Royal West Norfolk - Norfolk - England

Royal West Norfolk Golf Club,
Brancaster,
Norfolk,
PE31 8AX,
England


  • +44 (0) 1485 210223

  • Golf Club Website

  • 7 miles E of Hunstanton

  • Contact in advance – restricted at weekends

  • Tim Stephens

  • Holcombe Ingleby

  • Simon Rayner

Founded in 1892, Royal West Norfolk Golf Club is a classic, nothing much has changed here for 100 years. Squeezed beautifully between Brancaster Bay and the salt marshes, Royal West Norfolk truly is a peaceful golf links, except when the wind blows and boy, is the wind bracing here!

Check the tide times before you plan your trip to Royal West Norfolk Golf Club. The course plays on a narrow strip of links-land which gets cut off at high tide, turning it into an island. If you are lucky enough to play the course during high tide, you are in for a real treat; the downside is that you will need plenty of golf balls.

Prior to your game, grab a quick drink in the oak-panelled Smoke Room inside the Victorian clubhouse and check the wind speed on the gauge next to the bar. If you want to eat after your round, make sure you order before you play, otherwise you will only be offered a choice of delicious cakes.

“In the days of the gutty it was most emphatically a driver’s course,” wrote Bernard Darwin in his book, The Golf Courses of the British Isles, “since nobody could get over the ground without exceptional hitting. Even now, when the pampering Haskell has noticeably reduced its terrors, it is still a driver’s course, in the sense that it is one on which one derives the maximum of sensual pleasure from opening one’s shoulders for a wooden club shot.”

Out on the course, you feel delightfully isolated; often all you can hear are the seductive sounds of the wind, the seagulls, the clinking of stays and the flapping of boat sails. Essentially, the course is a traditional out and back links; huge sleeper-faced bunkers, fast greens and that beautiful links turf. A magical place to play golf. However, three-ball play is only allowed at the discretion of the Secretary and four-ball play is forbidden.

“Few things are more terrifying than the first hole at Brancaster on a cold, raw, windy morning,” wrote Darwin, “when our wrists are stiff and our beautiful steely-shafted driver feels like a poker. There is a bunker – really a very big, deep bunker – right in front of our noses.”

Beware the weather at Brancaster though; it can take you by surprise. We played here in late spring and ignored the black clouds to the west. After all, we were on the 15th and the sun was shining. By the time we reached the 17th it was raining and by the 18th, we faced a full-blown tempest. When, soaked to the skin, we arrived to knowing smiles in the clubhouse, the wind gauge was fluctuating between 50 and 55mph.

If the above article is inaccurate, please let us know by clicking here

Reviews for Royal West Norfolk

Av. Reviewers Score:
Description: Check the tide times before you plan your trip to Royal West Norfolk Golf Club, the course plays on a narrow strip of links-land which gets cut off at high tide, turning it into an island. Rating: 5.2727272727273 out of 6 Reviews: 10

A truely excellent golf course. Immaculate condition and a pleasure to play. Some very testing holes, and some hugely deep bunkers, which I was thankful not to find.We played on a perfect but chilly day, with good playing conditions but when the wind gets up I would say it would be a very difficult course to play.5* Links at its best!!!
6 / 6
Royal West Norfolk
October 27, 2008


Was this review helpful? Yes / No
0 people found this review helpful
Respond to above review
If you don't like this place then you don't like golf. It's on of the best golf course i've played. It kicks Hunstanton into touch along with a good few other famous links and much more high profile courses. It is quite possibly the most fun you can have on a golf course. Throw the scorecard away and get creative. The bunkers are amazing fun and almost dare you to aim for them. The entire experience of the club house and the location makes for a treat of a day out. I found the condition of the course fantastic with smooth and quick enough greens. You know you are somewhere very special as soon as you arrive and if you need reminding check out the past captains board. Enjoy.
6 / 6
Royal West Norfolk
October 02, 2008


Was this review helpful? Yes / No
0 people found this review helpful
Respond to above review
People's memories tend if you can catch it in the sunshine it's a delightful place to play. The use of railway sleepers to edge deep (and some of the huge) bunkers is fun, and also protects greens on some of the shorter approach shots. Plays its best as a foursomes course - fast and ideal for matchplay; swap driving holes at lunchtime to experience every bit of the course. You can build a score on the way out, then things tighten up on the way back as you turn into the wind. It's impossible not to enjoy the views out over the huge sandy beach from the upstairs conservatory and several of the sea-wall tees. I much prefer it to Hunstanton, where the greens have still not recovered from their recent problems and are slow. Brancaster putted a bit slower this year after the wet summer, but is still superior. The only weak hole is really the short 13th, and the closing two holes are quite benign (a bit like the 18th at St Andrews). Excellent practice ground. Good old fashioned links golf in a beautiful corner of England.
5 / 6
Royal West Norfolk
September 29, 2008


Was this review helpful? Yes / No
0 people found this review helpful
Respond to above review
Whilst overall it was a good course, I would have to say that I did not consider it a great course. The opening couple and closing hole, which share a fariway, were simply bland and there fore left you with a disappointing start and close. There are some excellent holes, like the Par 3 10th, Par 5 11th and Par 4 12th but overall not the quality I was expecting and some way short of the experience of Hunstanton or better still Sheringham which was an outstanding course.
4 / 6
Royal West Norfolk
July 02, 2008


Was this review helpful? Yes / No
0 people found this review helpful
Respond to above review
As a test of golf maybe slightly below its neighbourHunstanton - played both in the same week.For an enjoyable experience, right up there with anything i`ve played,the salt-marshes,dunes and the famous dog bowl!Wow!At times there was no sign of human life just the sound of the gulls and the odd black labrador!An absolute treasure.
5 / 6
Royal West Norfolk
June 14, 2008


Was this review helpful? Yes / No
0 people found this review helpful
Respond to above review
The best course I have played on, The whole place is fantastic. Try and play early and late, Just to see the differance the wind makes with the differnt tides. Would play here all the time if lived near by. Love the fact that they dont like slow play!
6 / 6
Royal West Norfolk
March 06, 2008


Was this review helpful? Yes / No
0 people found this review helpful
Respond to above review
Keep this course a hidden secret. Old time experience in a similar way as Prestwick, and St Andrews Old, a very special place. You will see dogs everywhere here, in the club house and on the course, I think it is a good move to have the pets out there. The course is as simple as it gets but very effective, a few blind shots, with a lot of bounces. They play fast here, it is a strictly enforced 2 ball course and member don't like to wait on visitors. The way you arrive to the course is fun too, watch out for the tides and after the round make sure you stop off at the Ship for a bite and pint. The club house is from a bygone era, great to se the club preserve it, the course and all the other things that make this place unique. Surely an experience to remember for all golfers.
5 / 6
Royal West Norfolk
February 10, 2008


Was this review helpful? Yes / No
0 people found this review helpful
Respond to above review
Superb, true, natural links with great greens and many interesting holes. Affords great views across the north sea and the Staiths / Harbour. Fascinating, unspoilt club house that hasn't changed since it was built. Also new practice facilities which are first rate and a good pro shop. On balance I prefer Brancaster to Hunstanton but only just, both are top 25 English Golf courses.
5 / 6
Royal West Norfolk
October 08, 2007


Was this review helpful? Yes / No
0 people found this review helpful
Respond to above review
Played this course only a week ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. The course was in excellent condition and this made the day that much more enjoyable. Overall, I think the course is good but it doesn’t compare with other classic link courses. Not too many holes you would remember but then again no poor holes. We played £70 for a day ticket and thought that was good value. I prefer Hunstanton to Brancaster though as I feel the back nine is tougher and has a better layout. Brancaster is still a good course though and I recommend that you play both if you have time. Note: If you can carry your bag then do so as the terrain is tough for pulling a trolley. Enjoy !!
4 / 6
Royal West Norfolk
September 26, 2007


Was this review helpful? Yes / No
0 people found this review helpful
Respond to above review
Brancaster is without doubt one of the finest places to play golf in this country, for me the whole place is perfect. If you can be fortunate enough to play the course at high tide you are in for a rare, but difficult,treat.Having played there I now have a new ambition in life, to retire to Brancaster and play golf at Royal West Norfolk - if only !!
6 / 6
Royal West Norfolk
August 09, 2007


Was this review helpful? Yes / No
0 people found this review helpful
Respond to above review