Any golf course where you have to traverse a railway level crossing to access the car park – such is the proximity to a railway line – always gets the thumbs up from me. Having a steam train going past every hour or so evoked sepia-toned mental images of a bygone era when the railways and grand old golf courses enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship. Sheringham does have many traditional aspects but it is also a course and club that is thoroughly relevant to the contemporary game with a timeless warm welcome.
The day we visited the course, there were no course planners available, (not sure if this is usually the case) so our method of play was delightfully old school, relying on perception and feel, along with that most modern of innovations: 150 yard markers. This is not a moan, but recognition of how joyful golf can be when simplified to its basics.
I noticed that Sheringham is considered a links course by some due to its inclusion in the coffee table book “True Links” and you can argue the case either way. I consider Sheringham most similar to Crail (Craighead) in Fife or the Glen in East Lothian, though without the drama of its par 3 13th.
The views here are stunning: whether out to sea with shipping and wind turbines, inland to the passing steam train and rolling countryside or all around the course with bright, golden bunkers and gorse framing many fairways and green complexes. If you make away day golf trips for the scenery, Sheringham will not disappoint. If golfing challenge attracts you then this course with some breeze should offer a good test.
There are many undulations throughout: holes 5 and 6 both have severe drops from tee to green, with few flat holes, but the walk is never too tiring. Good use is made of the terrain with natural looking green sites such as 1, 4 and 17 built around the same hill. For the first-time visitor, the design is not too intimidating with only three real blind shots – the drive on the 18th and the second shots on the 7th and 16th. Opening the shoulders is not a problem either, as the layout offers many routes to the greens. The greens were true if a little pedestrian in pace during April, although this may be to prevent balls oscillating on the exposed putting surfaces as at Isle of Purbeck.
The minor complaints/observations I would have about the course would be the rather basic 3rd hole, which relies on length uphill for its defence, and the conditioning of the second hole in the latter half of April 2012. There was little definition between rough and fairway, so missing the fairway was no real penalty. However, this was out of keeping with the rest of the course. All in all, an enjoyable day of golf.
Date: April 30, 2012