Course Reviewer Rob Smith kicks off 2015 with a visit to the lovely downland course at Pyecombe Golf Club

I take my duties in helping with the GM Top 100 very seriously.

And if this means I feel I need to play as many different courses as possible, so be it. I know what you’re thinking and you’re right – it’s a tough job but someone has to do it.

I was therefore more than happy to kick off 2015 bright and early in January accompanying my colleague Jeremy Ellwood and top GM snapper Kevin Murray on a visit to Pyecombe Golf Club in West Sussex.

Jezz is preparing an article on downland courses, and this beautifully situated test was home to Henry Longhurst who was its President for the last few years of his life.

Pyecombe's testing 3rd is the club's signature hole

Pyecombe’s testing 3rd is the club’s signature hole

Greeted by vice-captain Andy Selsby and following a quick chat with Head Pro’ Jason, we were soon on the first tee staring up at the opening fairway and wondering just how hilly the course would be.

Happily, as much as the undulations serve up wonderful, far-reaching vistas, they are never too testing with the approaches to the first and third greens being just about as steep as it gets.

The latter is a particularly fine hole which plays longer than its yardage, and I really liked the short eighth played across the valley to a green carved out of the slope on the other side.

My birdie at nine would have been a real highlight had our host not been rude enough to eagle the hole!

The back nine has plenty more to offer, including a long par-3 to a sloping green at the thirteenth – and risk and reward is a regular feature.

Although the last three holes are a little anti-climactic, Pyecombe is a delight to play and has plenty of holes and views that will linger in the memory.

  • Favourite Hole – the tough par-4 third, Switchback, played across the valley
  • Personal Highlight – holing a 20-footer for birdie on the ninth

The friendly clubhouse is a great place to unwind and the club offers excellent value for the visitor. On a Summer’s evening or any blue-sky day, it is a lovely place to play.