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: 44
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Mark Harrison
What a fantastic surprise. Had not read the reviews on here before playing, had just heard it was a 'good links course'. 36 holes in a 3-4 club wind made for a challenging day but what a super track - a fantastic variety of holes, many memorable ones and a very tough finish into the wind. Greens were very slick and true. Also played Sheringham the following day in more benign conditions - this was not quite in the same league but also great fun with some stunning holes.
September 26, 2012
8 / 10
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Steve Whitby
Played 10th April on the Volvo Am Tour nice links nice club house, but that's it nice, nothing special to shout about. How is this course rated 59th and Sheringham down the road isn't even in the top 100. This site is starting lose its credibility. I only entered this event because this site rated it so highly. This is not a top 100 venue beware
April 10, 2012
4 / 10
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Hugh
April 12, 2012
I find it irresistible to comment on reviews like this. Sheringham is one of the few decent downland courses in Britain but it’s not as good as Southerndown. Hunstanton is perhaps the most testing golf course in East Anglia and while it may not have the charm of Brancaster it’s one of the finest and most natural links courses in the country. Perhaps the reason it is not rated even more highly is because it doesn’t have any really notable holes but Hunstanton is a good solid links course in the mould of Burnham & Berrow and to rate it as an average course is nonsense. I can only assume the poster either knows nothing about golf course architecture or was badly beaten up by a true links. Hunstanton is a definite GB&I Top 100 golf course. Sheringham is not.
Pup
April 13, 2012
Hugh - spot on. Joke review.
Luca
September 19, 2014
I totally agree with Hugh. Sheringham is in a dramatic location but the course is not in the same league as Hunstanton which is a first class links.
Max Monroe
Hunstanton is a traditional Links with a great old clubhouse. The course is good with all of the fixing's you would find on a traditional links course: blind shots, quirky design features and similar bounces, with lots humps and bumps. All things considered if the course wants to get ranked high they need championship style bunkers. The bunkers are generally weak, sparse and not very interesting. Other than that the course is good and the clubhouse was memorable.
July 23, 2011
6 / 10
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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 03, 2011
7 / 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 14, 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 26, 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 11, 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 28, 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 18, 2009
6 / 10
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