Suffolk is England’s eighth largest county, so it’s a surprise that some of its courses perhaps slip under the radar when it comes to discussions on the best golfing areas in England. The situation, however, is starting to change and rightly so. There’s excellent golf here, with five the county’s finest clubs now jointly extolling their virtues via the new Suffolk Coastal Golf Initiative.
Ipswich Golf Club, Purdis Heath, holds a long-term standing as one of the best golf courses in England and is working hard to ensure it keeps that reputation. Currently listed within the country’s top 100 by two influential golf course rankings, Ipswich Golf Club has embarked on a course of renovations to continually enhance its famed Purdis Heath Course. Designed by legendary course architects James Braid and Fred Hawtree back in 1926, the Purdis Heath track is a heathland haven that makes the best use of natural contours as it winds its way through the Suffolk countryside.
Woodbridge Ranked No. 75 in Golf World’s Top 100 Courses in England 2015, a rise of 16 places in just two years. Nestled on Bromswell Heath in Suffolk, Woodbridge Golf Club is one of the region’s best layouts. For more than 120 years golf has been played on the picturesque Heath course and with the later addition of the Forest course, Woodbridge has much to offer. The club is continuing its investment into the courses under the guidance of celebrated architect Martin Hawtree, and has embarked on a programme of enhancements to the already highly rated layouts. The classic heathland tracks have a mix of gorse, heather and trees, as well as carefully positioned bunkers, fine fescue fairways and slick greens.
Felixstowe Ferry Golf Club dates back to 1880 and is seen by many as the only true links course in Suffolk. The stunning views, the excellent links course and the friendly clubhouse ensures it’s a great all-rounder when it comes to attracting visitors. The Martello course is an easy-walking links and the stretch from the 2nd to the 10th contains only Par 4’s, with the superb Par 4 17th having an undulating green perhaps stands out.
Aldeburgh. Fast-draining, sandy soil ensures that it plays well throughout the year; in winter the greens and fairways are in excellent condition with no need for preferred lies, temporary greens or tees. It is a great course, described by agronomist and R&A adviser Alistair Beggs as “having amongst the best playing surfaces in the land” Aldeburgh is a two-ball course, and promotes foursomes (alternate shot) regarded by many as the finest form of the game. A foursome usually takes no more than 3 hours, so a round of singles and a foursome can easily be played in a day, even at weekends.