Royal Ashdown Forest Golf Club – Old Course (Forest Row)

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  • Architects:
    • Scott, A.T.
    • Lee, W.R.
    • Hunter, Harry
    • Rowe, Jack
  • Holes of Merit:
    5, 6, 7, 8, 11, 12, 16, 17

At A Glance

Bernard Darwin, the renowned golf writer, had a soft spot for Royal Ashdown Golf Club and spoke highly of it.

It was purportedly Frank Penninks favourite golf course. Arthur Croome put it in on par with St Andrews, Prestwick and Westward Ho!

Horace Hutchinson and Harry Colt were members of the club.

Tom Doak recommends golf architecture students pay special attention to the routing and bunkering (or lack thereof as the case may be...) There are parallels to Pine Valley with the suggesting the '5th, 6th, 7th, 12th and 17th would fit nicely' without being out of place!

Read Independent Reviews

Golf Club Atlas' review of Forest Row can be found here


Full Course Review

Royal Ashdown Forest Golf Club is also known historically as Forest Row. The short course and practice lie on the west side of the property with The Old Course on the east side. The club was founded in December 1888 on the site 732 feet above sea level in the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The four founding members were William R & Francis A Lee, Robert Birch, and Reverend AT Scott. William Lee is credited with taking the lead on the design and layout. Harry Hunter made alterations in 1892 and again in 1897 along with Jack Rowe. Jack Rowe would make the last major changes in 1922.

Royal Ashdown Forest Golf Club is a bunker-less course. The Ashdown Forest is protected from any alterations made by man. The course needed to lay on the land without any need or reliance on artificiality. What could have been considered a restraint worked in the clubs favour as the course needed to make use of what nature offered.


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The Essentials

Everything you need to know before you go!