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.
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 !
Without doubt my favourite course in the uk. I can't claim to have played too many top courses but this is the best I've played. A gentle start for three holes before you are rewarded with some magnificent holes and beautiful views. The greens are tricky but fair and always in good nick. Sheringham has some illustrious neighbours but more than holds it own. If you plan to come to Norfolk to play golf I urge anyone to put this at the top of the list
Firstly, I have to point out that Sheringham is not a links. I’m struggling to understand why a number of reviewers are insisting that it is. The turf doesn’t compress like links turf, the grasses are wrong, it doesn’t drain like links turf, there are no dunes and the course supports more of an aerial strategy than the ground game. A beautiful clifftop moorland course it may well be, but not a links.
What Sheringham most definitely is, is the epitome of holiday golf. I don’t mean this in a patronising, disrespectful way, but a form of praise. You have the delightful North Sea view along the top of the cliff and on many of the holes, in particular on the back 9, you can just swing away with your driver. I can imagine that it’s a wonderful spot on a beautiful Summer’s day; the sound of the waves on the sea, the sun on your back and beautiful views with the steam train chugging away alongside the length of the course. I also loved the ragged edge of the cliff that provides a feature view along much of the course.
The fact that you can swing away on the tee to your heart’s content is a minor criticism as I’d prefer more challenge and strategy required. Only a handful of holes have truly great design that make you think, otherwise just grab your driver and open your shoulders.
The highlights include the 5th which is a gorgeous hole along the cliff top and is one of those holes that doesn’t support the “bomb away with the driver” strategy. A tight drive between bunkers greets you as you land your ball on a fairway where the land leans away from the cliff edge for the length of the hole. You’re also faced with a severe drop to the left of the green and it takes a brave golfer to aim to the right to allow for the natural draw you’re likely to face because of the ball position above your feet. 6 and 7 also play along the sea front and are lovely holes, but maybe haven’t achieved their full potential because the public footpath along the cliff edge denies the course from locating a green tight to the cliff. Whilst those holes along the sea are probably the best run of holes, the 17th called “What Train?” was my personal pick from the whole course. The green is perched up above the fairway on a plateau, set into a hill with diagonally positioned cross bunkering. Gorse also lines the left hand side of the hole and there’s the railway to the right with a group of firs providing the backdrop to the hole. It's one of the best holes in Norfolk and the penultimate hole in a very enjoyable round of golf.
The setting is one of the most dramatic, animated and pretty that I have ever played. Don't be fooled by the picturesque landscape though because this course does have teeth and will bite if you don't show it respect.
It has been debated previously if Sheringham can be classed as a 'true' links golf course. Both Donald Steel and Tom Doak refer to it as more of a 'downland' course. It is indeed played over the glacial clifftops of this seaside town and if wandering through large sand dunes is a prerequisite of yours for links golf then you'll find none here. But for me Sheringham plays every inch a top links course... and then some.
It is laid out on exposed land between the cliff edge and the North Norfolk Railway line. The crash and bash of the North Sea waves pounding the rocks below is ever-present during your round and passing trains (often a steam train evoking memories from a bygone age) is a regular occurrence on the inland side. The turf is good and there are lots of natural undulations in the ground. There are also large areas of gorse that frame many of the holes, none more impressive than a huge bank of bright yellow behind the 11th and 17th greens.
I originally enjoyed the course on a gloomy, murky day when the encroaching sea-haar reduced visibility to less than 100 yards. As a result I didn't get to see some of the early holes in all their glory but even without perfect vision I was still able to ascertain they were solid holes. The mist cleared towards the end of the front-nine revealing the full and beautiful expanse of the course. On subsequent rounds the course has always been displayed in all its stunning beauty.
Sheringham is a course that will be enjoyed by all abilities (I hate that phrase but it is so true here). There are only a few forced carries and the course offers plenty of width. The greens are good and have gradual undulations providing a good test but they are not too fierce to be frightening.
The early stretch of clifftop holes are renowned (and rightly so) and the closing holes along the railway line are also often praised (again rightly so) but one shouldn't underestimate the middle part of the course either as it is here where some really good holes can be found.
Playing Sheringham on my first ever visit in such murky conditions was quite an eerie yet at the same time brilliant experience. Subsequent rounds have simply reaffirmed my appreciation of the layout.
The course has a perfect mix of holes, is usually conditioned to the highest standard and in my mind is unequivocally 100% true links.
Ed is the founder of Golf Empire – click the link to read his full review.
I'm an admirer of Sheringham but it’s not a links course in my book. It may play like one, but to my eyes it doesn’t look like one.
We left it out of our collection of the 240 "Real Links" courses of Britain & Ireland because we considered it to be a clifftop downland course that’s laid out on chalk not sand. Tom Doak and Donald Steel are not the only commentators to agree with its downland classification. Bernard Darwin reckons: “It is pretty sure to be blowing one way or the other, for the course is a downland course on the top of a cliff.” Peter Alliss concurs: “Sheringham is a downland course set on the cliffs and with a lot of gorse.”
Certainly categorising links courses is complicated but we attempted to explain here the Geology and Geography.
Sheringham really is a great course and well worth a visit. I have played it a couple of times, most recently in May and is always presented in excellent condition. Lovely fairways and really good greens. The cliff top holes are majestic and walking from the 4th green to the 5th tee is always very exciting. Turning for home and seeing the steam train puffing away, sets you up for a real test of your nerve with the Driver over the closing three holes - especially if the wind is blowing off the sea! Great clubhouse, superb food and very welcoming staff make for a great days golf.