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Burgess Hill Hydro Golf Course, Sussex. (1912 -WW1)

The club was founded in 1912.

The nine-hole course was laid out by J H Taylor.

Following is an extract from a report that appeared in the Aberdeen Journal on Monday 24th March 1913. It's a great insight in the reporting of the time and gives an idea of the course. The report refers to a match played between George Duncan and M Goodwillie to celebrate the opening of the course.

"The Burgess Hill Golf Club's nine-holes extended golf course was formally opened on Saturday when George Duncan took part in a medal round in the morning and a match in the afternoon against the local professional, M Goodwillie. Duncan lost the former event with a score of 75 to 73 by Goodwillie, but won the latter by 8&6.

Duncan did not putt well in the morning, but was otherwise in good form. Play started in glorious sunshine, and in the presence of a large crowd. The course was in good condition, but the greens were a little heavy on account of the recent rain. At the first hole Duncan outdrove his opponent by 30 yards and was down in 4 to 5. Duncan was bunkered at the second, but both players holed out in 5. Goodwillie obtained an excellent 3 at the next hole, while Duncan, being short with his drive required 4. Duncan was again bunkered at the fourth, although getting well out with his second. He missed a yard putt at the fifth, and took 4, Goodwilie was down in an excellent three. At the turn Goodwillie had recorded four fewer strokes than his opponent. At the eleventh Duncan was on the green with his tee shot, and, holing a long putt, obtained a 2 to Goodwillie's 3. Duncan played much better coming home, but never regained his lost ground, and Goodwillie won by two strokes.

George Duncan; Out - 4,5,4,5,4,4,5,5,5 = 41; Home - 4,2,4,5,3,4,5,4,3 = 34 - total 75.

M Goodwillie; Out - 5,5,3,4,3,4,5,5,3 = 37; Home - 5,3,4,4,3,5,5,4,3 = 36 - total 73.

The afternoon saw the Belgian champion in brilliant form. He went out in 34, and stood no fewer than 8 up on his opponent at the turn. He completed the round in 68, which constituted a "record" for the course. He lost only one hole, the twelfth, where he required 4 to his opponents 3. In thiscontest play was somewhat hindered by a strong wind. Neither player putted very well. At the fifth (160 yards) Duncan, after driving on to the green, holed out in 3, which is one under bogey. At the next hole (102 yards), by running down a difficult putt, he secured a 2. Duncan won the bye by 3&2, and also won the last two holes. At the fifteenth his tee shot came to rest within a few inches of the pin.

George Duncan; Out - 5,4,4,4,3,2,4,4,4 = 34; Home - 4,4,4,4,3,2,5,4,4 = 34 - total 68.

M Goodwillie; Out - 6,4,5,5,4,3,6,5,5 = 43; Home - 4,3,5,5,4,3,5,5,4 = 38 - total 81."


Burgess Hill Hydro Golf Club, Sussex. Advertising postcard for The Southdown Hydro.

Above is an advertising postcard for The South Downs Hydro/ Falkland Park Hotel Golf Course.


Following is an extract from a report that appeared in the Sussex Agricultural Express on Friday 2nd May 1913.

"The Franklands Park Hotel was a finely situated country mansion. For some years it was used as an hydropathic institute, but owing to difficulty in procuring the necessary medical superintendence its character was changed and it became a high class private residential hotel. The necessary capital was found by local gentlemen, and the directors spent some thousands of pounds on the premises. A very good golf course was laid out under the supervision of the eminent golfer Mr J H Taylor, and there is now a flourishing golf club, with a membership of between 110 and 120. There was no place at present where refreshments could be obtained. Golfers, like other people, were entitled to have alcoholic refreshment, and if they required it now a message lad had to be sent over a mile away. If a man wanted a whiskey and soda or a glass of wine he had to have the whole bottle. He could not get a single drink."

It's not confirmed if a licence was eventually granted but it most probably was.         

In 1914 the secretary was A B Taylor, Oakdene, Burgess Hill, telephone 123. The professional was M Goodwillie until 1913, then J Tickle from 1913 to 1915. A nine-hole course with a membership of 122. Entry fees were 10/6 and subs £2/2/0. Visitors’ fees were 2/- a day, 5/- a week and 10/6 a month. Sunday play allowed with caddies. The railway station was 5 minutes away. 

The map below shows the Burgess Hill Hydro in 1910, this is before it became the Franklands Park Hotel and a couple of years before the golf course was laid out.


Burgess Hill Golf Club, Sussex. The Burgess Hill Hydro on a 1910 O.S map.

The former Burgess Hill Hydro (later Franklands Park Hotel) is marked in the centre of the above map. Reproduced from the {1910} Ordnance Survey Map.


The club disappeared following WW1.

The Google Map below pinpoints the location of the former Burgess Hill Hydro.