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Gorleston

Great Yarmouth, England
  • AddressWarren Rd, Hopton, Great Yarmouth NR31, UK

Gorleston Golf Club was founded at a meeting in the Cliff Hotel on 12th May 1906, when entrance fees for gentlemen were set at one guinea and annual subscriptions also fixed at one guinea, with ladies paying half those amounts. A 9-hole course was brought into play by Easter the following year on land leased from the Cliff Park estate.

The club relocated in 1913, calling in Willie Park Jr. to lay out a new 18-hole course, and he was assisted in this by James Hepburn, the professional at Home Park in Richmond. Unfortunately, the outbreak of World War I the following year resulted in the closure of the course and six holes were ploughed over for agricultural use.

All eighteen holes didn’t come back into use until 1925, after they had been remodelled by Fred Hawtree and J.H. Taylor. During the Second World War, only twelve holes were left in play but repairs and renovations were carried out again by Fred Hawtree, allowing normal operations to resume in 1948.

Both the course and clubhouse were bought from the landlord by the members in 1967, enabling the club to proceed on a surer footing. When additional land was obtained in 1974/75, this allowed John Bacon of Hugh Jackson, Bacon and Partners to design a couple of new holes and modify others.

At the start of the new millennium, the club purchased another 50-acre tract to the west of the old 13th and 14th holes, which enabled Howard Swan to integrate part of this land into the main design of the course. Continuing coastal erosion might force the club to develop more of these spare acres as the cliffs erode onto the beach below.

Today, this cliff top layout (the easternmost course in the UK) extends to 6,341 yards from the back tees, playing to a par of 71; 34 out and 37 in. With no par fives on the outward half, the front nine holes measure all of 500 yards shorter than those on the back nine, though the routing is such that golfers don’t return to the clubhouse until they’ve played the par four 10th.

Highlight holes include short par fours on the 1st and 9th, along with the stretch of holes between the 5th and 8th, which run along the edge of the cliffs. On the inward half, the par three 11th is a tricky optical proposition for first time players on the tee, with a couple of bunkers in front of the green giving the illusion that the green appears to be a lot closer than it really is.

Although Gorleston is located in Norfolk the golf club is affilated to the Suffolk Golf Union, so we have assigned the course to our Suffolk county listings.

Gorleston Golf Club was founded at a meeting in the Cliff Hotel on 12th May 1906, when entrance fees for gentlemen were set at one guinea and annual subscriptions also fixed at one guinea, with ladies paying half those amounts. A 9-hole course was brought into play by Easter the following year on land leased from the Cliff Park estate.

The club relocated in 1913, calling in Willie Park Jr. to lay out a new 18-hole course, and he was assisted in this by James Hepburn, the professional at Home Park in Richmond. Unfortunately, the outbreak of World War I the following year resulted in the closure of the course and six holes were ploughed over for agricultural use.

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Willie Park Jr.

​Willie Park Jr. was born in Musselburgh, the second of four sons of (Old) Willie Park, four-time Open Champion. Young Willie won the Open twice himself, becoming one of five Musselburgh men to do so.

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