Autumn is here and our intrepid Secret Golfer is out and about regardless of weather to sample the UK’s golf courses. In October he headed to Chartham Park in West Sussex, a country club which is three time winner of Health Club of the Year!
On arrival the hustle and bustle of the car park was very different to many traditional golf clubs. Lycra clad yummy mummies were in abundance and a number of parking spaces were reserved for families! Many of these were occupied, as were those used by golfers and country club users indicating a busy facility.
The Club House
The impressive club house includes two bars, a crèche, three studios, a gymnasium, swimming pool, sauna, steam room and spa. Visitors are greeted at a reception desk with friendly and helpful staff.
The locker room and shower facilities were clean and well maintained whilst The Golf Bar is smart and modern and offers access to a good sized terrace with views onto the eighteenth hole. Flat screen TVs show sport and a well-stocked bar provides ample refreshment.
The extensive menu provides something for everyone and includes gluten free options which are often unavailable in clubs and restaurants. Breakfast came in the form of a bacon sandwich and lunch was a chicken piri piri wrap, both of which were well presented and tasty.
The Pro Shop
We hate to say it but the pro shop at Chartham Park is a big letdown. Off the main reception area and with very minimum stock the tiny space offers some real basics such as balls, tees and some branded products. Titleist and Footjoy were the only brands on display. It also carries some swimming products!
On Secret Golfers visit the shop was managed by the reception staff who couldn’t offer any product advice.
Chartham Park offers good practice facilities including an uncovered driving range with grass and matted tees, multiple flags at varying distances, two putting greens and a practice bunker allowing for all types of practice.
The putting greens were in good condition and were well placed with one near the first tee and the other near the club house and 18th green.
Opened in 1992 the 18 Hole Championship Course was designed by Neil Coles and sits on 145 acres of prime West Sussex real estate. Featuring a number of carp filled lakes the course offers a nice mix of parkland and heathland holes.
At 6680 yards the course is not overly long but does have an interesting layout with some blind holes and elevation changes. The fairways are generous and bunkering doesn’t really affect long hitters so good scores are available.
Despite being soaked by torrential rain on the first two holes the course was in very good condition. The greens drained really well and just minutes after the rain subsided they were playing well again.
The fairways, bunkers and other areas of the course were well maintained.