Sheringham Golf Club is located high on the clifftops on an undulating thin sliver of land, which is wedged between the North Sea cliff edge and the North Norfolk Railway. Steam trains and vintage diesels occasionally rattle past the course, which is set within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The club was originally founded in 1891 and Tom Dunn laid down nine holes, returning in 1898 to extend the course to its present 18 holes.
“At Sheringham we shall be called upon to do only a moderate amount of climbing and some of the very stoutest hitting with the brassey that there has ever been required of us.” Wrote Bernard Darwin in his 1910 book, The Golf Courses of the British Isles: “The theory of the good length hole has been carried almost to its ultimate limit.” The course measures 6,546 yards from the back tees, factor in the North Sea winds and you’ve got a serious test of golf. It’s almost unimaginable how difficult this course must have been in the days of the hickory shaft and the gutty ball.
The best holes are undoubtedly those that run close to the edge of the cliffs. The 6th “is a very attractive hole,” wrote Darwin, “with the most glorious tee-shot from a high hill, a fine view of the sea, and a fascinating approach shot at the end.” Around the turn, the gorse and the railway line becomes the most significant hazards, which wait with patience to catch anything struck offline.
The English Ladies Close Amateur Championship has been played at Sheringham on three occasions, most recently in 1991, when Karen Stupples narrowly lost to Nicola Buxton. But in the 1920 event, the mighty Cecil Leitch was expected to win, but Joyce Wethered had different ideas. “It was by the way,” wrote Darwin in Golf Between Two Wars, “near the seventeenth green that there first appeared the traditional railway train which puffed and snorted loudly as Miss Wethered putted out and of which she was so entirely unaware, that, on being congratulated on her imperturbability, she is alleged to have asked, ‘What train?’”
Play Sheringham alongside its near neighbour, Royal Cromer, and you’ll have played two of England's finest cliff-top courses.
Some really lovely elevated tee shots and fun holes. The steam train on one side and ocean on the other make the setting delightful.
I was surprised and disappointed by lack of sandy terrain and overall condition of the fairways. But I'd come back and enjoy it again if the opportunity arises.
“Situated on the North Norfolk coast twixt pine and sea, Sheringham Golf Course encompasses everything that is beautiful about the game,” claims the professionally produced video.
We were lured to take on a six-hour round-trip by promises of a “hearty welcome” and “gorse-lined clifftops.”
The target sticks have no flags on the club video – but seem adorned by a cross between Chinese lanterns and raffia.
And the exotic images are supplemented by those of the steam train chugging alongside a course so pretty that it looks too good to be true.
I couldn’t help feeling that Sheringham over-promises. Sure, this is an attractive part of the world and the vistas along the coast are handsome. But the course didn’t live up to the superlatives.
To be fair, the welcome in a clubhouse which impressively meshes history with modern times, was on point as was the plentiful lunch.
But the first issue was highlighted by a practice putting green with speed which was never replicated on the course.
Sheringham begins with a tame, uphill par-four. Decent placement from the tee and a short chip will yield a par or, possibly better.
The second is a par-five which bends down towards the sea and is another good opportunity if bunkers can be avoided.
The third is accompanied by the dire warning that players should not tee off if there is potential for a walker on the coastal path to be hit.
There must have been a dozen such boards and I can only presume they are the result of an incident or been demanded by an insurance company.
The fact is that, in good weather, the path is busy and runs parallel with the course. Consequently, there is always the danger of an errant drive going towards ramblers and if heed were paid to the notices, nobody would play.
The great views of Sheringham begin to emerge on the fourth green, another short part-four with hedges to the right and a steeply sloping fairway down to the left.
This was the first time it became clear how slow the greens were. It seemed that from then on at least one of us was having to smash the ball to get it near to the target. Curiously and consistently, it came to an abrupt halt, four feet short.
The fifth is the picture hole, played from a high tee along the cliff. The second shot is almost certainly blind as it drops steeply before coming up again to the green.
This is followed by a downhill par-three which prompts much anxiety over which club should be used. We played on a day during which the wind swirled so my five-iron strike landed short and the ball dug down into tufty rough.
The rough at Sheringham can be punitive and easily found because of sudden gusts. I lost three balls - the most for quite a long time, so be prepared.
To be honest, two of them were over the fence separating the course from the steam railway line.
It’s a rather splendid distraction to see the vintage engines trundling past – I was glad to say I was not near hitting one although the drivers did have a habit of sounding their hooters just as we were on our downswings.
The passengers were not the only observers of our golf. Paragliders had bird’s eye views as they benefited from the breeze which became stronger as the game went on.
I digress. The back nine didn’t have quite the impact of some of the outward holes although the short 10th down into a two-tiered green was memorable as was the par-four which followed, over the halfway hut.
Indeed, Sheringham didn’t leave as good an overall impression as I had expected. I’ve played a lot of seaside golf lately and it was way below the condition of West Lancs, Goswick and Seaton Carew.
Aside of the slower greens, there were many bare patches on the fairways and the graduation into the rough was inconsistent.
On reflection, I would have been happy to have played if I had been holidaying in Norfolk but it had not been worth a three-hour drive.
Interestingly, I had been at Luffenham Heath the day before and thought it was more deserving of a spot in England’s top 100.
Completely agree with this. There are a few good holes and it’s nice to be by the seaside and the railway but I would certainly not recommend a long drive to play it and would suggest other local tracks if in the area as an alternative eg Hunstanton.
Was lucky enough to play Sheringham in early August and so pleased I made the effort. In my view this is a very underrated course – definitely on a par with some better known names.
It’s a lovely layout with a lot of variety - a combination of a links course with the added bonus of the scenic views from the cliff tops.
As with most courses this summer the rough was brutal, but the fairways are generous enough to make scoring a possibility.
It starts nicely with a generous opening drive but then requiring a very precise approach shot. After the 1st, and long downhill par 5 2nd, there are a couple of gentle(ish) uphill par 4’s to get you to the top of the cliffs. Once you get to the 5th, the challenge really starts, with a demanding drive to a fairway perched on the cliff tops (and on the day we played, the stiff breeze trying to push your drive out to sea).
From hereon there’s a fabulous range of holes from the long downhill par 3 6th, the par 5 7th with its tee parched on the cliff tops, and some demanding par 4s such as 10, 17 & 18.
Many holes benefit from raised, spectacular tee shots looking down the Norfolk coast. Overall a really solid test of golf demanding you use almost every club in the bag.
The club are focused on making continual improvements to the course and I love the baskets (instead of flags – like Merion, but apparently Sheringham’s came first!).
There’s also a warm welcome in the bar. Overall well worth making the effort to get out here. I look forward to doing so again.
What a blast we had at Sheringham! Reading many of the previous reviews and all the discussion around cliff top v downland v links v links like, none of this mattered. This is a class track whatever it's status. It's a class track regardless of the fact that the fairways are generous in width and there isn't too much trouble off the tee (providing you are straight). It's a class track regardless of whether some may view it as holiday golf.
As a cliff top course, with wonderful views along the North Norfolk coast, the breath taking views across the course from the 4th green, the backdrop of the railway track and the steam locomotives running by emitting their plumes of smoke, there is so much to admire.
On a day with only modest breeze, the course was very playable. Whilst some may want more challenge, visually this course excels with, in my opinion, no weak hole. Yes, there are a few blind shots - some off the tee, some as a second shot, but each hole flowed, whether rolling along the cliff top, around Skelding Hill or in the undulating land behind the cliffs.
The bunkers were consistent white sand, albeit a tad too thin, and the greens ran very true and were in excellent condition.
The 1st hole is a strong start, into a breeze and whilst short, the bunkers left and right will catch drives, and then a green high above you with bunker left and rough and bracken on the hillside that falls away.
The course then heads straight back towards the clubhouse with a par 5, before heading back out again, up the hill sat behind the cliffs, with 2 par 4's, the second of which is a sweeping left to right hole to a raised green with large false front, hidden from view on your short approach shot, so make sure you take enough club. Run off area and bunker to the right.
The views across the course and the coastline from the 4th green are breath taking.
And then onto what is viewed by most as the strongest hole on the course. From a high tee, watched by the myriad of coastal path walkers, you hit downhill on to a sweeping right to left fairway, with a long second shot to a green that is cut into the cliff top, with a significant fall away to the left catching any pulled approach shot.
I loved the 6th par 3, teeing off from the hill down to the green 200+ yards below.
The pick of the next set of holes was the delightful par 3 8th - as the course turns back from it's farthest point out.
Holes 9 - 11 continue the routing back towards the clubhouse, with the pick being the par 3 11th, with the backdrop of Skelding Hill. Protected by bunkers front left and right, accuracy is key.
The course then heads back out to the further point again with a strong par 4 at 424 yards, again played from an elevated tee, the hole sweeping left to right.
I have to say the routing was delightful - not like a traditional links (which we know it isn't) which is out and back, but the changes in direction flowed fell and were not forced.
You reach the further point on hole 14, with a blind tee shot. Better for knowing there was actually alot of space right of the marker pole and that is a better line than over it.
After the last of the par 3's, there is a strong finishing stretch. The 16th again features the chance to open your shoulders and drive to a fairway which drops away below you before rising again to the green. There are a number of bunkers short of the hole to catch the longer hitters, otherwise for shorter hitters the 2nd is a blind shot over a marker pole to the green.
The 17th for me was the most visually stunning, reminded me of the backdrop seen on some of the holes on Hillside, with pine trees sat atop Skelding Hill that frame the hole, the banking covered in bracken and gorse. Short of the raised green are a line of bunkers which ensures focus on your approach shot. The steam train runs very close to this hole providing a wonderful backdrop and photo op.
The last hole, a gentle uphill left to right 421 yards par 4, then played slightly downhill to the green back in front of the clubhouse and 1st tee.
With a good driving range, short game area to boot, this is an ideal stop off on any Norfolk Golf Holiday - it offers stunning scenery, a beautifully manicured course, at 6558 yards off the back tees a stiff enough challenge especially on a windy day and yet at the same time, the opportunity to create good scoring opportunities with the ability to take driver on the majority of holes, and whilst some may not find it a stiff enough test, for the majority, playing a course where you can have fun and have a very enjoyable day out playing a different style course to what's on offer just up the road at Hunstanton is equally as important. I highly recommend.
Loved Sheringham, lovely layout where you can watch a steam train come past while you play.
Firstly I think it had the best greens of the courses we played up there.
The course starts really well, 1 is a cracker of an opener, allowing you to open your shoulders off the tee and presenting the need for an accurate second, short comes back to you, left, right and long is trouble. 2 is a nice par 5 and 3 was a hard par 4 on the day, mainly due to the wind. 4 requires a tee shot in play and accuracy again to the green.
5 is the best hole on the course, 450 odd yard par 4 off the back tee (which we stupidly did). The view is fantastic and if you are not long off the tee, you will have a fairway wood in your hand with a blind shot to the well protected green, I speak from experience. The long par 3 6 is another good hole.
The course is not quite so good then until 9 which is a great par 4. The par 3 11th is a nice hole, make sure you find the middle of the green, as the front of the green will bring your ball back of the side and into a bunker. 16 and 17 are also nice holes, the former inviting you to have a go an the latter having a lovely approach, both run alongside the railway line. 18 is a nice hole, loads of room up the left but there are bunkers if you take this route.
My one negative was that too many times there are thick gorse bushes almost lining the fairways and it can become sole destroying if you are just missing fairways and losing balls.
All in though a great course in great condition.
If you're looking for a great golf course to play with stunning views then look no further as Sheringham will provide some of the best views you could ask for. The course is set amongst the cliffs of the Norfolk coast and is neighboured by Cromer golf course which takes a very much similar approach to Sheringham. It is classed as more of a downland course than a links course as it is not quite low enough down to be a links course but gets windy like one! The condition at Sheringham can be hit and miss and so for that reason it is not quite ranked as high as it could potentially be.
The 1st few holes start off fairly straight forward back and forth however as soon as you get to the 5th hole the whole world suddenly opens up to you as you are hit with the magnificent view of the fairway sat beside the sea. Won't find many other courses with views better than this. The 6th hole is very much the same, a downhill par 3 which can play much longer if the wind is in your face. The back 9 in my opinion is better than the front and the 11th is a great par 3 which has a tad bit of royal Dornoch esque in it with all the gorse around the green. The 17th is a great par 4 playing about 430 yards and a tough drive with train tracks right and gorse/bunkers left. The approach shot almost reminds of the 12th hole on the old at Sunningdale with the trees and hill to the left behind the green (although is not quite as good!).
Overall Sheringham is a nice course with some good views and definitely worth playing if you are in the area. A solid 4 ball course but could definitely be more if the condition was better.
Played Sheringham on a first trip to Norfolk and it provided a wonderful contrast to Hunstanton. We were blessed with a lovely sunny July day and about a 13mph breeze, just perfect for golf. A nice clubhouse, very friendly staff, good food, a well organised open pairs comp and good course condition.
A nice enough opening hole is followed by three fairly average holes and then you step onto the 4th green and then it hits you. WOW what a sight ! Most of the rest of the course is below you with the North sea on the right and the course dipping down in the middle and rising up to the holes at the far end. The south side is bounded by the steam train railway line and the passing of steam trains during the round just enhances the experience.
The 5th hole is quite simply one of the most memorable holes I have played. Teeing off an elevated tee with the course below you and sea/coastal path to the right of the fairway it is stunning and for me compares with the 7th hole at Pennard for beauty. Once you have avoided the fairway bunkers you are faced with a long second to an awkwardly angled green with mound on right and severe drop off to left. It is also 445 yards long and stroke index 1. So fabulous we went back in the evening to play it again !
The 6th is another gorgeous hole, a downhill par 3 of 197 yards with sea and coastal path on right; a bit similar to a short hole at Bridport but longer. After that there is a whole variety of holes that keeps the interest until the end of the round, too many good holes to mention really although tee shot at 12 is a cracker. Quite a lot of undulating up and down fairways which are reasonably generous, presumably necessary because of the wind factor. The starter said you could see the sea from at last one point on every hole and he was not wrong
Cliff top links golf at its best, Sheringham is a far superior version of courses like Bridport, Lyme Regis and Barton on Sea on the south coast. Different in style to Pennard which is more rugged.
Sheringham raises the question on how much ranking should be judged by enjoyability and playability for most golfers and how much by difficulty. For me Sheringham provided enough of a challenge off the white tees (par 70, 6246 yards) and the black tees at 6558 yards would increase this challenge. I found it more enjoyable than Hunstanton on our short trip and I for one wouldn't be surprised to see it rise up the rankings. Sheringham goes straight into my own personal top 10 favourite courses and I am thinking this may not be my last trip to Norfolk. Fabulous !
Sheringham is a lovely track situated on the North Norfolk coast. Due to the quality Norfolk has with links courses further east, Sheringham and Cromer are both up on the cliffs and offer something very different to the likes of Hunstanton and Royal West Norfolk.
The general of Sheringham is traditional, whereas it's nearby neighbour Cromer, tends to be a little quirkier. A fairly basic start turns into a tough golf course when you run into the 450 yard par four fifth hole. With the highest tee on the course, it gives a beautiful look of the cliff over the see and if you're not careful the ball could be on the way too. Well placed bunkers make it a very challenging hole. If that wasn't enough, One of the toughest par 3's in Norfolk awaits you from an elavated tee to a smallish green. no real trouble anywhere apart from the bunkers, but the wind can play such a challenging factor in whether a green in regulation or a bogey will go on the card.
Although there really aren't any 'stand out' holes at Sheringham, all are well kept and there are still certain holes to admire. The most unique part about the golf course is the train line which runs along the opposite side to the sea. The last four holes run alongside the track where you will see or hear an old steam train rattling through on it's journey along the Norfolk coast.
Sheringham benefits from a grass range which, is hit your own balls (or ask for some at the pro shop) and has a nice little pitching green along with nets for the warm up. It also has a traditional clubhouse which is a charming design.
Personally I couldn't pick a winner between Sheringham and Cromer, they are both great in their own way, the views I would argue Sheringham, but overall layout of holes and a tougher course I would be inclined to pick Cromer. Nevertheless both worth a play on your trip up to the peaceful part of the country.
Last played - Summer 18
Not sure how you’d categorize Sheringham. It’s not a links but plays a bit like one - much like a firm heathland that’s been transposed to a pretty attractive clifftop setting. Is that downland? Maybe it has its own unique identity. It definitely has a (very welcome) consistency of style throughout. The routing is a lovely walk not spoiled by the Golf - a delightful wander with panoramic views of the course and more at every turn.
It has a few average holes, but also several strong ones - particularly Par 4’s like the 5th, maybe the 9th, and the 17th. The Par 3 11th is also very nice - green or bust. The opener - another Par 4 - is a great way to start a round - whack it up hill and then see how sharp your short irons are this early in the day. It even has a steam train that passes alongside the course on the closing holes if that’s your thing.
Superior to Royal Cromer just down the road, Sheringham is more than the sum of its parts. It’s courses like this that contribute to England’s great strength in depth of diverse golfing quality. I liked it a lot.
The third leg of our trip brought us to Sheringham GC. What a delight this course is – a mix of cliff-top and links with some stunning views and holes. We can’t recommend this course enough.
We suspect it’s rated below Hunstanton due to a little golf snobbery – in that it is fairly generous off the tee for the most part, is not true links and is comparatively a tad shorter, but in our view this only adds to its playability. Surely an eminently playable course with stunning scenery is what the average golfer prefers ?! The course has numerous raised tees which always add to the experience and a super mix of holes, notably including 5th, 6th and 10th, all played from raised tees with coastal views-a-plenty. There’s also the local steam train bordering the other side of the course, all adding to the occasion. Similar to our experience at Hunstanton, due to the mini heatwave the course was very firm but the greens again were true and in terrific condition.
We’d highly recommend this course – if you’re thinking of visiting the area then it really should be on your itinerary. If you like your golf challengingly fair with scenery aplenty, then this is a must visit. We paid £60 to pre-book our tee times and were also permitted to play in our preferred 3-ball format, which is sometimes frowned upon at other renowned courses. All-in-all, a terrific venue for a round of golf – and be sure not to forget your camera/phone !