Course Status

Est. 1904

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History

1904
Count Munster of Maresfield Park leases an area of Piltdown Common, and hires farmer George Varnum to carve out a course designed by professional Jack Rowe.The first ten holes are created, and the club is set up  with a room being rented in the Varnums farmhouse to serve as clubroom.
 
1907
The Ladies section was strengthened enormously in 1907 when Lady Margaret Hamilton-Russell joined Piltdown. She was the outstanding lady golfer of her day, winning the first three British Ladies Championships in 1893, 1894 and 1895, plus the Swiss Ladies Open in 1907, 1908 and 1909.
 
1912
In 1912 a skull was discovered in an archaeological dig at Barkham Manor in Piltdown (at a distance of a drive and a wedge shot behind the 6th green) which caused a sensation. It was believed to belong to a million-year-old apeman with a large brain but a primitive jaw and teeth. Only in 1953 was it tested and proved to be a hoax.
 
1924
After the First World War, the poorly maintained sand bunkers are abandoned in favour of native heather banks. The received opinion of that time was that the heather was quite enough for ordinary mortals to cope with.
 
1981
A substantial change to the course layout in the came in 1981, when the crossover fairway at the 1st and 18th holes was eliminated by building a new 18th green, located between the 1st tee and 17th fairway.
 
1996
The Club adopts a Course Management Policy in liaison with DEFRA and Natural England, to restore the heathland nature of the course and maintain a balanced environment across the common as a whole.
 
2003
In 2003 the Club brought in sheep to graze areas out of play, fenced in by temporary electric fences. We now have 15 Hebrideans, a tough breed that eats bramble and saplings as well as grass during 6 summer months.
 
2013
In 2013 the club committed to a major investment of £400,000 (most donated from within the membership) over two years in a Greens Project. This involved rebuilding 14 greens completely to install effective drainage and re-contouring, renewing all green-side irrigation systems, and remodelling green aprons and surrounds to enhance both visual impact and golfing challenge.
 
2018
The green replacement project that was started in 2013 was finally completed at the start of 2018. The total investment made into the course during the 5 years is over half a million pounds. All the investment has paid off as in January 2018 Piltdown was named a Top 50 Club for the first time ever. We have been awarded 43rd position in a new "Top 100 Golf Courses in England" poll published by National Club Golfer magazine. This is a fitting reward for the time, effort and investment made by the Club and its members during the last few years.