It is good to learn of an establishment that has bucked the trend and pulled in the customers at a time when two Sussex clubs have ceased to exist and another is in liquidation.

Sedlescombe has sprung from uncertain beginnings to a nice, and not so little, earner.

The key to success is targetting the teaching market.

The club is the home of the James Andrews School of Golf and many make use of the digital analysis centre and gain first-hand personal tuition from five teaching professionals.

There is a luxurious 20-room lodge for residential students that merits a five-star rating when any of the varied courses are finished.

Andrews, 31, director of owners Sedlescombe Golf Club Ltd, said: "We are a golf club driven by a golf school. I know that sounds strange because it is normally the other way around. We are not primarily a pay-and-play facility.

"The nearest such organisation is in Norfolk. We don't need to be in a big fight for green fees. That sort of thing can be best left to others."

Sedlescombe has come a long way since the early Nineties when it started under the name of Aldershaw and was owned by an Iranian company, Bahar Leisure.

When it ran out of money the entreprenural Glen Johnson, owner of Horam Park, took the site at a receiver's sale.

There was a driving range and pro shop with clubhouse but little else and when business failed to come up to expectations, Johnson did not hang around long enough to get his fingers burned.

He disposed of it to a company keen to enter the leisure field when golf was booming.

It was important to extend the nine holes to 18 and this was done to a design by Ian Scott- McKenzie that opened two years ago. By this time the golf school had started up.

During five years of the current ownership a slip road has been built off the A21 just north of Hastings, plus a complete makeover capable of attracting custom nationwide.

The £2.5m investment has started to pay off.

Andrews said: "People come mainly from London and the local area and we get students from all over Europe including Iceland and Poland.

"The golf school has doubled in turnover since last year and we are looking to do another third as much business again this year. Our follow-up business is second to none."

Nothing is left to chance and pupils are even instructed in how to mark a score card correctly.

The indoor combined video and computer teaching system incorporates two cameras recording the swing.

The images are downloaded onto the computer, enabling the coach to highlight specific areas for improvement.

What follows is a watch-and- learn process that can be of vital interest to the lowest and highest handicaps or those without any rating.

Nearby, Hastings Golf and Country Club is in administration. In a dog-eat-dog age, it was refreshing to hear Andrews on the subject of his troubled near neighbours.

He said: "We want Hastings to stay open. It is good for the area and good for golf that it avoids closing.

"We are not in competition with them and I sincerely hope all goes well."

The boot was on the other foot when the original Aldershaw project took its first faltering steps.

Now fortune has turned full circle and Sedlescombe, where Andrews has been based foreight years, boasts a staff of 31 and a spick and span 98 acreage.

The course is parkland with more than its fair share of woodland and water-related holes over undulating terrain.

The back nine has more trees than the front and membership numbers 350 with adults paying £50 a month direct debit. It costs £16 for a full round, rising to £20 in May.

Sedlescombe enters a team in the Davies and Tate Championship and their star player is Ben Evans, the club champion and England schoolboy international.

Andrews is a younger brother of Highwoods pro Mike and started there as an amateur, later working as an assistant.

When he started out, he could little have dreamed that his future lay only a few miles away at a business opportunity waiting to happen.