Bunhill: East Sussex National

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The Independent Online
ONE PLACE where Pasley-Tyler's members might like to while away some time is East Sussex National. Membership of the 36-hole championship golf complex near Lewes costs pounds 20,000 plus an annual subscription of pounds 1,200 for debenture holders, or a straight pounds 3,000 a year for those who can't afford, or don't want, the debenture. John Sinclair, the club's boss, is signing up new members at the rate of more than one a week. This despite the club, which was opened a few years ago, only just getting round to building a clubhouse.

The Canadian developers of East Sussex National ran out of money before the clubhouse could be built. The mighty Kuwait Investment Office bought them out and brought in Sinclair. Together, they decided the only way forward was to put more money in. The new 36,000 square feet clubhouse - the professional shop alone measures 9,000 sq ft and looks like a department store - will open shortly. Its cost? A mere pounds 5m.

The KIO, says Sinclair, is definitely not a sleeping partner. His job is to ensure it gets a good return. To that end, he has secured the club its first major competition, the European Open in September, for four years.

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