Golf Monthly takes a look at Mannings Heath Golf Club by Roderick Easdale
Mannings Heath Golf Club Review
Mannings Heath Golf Club in Horsham offers two contrasting 18-hole layouts set in beautiful Sussex landscape.
The main course, The Waterfall, was built in 1905 and has some particularly dramatic holes which cleverly employ the topography of this undulating land.
The 1st is an excellent introduction to the style and standard of the course.
This 344-yarder involves a carry from an elevated tee over a stream flanked by trees either side to a rising fairway to the green perched at the same height as the tee away in the distance.
There are three par 5s and three par 3s on this par-72 layout. The 155-yard 5th, called the Punch Bowl, is played to a green cut into a steep hillside falling down from right to left as you look from the tee, leaving a half circular banking, rising to about 8ft at its maximum, running round the right of the green.
There is plenty of bail-out room to the right, but this will leave a tricky chip down onto the green.
The 10th is a pretty 188-yarder tumbling down from the tee over a steam, and on this hole is the Waterfall that gives the course its name. The 158-yard 14th with three bunkers left of the green and one to the right completes the trio of strong par 3s.
The front nine is the better half. The 16th and 17th are the weakest holes, a long par 4 and a short par 5 running parallel to one another and played over open, flat land. Then comes a cracking closing hole, 417 yards and parallel to the 1st.
The tee shot is to a descending fairway which is crossed by a steam which is 63 yards from the green at it nearest point. After the stream comes a steep bank up to the green.
The Waterfall is the members’ course and only a very few tee times are made available to visitors.
However guests staying in a cottage at the club or in the five-star South Lodge Hotel, three and a half miles away get use of this course.
South Lodge Hotel in Horsham is, like the golf club, owned by Exclusive Hotels and also has splendid views of the Sussex Downs and has grounds of 93 acres.
A notice in my comfortable room invited me to walk the grounds and pick flowers for my room to place in the vase provided. The elegant hotel has 89 bedrooms and two restaurants and Steven Edwards, who is Head Chef of The Camellia restaurant at South Lodge Hotel, won MasterChef in 2013.
The 6,217-yard Kingfisher is the play-and-play course, and easier than its sister course. The 12th, for example, is a flat par 3 without any bunkers. However this follows a tricky short par 4 with a right-sloping fairway and a trio of bunker lurking on that side to snaffle a drive, so this course does occasionally bare its teeth. The holes have less drama than those on The Waterfall, but are set against some splendid backdrops and offer an enjoyable round.