Royal Norwich - Norfolk - England

Royal Norwich Golf Club,
Drayton High Road,
Hellesdon,
Norwich,
NR6 5AH,
England


  • +44 (0) 1603 429928

  • Phil Grice

  • J.J.W. Deuchar and James Braid

  • Simon Youd


Visit Golfbreaks.com for a golf holiday at Royal Norwich

Royal Norwich Golf Club was founded in 1893 and despite urbanisation the course still occupies its original site in Hellesdon which is located a mere two miles from the city centre. The club owes much to John J.W. Deuchar who drafted the original plans. The great James Braid remodelled the course in the mid 1920s and little has since changed.

“Let us glance at Hellesdon, remembering that we are now on something like historic ground, since Hellesdon has bred the native Open Champion that we so badly wanted to stem the progress of the American invader.” Wrote Bernard Darwin in A Round of Golf on the LNER. “The soil is light and sandy, and the lie of the land pleasantly undulating. There are patches of gorse here and there, just enough to give a golfing flavour to the view, without making life too prickly a business.”

Despite its age, Royal Norwich is no shorty. The course measures a healthy 6,506 yards from the medal tees, with par set at 72. But with only three par fives and the same number of par threes, you need to be on song to better your handicap. The course opens up, rather unusually, with a par three. This is the only hole on the front nine on the westward side of the Drayton Road. It’s certainly not the most difficult opening hole, but the first shot on any course is often the most difficult, especially in the mind. To make matters worse, the 1st is sandwiched between the 18th green, the clubhouse and the putting green.

The 8th is one of our favourite holes and this is the only original remaining 19th century hole. This 408-yard par four requires a solid drive down a pretty valley. The two-tiered green site is set with trees on either side, inspiring the hole’s name: “The Glade”.

Royal Norwich is certainly an entertaining and engaging course with a fine collection of holes and some fascinating history. It’s well worth seeking out and worthy of a detour, but make the trip soon as plans to move Royal Norwich Golf Club to a new location was backed by its members in February 2014.

The proposal to relocate the club from Hellesdon to Weston Park, near Lenwade, was voted for by more than 80% of its members following an agreement with a housing developer. In March 2017 the club announced the completion of the sale of its land to developer Persimmon for £17m and confirmed that the existing Hellesdon golf course will remain open for the next two years.

Seeding of greens and fairways at Weston Park started in September 2017, so the new 7,500-yard Royal Norwich golf course, designed by Ross McMurray of European Golf Design, should be open by 2019 after a lengthy grow-in period.

Developer Martin Goymour said: “The project, upon completion, will benefit members at both clubs and enable Weston Park to be transformed into Norfolk's premier golf club.” Unless the sea swallows Royal West Norfolk and Hunstanton we feel Mr Goymour’s comments are perhaps optimistic.

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Reviews for Royal Norwich

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Description: Royal Norwich Golf Club is a very well established parkland course... a club with history. The layout has changed little since James Braid's alterations in 1924. Rating: 3.3 out of 6 Reviews: 6

Having played Royal Norwich a few times now, I return not hoping for much. A moderately average golf course with very few good holes.

Most peoples complaints of the course is the hatred of the crossing fairways bang in the middle of the layout of the front nine. It's not liked by many due to the inconvenience it causes to everyone. And from my experience of courses around Norfolk and further afoot, this is one of the blander ones.

Crossing over a fairly dangerous road is another bad point to add to Royal Norwich as you cross after the first hole. It just seems like a pointless hole to be there in all honesty.

Given all the stick it does get, I do like a few holes there including the 2nd, a long par 4 downhill with a slightly elevated green in which a good drive is needed to avoid the bomb hole to the left, and the 13th hole, a derivable downhill par 4 which a great tee shot is required to hit the well protected green with OB left.

The general condition of the course isn't bad in all honesty, greens can tend to be a bit slow however i'm not a fan of the layout. It seems like a golf course needing space where you look at other gems around and how they take you on a journey out into the course where Norwich just pings you back and fourth trying to get 18 holes in.

3 / 6
Royal Norwich
January 05, 2017


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I've played this a couple of times in the past few months in competitions and charity events. The course itself is ok if unspectacular but a couple of things are irritating: The main problem is the crossing over of some fairways where you end up trying to see if someone else has hit your ball up a different hole. The other issue is the proximity of a main road that you need to cross. This also disturbs the peace of your round. There are some good holes, the second and eighth are nice par 4s with elevation changes.Overall average, I would recommend the nearby Eaton above this. If you are in Norfolk I'd play the resurgent and renovated Royal Cromer as number one followed by the excellent Brancaster and Hunstanton links.
3 / 6
Royal Norwich
October 16, 2014


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Mark
June 04, 2015
A very average course indeed
How this course got 'Royal' status will remain one of life's mysteries. Played this course last week and, without exception, all 6 in our party were thoroughly underwhelmed. The members of this club are evidently very confident of getting planning permission allowing the relocation to Weston Park to go ahead as it was patently clear that very little money had been spent on the course in recent times. Yes, the greens were fine, albeit a little slow and yes the staff in the clubhouse were very courteous but, beyond that, the course had little to commend it.
3 / 6
Royal Norwich
June 29, 2014


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David
July 18, 2014
i felt the same about Royal Winchester, at least Royal Norwich has got some reviews on this website.
I have to say that as a group we spent most of the time wondering how it managed to receive a Royal status ? Whilst it was a nice parkland course, with friendly staff, I guess we were expecting a lot more than we got, but was a good start to weekend of golf. The best of the course is from holes 2-10, which is on the opposite side of the road from the clubhouse. Much tougher test of golf that holes 11-18, which were played on fairly open up and back holes. 2nd hole is a lovely sweeping Par 4 to a very steep green, with a daunting tee shot but with a lot more landing space than you might think. Would recommend it to people but with the proviso that it is probably not what you would expect a true 'Royal' course to be.
3 / 6
Royal Norwich
July 02, 2008


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Royal Norwich must be one of the best value Royals and you can play here for under 20 quid per round during certain times. It’s always immaculately maintained and renowned for its true and fast greens. There is a distinctly different feel to the two nines, which lie on either side of the road, but I can’t put my finger on the differences. If this is your first time around here, I advise a Strokesaver. Local knowledge is quite important otherwise you will find yourself in trouble as some of the fairways slope wickedly. This is without doubt the premier course in the area. The only downside is the clubhouse, which is comfortable enough and has some great views of the course but it’s not exactly in keeping with the history and heritage of Royal Norwich.
5 / 6
Royal Norwich
October 24, 2005


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Royal Norwich is the best course in and around Norwich, although Eaton comes a close second. RN, whilst most definately a parkland course has loads of gorse,which is more akin to heathland. The holes are varied and enjoyable and the ground has pleasant elevation changes. All in all an enjoyable course with excellent greens, worth playing if in the area.
3 / 6
Royal Norwich
September 23, 2004


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