A club by the name of West Sussex has continued to appear on our radar in recent weeks. ¬†Until lately I‚??d never heard of it, I must confess. ¬†But there has been encouragement from various sources to play it, and eventually we caved in. ¬†I‚??m glad we did. ¬†
West Sussex is one of the few places in England (three, I think) ‚?? indeed the world ‚?? where only 2 balls may be played around the course in any given group. ¬†Either four golfers play foursomes, two play their own ball, or three play a ‚??Sunningdale foursome‚?Ě. ¬†Rye and a club in Hertfordshire adhere to the same code, I‚??m told. ¬†The policy makes for rapid rounds of golf ‚?? sadly an ever dwindling phenomenon. ¬†Speaking to the pro afterwards we heard about how London-based members that used to hold two memberships (one in The City; one at WS) have given away their City club, because it‚??s quicker for them to drive 80 minutes south to West Sussex and nip ‚??round 18 than it is for them to drive 20 minutes and play Urban Jungle Golf. ¬†I hear echoes in the background of ‚??we could do with a West Sussex ‚??round ‚??ere too‚?Ě.... ¬†Here here.
Happily the course is a very good one. ¬†Walton Heath meets Royal Melbourne meets Glasgow Gailes. ¬†(I know such crossings generally involve two parents, but I‚??m going to bend The Rools on this occasion to make my point. ¬†And because it‚??s my prerogative). ¬†Short; at times mild; traditional; aesthetically a feast fit for Louis XVI; and a million miles away from that big grey city up the road. ¬†Friendly folks too. ¬†Everyone we met was charming and genuinely interested in why we‚??d...well, you can guess...
Goldy and I played while Bart offered constructive words of abuse. ¬†And some not so constructive ones. ¬†Example: ‚??you swing it like Furyk you spectacularly untalented hobbit.‚?Ě ¬†I threw him in a bunker after that one ‚?? and a deep one at that. ¬†Down in the bright white sand he looked like a clump of recently shaved facial hair determined to stick to the sink floor despite a fervent assault of tap water. ¬†After a few holes I just shut him out and haven‚??t listened to a word he‚??s said in the intervening week since. ¬†As we were always told, ‚??if you don‚??t have anything nice to say, don‚??t say anything at all.‚?Ě ¬†Which in Scotland is tantamount to ‚??keep y‚??er moi shut.‚?Ě
Here‚??s a photo of Goldy laughing at the inevitability of his entrance into the forthcoming bunker. ¬†And, below, of me having spotted a giant black squirrel in a tree (note the new clothes ‚?? a fresh shipment of goodies had just arrived from the good people at Ashworth that morning). ¬†Yet further below is a snap of Bart (looking especially Dutch) and Michael (shovelling pasta down his gullet lest he buck the trend and risk losing weight) on a bench by the 6th tee.
Matt at Cottesmore had built up the 6th to be ‚??the best par 3 you‚??ll ever play.‚?Ě ¬†It wasn‚??t. ¬†It wasn‚??t bad, now, but it didn‚??t quite push my buttons. ¬†Below is a picture, so y‚??all can have a gander for yourselves. ¬†The 5th I found to be a much more enticing prospect. ¬†It too is pictured below.
Unusually we didn‚??t see many dogs being walked. ¬†Just old people walking their older friends. ¬†(The average member would be an octogenarian I suspect). ¬†Despite playing quickly though we managed to capture a few of the more bonnie views at West Sussex, which you can sample below should you have the inclination.
West Sussex it must be said has Atmosphere. ¬†An atmosphere of distilled relaxation. ¬†‚??Tis not a championship course and not intended to be one. ¬†Just a delightful place for people who can‚??t hit the ball 300 yards (and those who can) to tickle it around. ¬†Yes, that‚??s what you do with your ball at West Sussex: you tickle it. ¬†Naturally it laughs back at you with the utmost gallus insolence. ¬†At least mine did.
If I may. ¬†Thanks go to one Tom McKenzie ‚?? a Dornoch raised golf course architect who plays golf at West Sussex when he‚??s not tinkering with other ones (e.g. Carnoustie, Lytham...) ‚?? for brokering this delightful visit. ¬†A quaint and enriching episode of puregolf2010, without doubt. ¬†Merci mon amis. ¬†And thanks of course, to West Sussex Golf Club for being such gracious hosts. ¬†
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