Jeremy Ellwood ventures to the golf course and lodge on this famous Sussex estate
Cowdray Park Stay And Play Review
Par 70, 6,325 yards
Greenfee: £35-£60 per round
This downland course offers up some magnificent views from the higher holes, most notably from the 5th tee after a steady ascent.
The 4th is perhaps the toughest of the opening four, climbing steeply to a green partly hidden by trees, especially if you stray too far left off the tee.
The double green on the 8th/16th features some very interesting mounds and contours, while the 9th is then a delightful short par 3 close to the woods with another challenging green.
The long par-4 10th may be the toughest test of all, sweeping down and up to one of several two-tier greens, one or two of which slope away from you.
My visit was in January, but thankfully the downland turf ensures excellent year-round playability when other less-fortunate courses are struggling a little.
Also play… The Top 100-ranked heathland course at Liphook in Hampshire (liphookgolfclub.com) is just 20 minutes north of Cowdray.
Much has changed at Cowdray since my last visit, which was longer ago than I’d thought.
The main change is that the clubhouse I knew has been transformed into a very classy golf lodge, while the spacious new clubhouse sits closer to the 1st tee and 18th green.
The accommodation in the old clubhouse comprises four rooms and two suites, all of which have recently been refurbished to a very high standard, with exposed beams, low doorways and a comfortable ambience the order of the day.
The most recent addition to the accommodation offering is the Bothy, which now offers the height of self-contained bijou luxury – a snug, comfy and classy retreat for two.
The breakfast in the clubhouse is both hearty and delicious.
Where else… The Weald and Downland Living Museum at Singleton (wealddown.co.uk) features more than 50 rescued and preserved rural buildings.
Stay and play packages start from £85pp for one round of golf, bed and breakfast, or from £120pp for 36 holes, bed and breakfast. Sunday/Monday stays are popular.
Cowdray Golf Lodge stands on the A272 in the village of Easebourne, a mile or so east of the West Sussex town of Midhurst.
Buggy hire: £30 per round
Trolley hire: £4 per round
Power trolley hire: £12 per round
Club hire: £10 per round per set
Driving range: Yes
Putting green: Yes
Short-game area: Yes
Pro shop: Yes
Changing rooms: Yes
Sky TV: Yes
Price of a pint: From £4