The course at Stowmarket is decent and worth a visit but do set your expectations beforehand. This is a very strong members club with a number of returning groups each year proving that the popularity of the club is obvious. The Top 5 ranked courses of Suffolk write themselves (the Top 4 being part of the English 100) but positions 6-10 are up for grabs and #7 for Stowmarket feels about right.
The course opens with a strong par-5, not in length (496 yards) but in design; a little downhill with a fairway that falls away to the right and then the second half of the hole moves back to the left to the green. A pretty 160 yard hole is the second hole before moving to land with the bulk of the holes. There are seven holes that can certainly be described as a little up and down and very adjacent to each other (3rd, 4th, 13th, 14th, 15th 16th and 17th) – of this group the 438 yard 17th is the pick; tree lined with a slight movement to the right from tee to green, very strong indeed.
I think the 7th (392 yards) is another notable hole that I enjoyed; a slight uphill drive, with a small left turn in the fairway around halfway to the green.
Stowmarket is worth playing as a visitor and there are enough strong holes to mix in with some predictable ones to warrant a visit – and although the course does end on a 160 yard par-3, it is probably the pick of the short holes for me.
Date: July 24, 2019