Thorpeness - Suffolk - England

Thorpeness Hotel & Golf Club,
Thorpeness,
Leiston,
Suffolk,
IP16 4NH,
England


  • +44 (0) 1728 452176

  • Brad McLean

  • James Braid

  • Frank Hill


Visit Golfbreaks.com for a golf holiday at Thorpeness

G. Stuart Ogilvie designed the purpose built holiday resort of Thorpeness and the village was constructed between 1910 and 1930. James Braid laid out the first 10 holes at Thorpeness Golf Club in 1922 and 8 further holes were added the following year when the club was instituted.

The course is laid out on predominantly sandy soil so, in a similar vein to nearby Aldeburgh, is a natural maritime heathland course with crisp turf, heather, gorse and seaside winds. Thorpeness is located a mere 400 yards from the North Sea so expect a stiff challenge when there is a freshening breeze.

Thorpeness Golf Club has played host to many county and regional events over the years and is considered by many golfers as a serious test despite its modest length – a little more than 6,500 yards from the back tees.

A gentle opening par four eases you in to the round, but the fun really starts at the 2nd, a lovely par three that requires and accurate iron shot to a heavily bunkered and narrow green. The club’s signature hole arrives at the 3rd. The hole sweeps around a tributary of the Thorpeness Meare – an artificial lake used for fishing and boating, a haven for wildfowl. The Meare is out of bounds; so don’t stray too far left!

The club is certainly not resting on its laurels, undertaking a significant bunker renovation programme over the winter months of 2010/11. These improvements were put to the test when Thorpeness, alongside Aldeburgh, co-hosted the 2012 English Seniors Championship, which was won by Alan Squires of Oldham Golf Club.

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Reviews for Thorpeness

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Description: Thorpeness Golf Club is laid out on predominantly sandy soil so, in a similar vein to nearby Aldeburgh, is a natural maritime heathland golf course... Rating: 4.5 out of 6 Reviews: 11

In my experience the vast majority of coastal golf courses that are situated close to the sea, but are not on linksland, usually fail to deliver and I ultimately come away disappointed. Thorpeness, however, is a clear exception to the rule.

This popular James Braid layout, located less than half a mile from the beach, exudes many of the elements associated with seaside golf yet retains its own identity with a pleasing mix of heath, gorse, pine and silver birch.

Undoubtedly the biggest asset of Thorpeness is the quick drying sandy soil that the 18 holes are laid out over which creates firm and fast playing conditions. Traversing relatively flat terrain the fairways promote the ground game and it was a pure joy to see the ball rolling so well in the early season on a recent visit.

The Club put it best when they say, “Nature blessed Thorpeness with more than just beauty. It sits in a mild micro climate, enjoying one of the lowest rates of rainfall in the UK and an average of three hours extra sunshine per week than the rest of the UK. This perfect golfing climate means the golf course hardly ever closes and maintains the highest quality playing conditions year round.”

There is a very consistent and traditional feel to the course with each hole flowing nicely into the next. The fairway bunkering is particularly strong with decisions to be made on several of the tees because most of the traps are close to where you would ideally like to be for your approach shot!

Suffolk is often an area that goes under the radar when discussing the best of golf in England but courses such as Thorpeness – one of the best in the county – make this a fantastic destination for a few days golfing; the group that let me through on the 16th were certainly enjoying their three-day stay. And whilst I didn’t get to sample it on this occasion there is accommodation on site which makes it a perfect venue for a short break amongst a small group of friends or for larger societies.

Ed is the founder of Golf Empire – click the link to read his full review.

4 / 6
Thorpeness
April 04, 2017


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One of a number of James Braid courses in the top end of the Suffolk rankings and it’s an enjoyable affair and quite unique with great golfers’ accommodation which we love. We stay here every year and enjoy the experience and the value for money. It’s not quite in the league of Purdis, Woodbridge or Worlington,but it’s not far off.

4 / 6
Thorpeness
December 16, 2016


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This course is a delight. I wasThorpeness Golf Course - Photo by reviewer lucky to play it on a calm clear sunny day in October and it is gorgeous. Inland heath with Gorse and heather in abundance, but when the ball is kept in play it provides an enjoyable round. The greens are superb, quick and true. The first couple of holes are relatively straightforward, but from the 3rd it steps up a gear. The club has a lovely traditional feel to it, and the hotel accommodation is comfortable and unobtrusive. friendly staff and a vast practice area. This is a must visit for golfers passing through the area and looking for a place to play.
5 / 6
Thorpeness
October 07, 2013


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The ratings for Aldeburgh should be swapped with Thorpeness.
4 / 6
Thorpeness
May 10, 2011


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Nathan
October 14, 2011
Although Aldeburgh is ranked higher, I too feel that Thorpeness Golf Club should be also recognised as a true test of golf. It has a lot of heather, gorse and strategically placed bunkers. The greens are in very good condition and it doesn’t seem to matter where the pins are they there is never an easy putt. The clubhouse is very good, catering for all tastes and all the staff are very friendly. Overall a great test of golf and I shall be returning again very soon.
Great course, amazing value for £26 on a weekend. Shame the greens had been spiked but they still ran true and I love courses with yardages on the sprinkler heads. Course was having some work done to it but can imagine it will be awesome in the summer. If you are playing in Suffolk this is a must. Not on the sea but plenty of heather and gorse to flirt with.
5 / 6
Thorpeness
March 28, 2011


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Played on this popular Suffolk seaside course on a busy September day, and had a very enjoyable round, there's enough variety to keep you interested. I was pleased to birdie the 6th, a short par 4, but also lost a few balls in the gorse during the round. There was some torrential rain whilst we played, but the course was quick to drain and so this didn't spoil our enjoyment too much. The whole place was in excelent condition and there were green keepers bustling about all day keeping it in good nick. Although you're near the sea, the course is slightly inland so you don't get any sea views and If it wasn't for the cool breeze you could almost be anywhere in the Surrey sandbelt and this charming course could hold it's own in such erstwhile company, play it if you're anywhere nearby. You might find it would make a good warm up for a game at nearby Aldeburgh. Next time I will stay the night as they often have good deals available and the staff were very hospitable and it's quite a long drive up from the smoky city when there are two good courses virtually next to each other. Finally, I must say you'd be remiss not to go into Aldeburgh village and have a fish supper before going home.
4 / 6
Thorpeness
September 24, 2010


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I'm lucky enough to be a member here and it truly a superb course. I have played a number of top UK course - Royal St George's, Sunningdale, Brabazon but this is right up there with them. With a number of long par 4s, many bordered by gorse or other hazards you need to be long and straight. 18 is one of the best closing holes in golf. a 430 yard par 4 back into the sea breeze with a tricky raised green. A 4 here is a good score. However Thorpeness is not just about distance. The 6th is only 386 yards but requires a good tee shot and approach to a sloping green. 15 is also not the longest (404 yards) but again to give yourself a decent shot to the green you need to hit a good un. If you get the chance play it!
6 / 6
Thorpeness
August 20, 2010


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I agree that this course must be close to a ranking. It is tough, scenic and in great condition. Well worth a visit.
5 / 6
Thorpeness
June 23, 2009


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This course thoroughly deserves it's GEM status, in fact it must be close to having a ranking. I played on a bright April morning and enjoyed the course and my round totally. Very pleasing on the eye at this time of the year with plenty of gorse on show all around the course and a great collection holes. The third is a tough par-4 turning left at around 240 yards and is great fun to play - the par-3 7th is my favourite hole...a mid iron over water to a protected green with trouble all around, it really is a quality short hole. I was slightly disappointed with the 10th hole; another par-3 but not a lot to be interested in to be honest. The tee shot at the 11th is worth a mention, a short par-4 (about 315 yards) at the edge of the course, that shares its border with the local pig farm. The rest of the course continues well and ends with the ultra tough par-4 at around 430 yards with the famous house in the sky behind the green on the left. Well worth a visit...
4 / 6
Thorpeness
May 03, 2009


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Thorpeness is a wonderful golf course, a great variety of holes, always in superb condition and whilst not a championship venue, a good challenge to players of all standards. The views are beautiful, the 18th with the windmill & the house in the clouds has to be one of the best views in golf anywhere. We have used it for a golf tour for a number of years, as the catering is superb and the accommodation on site makes life very easy. The accommodation itself is nothing spectacular, but it is clean & roomy, and the fact that buggies are available is great for groups like ours with older players. Thoroughly recommended.
5 / 6
Thorpeness
December 26, 2007


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