Jan 3rd, 2018
You Little Beauty - It's Haywards Heath Golf Club
In the heart of Mid Sussex
Words: GolfPunk Photography: Kevin Murray
Haywards Heath GC, in the heart of Mid Sussex, is the home course of GolfPunkhq.com. So we thought it was time to be pay a tribute to our own golfing playground.
The Club was officially opened in May 1922, as a nine-hole course, but was soon extended to an eighteen hole course by none other than James Braid, the five times winner of The Open, who officially opened the course in a four ball exhibition match with Harry Vardon as his playing partner. We are not worthy!
During World War II part of the course had to be ploughed up for agricultural use, and by 1942 only 10 holes were still in play. German prisoners of war were then employed to restore the course between 1946 and 1948.
So much for the history of the club, but how does the course actually play today? The course kicks off with a lovely par four, with bunkers to the left, and the 18th hole to the right, with a screening of trees in between.
At 325 yards off the whites the bombers can readily make the green in the summer, but it’s a fine opening hole before you have to take on heart-attack hill for the second.
There’s no doubt that HHGC is a challenging course. It is tight, and you simply can’t spray it about, as you will be punished.
My favourite hole on the front nine is the 291-yard par 4 5th, which is all down hill, and begs you to get the big dog out. The hill slopes away to the right, so keep it left and you’ll be fine. Again, the bombers can make hay here in the summer months.
The back nine starts with a 197-yard tricky par three, which is all up hill. A par here is always a result, and will put you in a good frame of mind as you hit three of the hardest holes on the track.
The 11th is a brute of a hole. A 460-yard par 4, and stroke index three, you’ll need a very good drive to have any chance of getting on the tight green in two.
You’ll have a bit of a let off with the 501 yard par five 12th, where the key shot is your second to position yourself correctly for your third shot up to a raised green.
Then its time for their Stroke Index One hole – the mighty 448-yard par four 13th. It’s a brute – long and tight, and without a decent drive you’re brown bread.
But once you’re through this tough run of holes, you can relax a little, and enjoy my favourite hole on the course, the 343-yard par 4, 14th. Avoid the massive Oak tree in the middle of the fairway, and you’re game on.
Back in the clubhouse, and there’s great bar menu for any hungry golfer, with cheesy chips by the yard and pints of local ale Harvey’s to be enjoyed if that’s your tipple.
There’s one thing that still bugs me in the spike bar, and that’s the RIP Men’s Bar sign lurking in the background. Time to move on chaps. Let’s assign that one to the dump-bin of history. It’s time to get all properly modern.
If you want to come and join us at Haywards Heath Golf Club, now is the time to do it as the club is offering 15 months membership for the price of 12. The offer runs until the end of March. Just call the Club Secretary on 01444 414457 and tell them that GolfPunk sent you. Or contact them by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.