High on a plateau of the South Downs behind Beachy Head, the course of the Eastbourne Downs Golf Club occupies a glorious position looking over the town of Eastbourne. Southwards over the sea one sees far reaching views along the coastline and out into the English Channel, facing northwards there are superb views of the beautiful undulating downland.
Heading westward towards Brighton on the A259, the course, which was first laid out in 1908 by J.H. Taylor alongside the main road at the top of the hill. The old clubhouse used to be located at the bottom of the hill, completed in 1909 with the first Club Captain Stanley Ellis. Mr. Carew Davies-Gilbert took the opening drive at the opening ceremony on 2 August 1909. In 1974 the club moved to a new one clubhouse, built on "the top" to move the club into a new era alongside many new course alterations.
Eastbourne Downs has a special claim to fame as the home of Major Cyril Tolley, Amateur Champion of 1920 and 1929, who played seven times for Great Britain in the Walker Cup Matches against America, and adds to his many laurels the renown of being one of the most powerful hitters of his time. Cyril Tolley joined the club on October 7 1909 as a Junior member. By November 1910, at 15 years old he was playing off 16, just 5 years later - May 1914 he was declared a scratch golfer. A glittering career which included Amateur championships in 1920 and 1929, representing England & Scotland 12 times, chairman of the Walker Cup in 1938 and winning the presidents putter in 1938. Major Cyril Tolley became president of the Club from 1954 until 1979.