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Aldeburgh (Championship)

Aldeburgh (Championship)

Aldeburgh, England
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Founded in 1884, Aldeburgh Golf Club is one of the oldest golf clubs in Suffolk and is separated from the tidal Alde estuary by an unusual strip of coastal heathland. Although the Championship course itself is ostensibly heathland, its close proximity to the estuary and the North Sea provides a salty whiff of sea air.

Aldeburgh was originally designed by John Thompson and Willie Fernie and modified at the turn of the 20th century by Willie Park Junior and J.H.Taylor. Hugh Alison and Harry Colt made further modifications to the course in the 1920s. Benjamin Britten once lived close to the course, bringing fame to the town through the internationally renowned music festivals at Snape Maltings.

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If you play Aldeburgh between May and late June, you will be presented with beautiful narrow fairways weaving their way between bright yellow gorse. You will be hard-pressed to find such an awe-inspiring sight at any golf course. Clearly, you need to be on top of your game. Looking for golf balls in this terrain is a painful business. "I am also very fond of Aldeburgh," wrote Darwin, "though now and again when I am sore and spiky from sitting in gorse bushes, and hot and tired from searching for my ball, I could wish there was just a little less gorse."

Deep, sleeper-faced bunkers protect some of the greens. Combine this with the ever-changing wind and you are presented with an excellent a golfing challenge. Or as Darwin said: "I know no course more likely to teach driving accuracy. There is nearly always a wind on that most pleasant heath, and there are very often avenues of gorse, and you simply must keep straight."

Aldeburgh is a traditional two-ball club; foursomes, not three or four-ball play is the order of the day. Aldeburgh Golf Club has hosted a number of important ladies and men’s amateur events over the years, but it’s a course the average handicap golfer will also enjoy enormously.

9th October 2008 – Perry Hunt commented on our article: “In common with a large number of top courses, Aldeburgh has cleared some gorse away from the fairways and tidied up years of natural overgrowth. As a result of a recent review, in association with Nicholsons, the course has been lengthened to 6,600 yards (par 68), bunkering has been modified and the Club is partway through a programme of modifying 4 or 5 holes. Finally, Aldeburgh offers splendid golf throughout the winter (no placing, no temporary surfaces and fast true greens) something many higher ranked courses cannot always offer, especially for our modest greenfees!”

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