Founded in 1888, Royal Ashdown Forest Golf Club is a traditional members’ golf club set in the heart of the Ashdown Forest. One of the things that golfers most appreciate about playing here is that so little has changed over the club’s 130-year history. Heather, humps, hollows, pools and streams remain nature’s defence against shooting a low score.
The stunning heathland layout of the Old Course is currently (2017) rated by Golf World as 31st in its top 100 courses in England, with the West Course making the list for the next best 100. Today both award-winning courses are available to play in the same day. Without question this is the best 36-hole golf club in Sussex — and not a bunker in sight.
Whereas the Old Course remains very much a classic heathland course, the West Course snakes its way through the heart of the Ashdown Forest, that spreads for over 20 square miles in this most beautiful part of Sussex, and has been named the best course under 6,000 yards in the UK by Golf World magazine.
Situated approximately 30 miles (48 km) south of London in East Sussex, Royal Ashdown offers two fantastic heathland courses and a magnificent Clubhouse that is enjoyed by members, guests and visitors alike.
Royal Ashdown Forest offers not one but two superb golf courses that are both entirely natural. No earth has been moved, no ponds dug nor streams diverted. Both courses have been fashioned around the contours of the land with the Old Course providing spectacular views over four counties and the West snaking its way through the mature, broadleaf woodland of the Ashdown Forest.
The Old Course
Describing Royal Ashdown Forest Golf Club’s Old Course in 1934, Bernard Darwin wrote “two salient facts come to mind. It is not quite like any other of my acquaintance, and secondly, I never knew anyone who played on it and was not fond of it.”
The West Course
Very few golf clubs boast two 18-hole courses, both over 100 years old, especially those that differ as much as the West Course and the Old Course at Royal Ashdown Forest Golf Club.
The Old Course still plays very much like a heathland course despite the incursion of silver birch trees along its fairways. The West Course snakes its way through the heart of the Ashdown Forest that spreads for over 20 square miles in this most beautiful part of Sussex.