insideSUSSEX Magazine Issue 14 - April 2016 - Page 50

DAYSOUT DAYS OUT GOLF IN SUSSEX Golf as we know it today was first introduced to the UK in the fifteenth century, although there had been a version of this exhilarating and stately game that was played way back in 100 BC, if not before. It was a Roman invention called ‘paganica’ and it involved players using a bent stick to hit a ball, which all sounds rather familiar. Once the ban was lifted, the game took off in an even bigger fashion than it had before, and even the Archbishop of St Andrews, Archbishop Hamilton, realised how important it had become to the people, and to the economy; he declared that St Andrews itself should be made available for golf. The game was so popular in Scotland, that in 1457 an Act of Parliament banned it (along with football) because it was stopping men from practising their archery, which was needed to defend the country. Rather than risk defeat should any enemies come for the Scots, King James II decided that golf was too much of a distraction and halted it completely. A ban that lasted until 1500. By the time King James VI ascended to the English throne in 1603, golf was played at court. How the king, his courtiers, and the public at large were playing is still a bit of a mystery, since the official Rules of Golf weren’t created until 1744. They were set out by the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, and are still adhered to today. The only change from the old version of golf to golf as we know it today came in 1764. Due to space restrictions, the course at St Andrews was reduced to 18 holes. It had previously been 22. Since then, the 18-hole format is the one that all courses have been built upon. Today, golf is played by millions of people across the globe, and the beautiful county of Sussex is no exception; in fact, some of the country’s best-known and best-loved golf courses are right here on our doorstep. Here are more details about some of our favourite Sussex courses: Selsey Golf Club // 01243 602165 Selsey Golf Course is a truly beautiful, but testing 9-hole links type course. Situated next to the coast, with stunning views of the Sussex Downs as a backdrop, it has multiple tee positions, a par of 68 over 18 holes, and was once owned by Max Faulkner, who was Open Golf Champion in 1951. One of the key features of the course is a present left by the Luftwaffe during the Second World War: a 64-foot crater now known as Davison’s Pool - you can drive over this on the 8th and 17th holes. The club has a fully-licensed bar and restaurant too, which is open to members and non members throughout the year. The restaurant offers fine, home-cooked food and a varied menu, and can cater for parties from 12 to 70. Both the bar and restaurant are available for functions and, during the summer months, a marquee is also available for larger functions. The Resident PGA Professional has been with the club for many years. He offers a wide range of stock and equipment and is available seven days a week to take tee bookings and support golfers with lessons and advice. With incredibly competitive green fees and membership fees, you have the opportunity to play as a visitor or become a member at this small, friendly club. Selsey Golf Club boasts many additional facilities in addition to its fantastic course. The Clubhouse, which is in a beautiful setting, has ample car parking and a very welcoming and comfortable lounge area with seating and an open fire to keep you snug in the winter. In the warmer months, you may prefer to sit on the terrace looking over the 18th green. The Clubhouse is also available to hire for a variety of functions including wedding receptions, anniversary parties and birthdays. 50