Horton Golf Club - A Hidden Gem
At the back of Henfield Business Park lies Horton Golf Club, a beautiful and unique golf course. With nine greens and eighteen tees and holes, this short, but demanding, course is enjoyed by over 120 members.
Why unique? That takes us right back to how the club was founded. In 1974 a golf club was established on part of the Shoreham Cement Works estate. The members were a mixture of people who were employed at the works and others from the local area who loved golf. The name, Horton Golf Club, comes from this original site. There was no way these founding members could afford to pay for greens staff or a professional or a shop or any of the other trappings of traditional golf clubs. So, they took the decision to run an artisan golf club, one in which the members looked after the course and managed their own affairs.
When, in 1991, the cement works decided to sell the land on which the course was built, the intrepid founders sought a new site by contacting local farmers who might have spare land. Three fields at the back of the Henfield Business Park were available. It took some imagination to see the ploughed fields as a golf course, but with the help of the farmer, John White, who helped grass the site, the work began.
A clubhouse was obtained from a company working for Worthing Council at the end of building works for a new library. The company donated the temporary building, as long as the club could arrange transport, which it duly did.
For a year, as the site was developed, the members continued to play golf once a month at a course near Arundel. Each of the 20 founder members contributed £50 to purchase basic equipment and machines. The development work was not easy. A founder member remembers the rough being so long that he saw two deer jumping through it, but could not see the dog chasing them, because it was hidden in the grass!
The members designed where the holes would go, built the greens and the tees, dug ponds to provide essential water and planted trees throughout the course.
From those beginnings the club has grown and improved year on year, never forgetting the basic principles on which it was founded. Because the members maintain the course, they meet regularly and get to know each other. Regular Sunday morning competitions ensure people play with different partners each week and after 9 holes there is a break for rolls, tea and coffee. These traditions, established from the beginning, mean there is a special social atmosphere at Horton Golf Club, where members make friendships and look out for each other.
That is not to say members don’t take their golf seriously or that competition is not for real! But the key is enjoying golf together on a beautiful course.
We would love you to join us, whether you are an experienced golfer or a beginner or somewhere in-between. We promise you a warm welcome and hours of enjoyable frustration. Interested? Please use the form on the Contact page.