Hunstanton - Norfolk - England

Hunstanton Golf Club,
Golf Course Road,
Old Hunstanton,
Norfolk,
PE36 6JQ,
England


  • +44 (0) 1485 532811

  • Golf Club Website

  • 1 mile E of Hunstanton

  • Contact in advance. Handicap certificate required.

Hunstanton is the ancestral home of the le Strange family; Hamon le Strange invested £30 to get the original nine holes ready for play; George Fernie was the architect. Hunstanton Golf Club was founded in 1891 and Hamon became the inaugural club president. In 1907, James Braid revised the existing layout and extended the course to 18 holes, alterations which cost a total of £25. James Sherlock made further subtle modifications in the 1920s and the two closing holes were updated by Ken Cotton in 1951.

This natural course is a simple out and back affair, interrupted only briefly in the middle of the outward and inward nines by a few short holes that zigzag at right angles across the central dunes. The River Hun and the Wash frame this narrow strip of links land, but you are only offered a few glimpses of the sea from the course itself.

Hunstanton and Royal West Norfolk are always rated close together in today's ranking tables but, when Darwin wrote about Hunstanton in his book, The Golf Courses of the British Isles, things were different: “Hunstanton is very amusing golf; it is more than that, for it is for the most part very good golf. Perhaps it is a little unfairly overshadowed in public estimation by its near neighbour Brancaster, which is altogether on a rather bigger and grander scale.” Nevertheless, Hunstanton is a connoisseur’s golf course, jammed full of memorable quality golf holes. The members are quite rightly proud of the greens, they are tricky to read, fast, hard and true. The rippling fairways are tightly mown and gently undulating.

Two of the world’s best lady golfers have played and won here at Hunstanton. In the year before the Great War, Cecil Leitch beat G Ravenscroft 2 and 1 to win the Ladies’ British Amateur Championship and in 1921, the great Joyce Wethered beat J Stocker to win the English Ladies’ Close Amateur Championship. More recently, in 1972, Hunstanton hosted the Ladies’ British Amateur Championship, when Mickey Walker went on to win, beating Claudine Rubin of France.

A feat of incalculable odds also occurred at Hunstanton. In 1974, the amateur Bob Taylor holed in one during a practice round for the Eastern Counties Foursomes. The following day, in the actual competition, he again holed in one. The very next day in the same competition, he once more holed in one. If a hole in one on three consecutive days is not enough, you’ll be amazed to hear that it was achieved each time on the same hole, the 16th, a 191-yard par three!

This is a full-blown championship golf links; an absolute must-play for serious golfers. Make your score on the outward nine, the back nine is much more difficult, except for the par 3 16th, a simple hole in one opportunity.

Martin Hawtree recently produced a course master plan for the club and much of this work has completed, including re-bunkering of the par fives and improvements to the 1st, 7th, 10th and 18th.

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Reviews for Hunstanton

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Description: Hunstanton Golf Club is a connoisseur’s golf course, jammed full of memorable quality golf holes. Rating: 7.5 out of 10 Reviews: 41
TaylorMade
Jim McCann

Hunstanton lies just a wee bit behind Royal West Norfolk in the rankings but its regal neighbour had better watch out as this course is heading places under the able direction of secretary Bob Carrick, who took great delight in showing me several before and after pictures of extensive bunker work that was recently carried out on the course. Gordon Irvine – the Master Greenkeeper who played a leading role in the restoration of the old Askernish course – Hunstanton Golf Course - Photograph by reviewerhas been working with in-house staff to upgrade some of the more tired aspects on the course and the results of their winter endeavours were only too apparent to see on the 2nd and 15th holes where some wonderful pot bunkers have been formed and some subtle mounding installed around the greens.

Hunstanton was once renowned for the quality of the greens – they were a tad slow when I played – and the club are determined to restore that reputation, especially now that they have a respected agronomist on their side.

Fairways are laid out along and across a spine of sand hills that run the length of the course and this topography results in wonderful holes like the short par four 6th where its pulpit green sits on top of the dunes. The par three 16th attracts much talk about a fantastic hole in one feat when it was aced three days running in 1974 but really – with no disrespect to Bob Taylor, the golfer involved – it should be lauded in its own right as an absolutely fantastic short hole with a wickedly contoured green that’s surrounded by brilliantly-positioned bunkers and it's one of the best downhill par threes I’ve ever played.

The challenging back-to-back par fives at holes 8 and 9 provide a real sting in the tail on the front nine and the long, blind par three 14th nods favourably to old-fashioned golfing traditions that would never be considered in a modern day routing.

The traffic light system on the closing hole (where fairway lights turn to red if somebody crosses the fairway to access the beach huts) also tickled me as it proves the club is more than capable of embracing new technology if that’s what it takes to preserve the time-honoured golfing pursuits of its members.

Jim McCann

April 04, 2011
8 / 10
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HDM
Managed to play hear once on a recent trip to Norfolk and was impressed by a very pleasant links course with a lot of very good golf holes. It is usually a 2 ball course but they do have some 4 ball days and I had the misfortune of getting stuck behind a very slow 5 hour round 4 ball which marred what would have otherwise been a brilliant day out and to add insult to injury they would not let me play with my 9 year old son as he was deemed too young even though he plays 18 holes with me much quicker (and better) than the snails in front. Having said that I would definitely like to go back if I ever return to Norfolk, especially on a day when I was swinging the golf club well as this has got some very nice golf holes in a lovely setting.
September 15, 2010
6 / 10
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Ivan
A classic links course, the proffesssional made us welcome, we had an excellent sandwich before setting out. I thought the course was much better than it's neighber Royal West Norfolk as it offered a wide variety of holes. We played it in a fairly strong wind which ment that scoring going out was excellent but a real battle coming home. Happy with a 30 point return but feel could do better without quite so much wind.
July 27, 2010
8 / 10
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Patrick McGarey
Although seemingly often criticized or faint-praised (holes too similar, par fives not tough enough, etc.), I found Hunstanton to be an extremely worthwhile links course. The conditioning was excellent, a variety of shots were required and there was just enought quirkiness (a blind par three on the backside) to represent a "true" links experience. I visited in April 2010 and played in sunny, windless conditions. Play was a bit slow due to a youth tournament in progress, but I played in just under four hours, so nothing to really complain about. The greens were in top shape and putted very fairly. My only warning to fellow players is that the water described (in the strokesaver books) as behind the green on the par five second is actually a burn running along the left side of the green. This led to an unneeded double bogey after playing pretty much the shots I tried to. I'll have to come back and make up for this blemish! Hunstaton and Royal West Norfolk make a great one-two punch (and don't forget Royal Cromer and Sheringham in the same area).
May 12, 2010
8 / 10
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jon dougherty
Wonderful course. A complete pain to get to but well worth the trip.We played on a cool but dry day in mid October in a fruity northerly wind (i'm sure the locals would call it a wee breeze).A beautiful clubhouse and friendly welcome- log fire and hot coffee-made me feel like just sitting around rather than getting on the course. The course really kicks into life at the 6th which has to be one of the best short par-4's in the world-you play a little pitch into a horribly exposed elevated green with potential disaster on all sides.I cannot rate this hole highly enough. The rest of the course is just tough but emminently fair.It is as is usual with links all dependent on the wind.I i agree that the 14th seems a little bit of place(blind par-3)but the last 4 holes are superb especially 16 and 17.You feel there is class at Hunstanton. The greens were pretty decent-I was told that they have had loads of problems over the years getting the new greens to bed in correctly but they were emminetly playable and are certainly'getting there'. I think it's probably a bit fairer than Brancaster just along the coast although playing both would be a great experience.
November 06, 2009
8 / 10
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heffalump
OK, I have to admit bias. Played Hunstanton on a windless day and shot 71 gross. (I play off 12). This means I loved the place. It is a real challenge with great views and is really interesting, marred by one awful par 3. (Totally blind played over a hill)
August 29, 2009
8 / 10
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Craig Morrison
Hunstanton is a fabulous course. I believe it should rate more highly on this site than it does. (At time of writing it’s number 40). Actually, perhaps there are 39 courses its superior in England… But the confusion arises because its near neighbour, Brancaster, is ranked 18. Now, I prefer the holiday golf at Brancaster to the sterner test at Hunstanton, but in the real world, geographically and in terms of golfing worth, there’s very little between these tracks. Anyway, play Hunstanton. There are many good holes here and they’re especially found on the back nine. That’s simply because the best land closest to the sea has been used for the inward half (and most courses use their seaside land for the front nine – Macrihanish, Balgownie, Troon etc. - so this makes a pleasant change). Also though, play Brancaster. Unlike Hunstanton this place has some great holes, not just good ones. But there are a few ropy ones at Brancaster too. Hunstanton is probably a more serious golf course. But Brancaster – across its mix of great and average holes – has something a jot more magical about it. ANGLOSCOT
August 19, 2009
6 / 10
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Tom Sleater
Hunstanton is a fabulous test of golf that really should be played if you get the chance. The course is set along a beautiful stretch of coastline and on a sunny day really does get the juices flowing. I played 72 holes there this weekend and would have played more had the light permitted! Particular highlighs for me are the 6th and 7th on the front which are great holes. On the back nine the closing 16th, 17th and 18th really do provide a stern test with a spectacular backdrop.Greens were not too hot (as understand there is some renovation of the greens going on) and the par 3 14th is slightly random but everything else about this place would keep you coming back time and time again.
October 13, 2008
8 / 10
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Campbell Smith
Superb golf course, and to me, on a different level to its near neighbour Royal West Norfolk. The look and feel to the place were what I was expecting with superb 1st tee positioned right next to the 18th green and in front of the clubhouse, that were some very friendly and humorous staff will take care of you. Great set of holes going out from the clubhouse, and could imagine it being a much tougher prospect if the wind really blows. The back felt tougher, but I felt that the Par 3 14th was a disappointing hole. Long 220+ Par 3 into the wind with a blind tee shot ? However, the 16th was a magnificant Par 3, with views out to the sea and hitting over fantastic collection of bunkers to a sloping green. Closing hole should not be underestimated, as it is tougher than the lenght suggests. Very narrow green to finish, after an accurate tee shot. Certainly would recommend and play again.
July 02, 2008
8 / 10
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stephen voce
Fabulous traditional links.A real test of golf , lots of character i just couldn`t understand a par 3 , 220yard blind tee shot having a stroke index 18!!My partner and i both double -bogeyed it and he shot a gross 80!Would love to return when the course was quieter.
June 14, 2008
8 / 10
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