Cowdray opens par three course

Seamus Rotherick
By Seamus Rotherick June 30, 2024 14:13

Cowdray, a dynamic and progressive country estate and destination in West Sussex, has cut the ribbon on its eagerly awaited new Par-3 Course, topping off a year of considerable investment into its golf experience.

Having undergone extensive planning, the re-imagined short course is a creation of five new USGA specification greens and greenside bunkers, each reflecting a similar green complex on the main course at Cowdray. In addition, a new short-game area has been delivered complete with new practice green and bunker.

Cowdray has taken the opportunity to create a new Academy Membership category for the Par-3 Course, which it hopes will resonate with the local community and those keen to learn the game.

The par three layout was inaugurated by the Cowdray greenkeeping team – led by course manager Jonathan Smith – who were the first to experience the course they have worked tirelessly to perfect.

Tim Allen, director of golf at Cowdray, said: “The new academy set-up has been in the planning for some time, so it’s a thrill to see it come to fruition and our members and guests enjoying the experience.

“Through this facility, Cowdray will continue its good work engaging with the local community and schools, becoming more inclusive and taking golf to a wider audience.”

The new Par-3 Course and practice facilities are the icing on a significant golf investment and improvement plan at Cowdray, which has seen Swan Golf Designs – led by William Swan – oversee a transformation of its 18-hole downland course.

The most notable changes are to the bunkering, with all having been reconstructed, reshaped and integrated into the downland landscape through the use of native grass borders. A new ninth tee has been constructed and new sensitive EcoPath recycled rubber pathways have been installed throughout.

Elsewhere, Swan Golf Designs created a new ‘heart of the course’ by restoring the famed double green for holes seven and 14, created a new seating area at the halfway hut and have overseen landscape management throughout the course.

In keeping with a venue within the South Downs National Park, the landscape management work included the introduction of more native grassland areas and the removal of non-indigenous species to highlight historic oaks and traditional downland specimens.

Commenting on the project, Swan said: “It is rare to have the chance to work with a client that matches our ambition for a project, working on a layout that owes much to the original work of Tom Simpson and all set in one of the most beautiful landscapes in the country. We have sought to modernise the course while restoring some of the strategy and flair that is synonymous with Simpson’s work.

“In collaboration with our friends at Cowdray and Simon Bolton of Profusion Environmental, we were able to reimagine the five-hole academy course that sits alongside the 18th, to create a unique and exciting new facility for members and visitors to enjoy.”

On the overall improvement plan coming to fruition, Allen added: “Our members and guests – young and old – can look forward to an elevated playing experience here. We are excited for the future and Cowdray’s new-found status as a must-play venue in the south of England.”

The membership includes unlimited play on the Par-3 Course, use of practice facilities, as well as preferential rates for the driving range and introductory golf lessons. Pricing starts at £300, with a visitor green fee costing from £10 for juniors.

Only last week Chart Hills Golf Club in Kent opened a par three course as well, while other clubs have also been investing in short courses of late.

Seamus Rotherick
By Seamus Rotherick June 30, 2024 14:13
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1 Comment

  1. Dr. K June 28, 11:52

    So much more fun! It sharpens the short game and uses less land in an over-crowded planet too.

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