one of seven starting holes, shoot round in a couple of hours before enjoying a hearty lunch in the attractive clubhouse. Its a particularly nice way to introduce new members to everyone, explained Mike Miller, the club secretary. And if youre a woman, dont worry, you have priority on Thursdays.