Leaderboard - The Authority for Golf Online



Riding into the heart of Sussex

Written by  on Wednesday, 03 August 2011
Riding into the heart of Sussex 5.0 out of 5 based on 2 votes.
The general manager of Sandford Springs, Andy Wild, has completed a few crazy challenges in the past year. This time however was different - it was time to hop on the saddle - Lance Amstrong style, accompanied by his son.

In recent years I have jumped out of a plane, completed the moon walk, which including walking with 20,000 women in bras (what a night), and run the London Marathon. 

What I’ve been doing must have had some sort of influence because my 14-year-old son, William, recently said: “I want to get involved in a challenge and raise some money for charity.” 

His first thought was a bike ride - brilliant I thought - until he uttered: “How about Land’s End to John O’Groats?” 

He doesn’t lack ambition. 

After discussing the event we finally agreed on a slightly lighter introduction to bike riding and entered the London to Brighton bike race - a mere 54 miles on a razor-sharp saddle. 

Andrew_and_WilliamWe started with the grand plan of a comprehensive training plan but only achieved one 16-mile ride - hardly good preparation! 

The day of the ride arrived and we woke at 5am and headed to Clapham Common which was the start line of our epic journey. With a growing mix of excitement, apprehension, and fear we arrived at the common along with what seemed like a million other lycra-clad riders. 

The first five miles took an age but before we knew it we settled into a great pace and headed into the Sussex countryside. Every beautiful village we passed was swamped with sweaty riders being enticed to stop by the gorgeous smell of hot dogs, cakes, and never-ending cups of tea. 

Six hours later we were on the final part of the course when we met the 248-metre high, Ditchling Beacon - the third highest point on the South Downs. Granted, neither of us are Lance Armstrong, but even he would struggle up the Beacon. William

What idiot thought this would be a good route when you’ve got Mount Everest 20 minutes before the finish? The view at the top was actually worth the climb - an unbelievable vista - which I’d definitely recommend driving up to see.

From there on in, it was downhill all the way to Brighton, with a spectacular finish down by the beach.  We were met by my wife and daughter and a foot-long hot dog and beer - happy days indeed.

The ride was great fun and we raised nearly £500 for the British Heart Foundation which is always good, but spending time with my lovely boy was awesome!! Roll on next year and a new challenge!

Leave a comment

Rate this item
(2 votes)
Andrew Wild

Andrew manages all aspects of Sandford Springs including Food and Beverage, Golf, Finance and Memberships.

Andrew originally met the Chairman, Paul Gibbons, when he was an assistant Golf Pro at Reading Golf Club 28 years ago.

Interestingly, 15 years later Andrew was giving Paul a series of lessons, during which he mentioned there was a club in Hampshire which was up for sale. After going to visit the club, Mr Gibbons ended up buying Sandford Springs. 

Andrew joined the company a couple of years later and six years on, he became the General Manager at the club they had first discussed all that time ago.

Andrew has a deep passion for the game of golf, which aids his enthusiasm in all his endeavours at Sandford Springs. Aside from playing, he enjoys simply being around the golf club and takes a great interest in looking after his members.

He believes that the atmosphere at Sandford Springs is second to none and finds it such a pleasure to be involved with the club that, in his own words – "Sometimes it doesn't even feel like work".

Great guides