Woodbridge (Heath) - Suffolk - England

Woodbridge Golf Club,
Bromeswell Heath,
Woodbridge,
Suffolk,
IP12 2PF,
England


  • +44 (0) 1394 382038

  • Sean Clark

  • James Braid, Fred Hawtree

  • Tim Johnson

Woodbridge Golf Club is located a mere five minutes away from the beautiful market town, with its quaint Georgian shops and pubs. The golf club’s flagship, 18-hole heathland course, known simply as Heath, is well renowned, but taken alongside its cracking 9-holer called Forest, Woodbridge really is a delightful place to spend a day playing golf.

Founded in 1893, the formation of Woodbridge Golf Club was entirely due to Major Howey, who originally laid out six holes on parkland in front of his house. Intent on creating a first class course, the Major enlisted Davie Grant – the famous North Berwick professional – to find suitable land. Bromeswell Heath was eventually identified and the club moved to the heath. In 1908 a certain Mr Fryer redesigned the course and, some twenty years later, James Braid stepped in to reshape Woodbridge. Subsequently Fred Hawtree made further modifications to the layout.

“The best course in Suffolk today is, I think, an inland one, Woodbridge, though I say this with diffidence and with great respect for its friendly rival, Aldeburgh, which is likewise excellent.” Wrote Bernard Darwin in The Golf Courses of Great Britain. “Woodbridge has everything in the world that one could desire except the sea. It has sand and bracken and gorse, beautiful turf and the smoothest of greens. There is a delightful feeling of being on a hill-top, there is a fine big view, and there is peace and quiet and rusticity.”

Measuring 6,299 yards from the medal tees, the Heath course is not long, but the golf is truly engaging. There isn’t a single poor hole on the course; many are excellent, varied and entertaining. Make your score on the front nine where there are two par fives, the back nine is a tough prospect with four par fours measuring in excess of 400 yards. The 14th, called “St Andrews Hill”, is one of our favourite two-shotters with its well-guarded two-tiered green. The 15th is a cracking one-shot hole which requires a well struck mid iron to reach the sanctuary of the elevated green which is jealously protected by six bunkers.

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Reviews for Woodbridge (Heath)

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Description: "Woodbridge Golf Club has everything in the world that one could desire except the sea. It has sand and bracken and gorse, beautiful turf and the smoothest of greens." Rating: 4.8 out of 6 Reviews: 9

The more I play in Suffolk the more impressed I become by the quality of courses available in this often underrated county.

Woodbridge is yet another nail in the coffin confirming just how good this area is when it comes to superb inland golf. Like many of its neighbours Woodbridge has firm and fast ground conditions that promote the running game and where a wealth of gorse and heather thrive.

But here there is a more intimate feel to the venue as it wends its way over moderately undulating terrain through tree and whin-lined fairways. It’s more than possible to entirely lose your sense of direction on this secluded and tranquil parcel of land; prime real estate for good golf.

There is a fantastic variety of holes at Woodbridge where accuracy and strategy will prevail over length. The springy yet firm turf is also a delight to hit from.

The best hole of the 18, however, can be found at the 14th; St. Andrews Hill. This majestic two-shotter oozes quality from the tee, as it descends left-to-right downhill, before the fairway begins to rise just before the perfectly located two-tiered green which is an absolute joy to play towards. It is followed immediately by the excellent “Punch Bowl” par-three which is well defended by sand and gorse.

I didn’t get chance to play the nine-hole Forest course, that accompanies the main Heath layout, on my first visit to this charming golf club but I am informed it is very good also and Woodbridge would therefore make an excellent venue to enjoy a full days golf.

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

4 / 6
Woodbridge (Heath)
May 02, 2017


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I played Woodbridge again on our annual Suffolk trip in October and I love it. For me it’s more interesting than Aldebugh. Woodbridge has variety and style with a couple of great P3’s at #9 and #15, it’s also go a bit more elevation and quirk which I love. That said, Suffolk does have some good courses and Woodbridge is underrated.

5 / 6
Woodbridge (Heath)
December 16, 2016


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I finally decided to make the long four hour drive to Woodbridge on a bright autumnal day and found it to be an absolute pleasure from start to finish. The course is a par 70 measuring almost 6,300 yards and whilst not being the longest there is more than enough trouble to grab your attention if you stray from the fairway. Strategy is important from the tee and driver is not always the best option here as there are a number of well positioned bunkers and gorse bushes. Combine this with numerous doglegs, a handful of blind shots and a little bit of undulation and its plain to see that there’s no shortage of variety in the layout. Two of my favourite holes were the 9th (Magazine), an excellent 198 yard par-3, running downhill all the way to a well defended green and the fabulous 188 yard 15th (Punch Bowl), majestically positioned amongst gorse, heather and sand. After completing 18 we headed straight for the 9 hole Forest course which is arguably even tougher than the Heath with its narrow fairways and smaller greens. Both courses have quick draining turf, great bunkering and excellent greens. This secluded corner of Suffolk is well blessed with good golf, making it an ideal location for a short break. Within a few miles you can find Aldeburgh, Ipswich, Thorpeness and Felixstowe Ferry, all very good courses and other than Thorpeness all have 27 holes. Although I was soundly thrashed by my 6 handicap pal (bandit) this heathland classic provided us with a great day’s golf. Brian W
5 / 6
Woodbridge (Heath)
December 15, 2014


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Woodbridge somehow manages to keep itself under the radar. Presumably they like it that way. It is without doubt one of the very best in the area and the county as a whole has many fine courses which are equally less well known than one might expect. It always amuses me when club golfers suggest length (or lack of) makes a course too easy. Unless you're shooting 62, and you'll struggle to do that here as tactical skill on the part of James Braid makes the course anything but easy, it's not a comment which really makes any sense. There's a sense that Woodbridge has stuck to timeless principles and, rather than force the golfer into narrow corridors, gives him or her enough width to have to think about good and bad lines of play. That isn't to say that you can hit the ball anywhere and get away with it, simply that it's more sophisticated than simply 'hit or miss' target golf.
5 / 6
Woodbridge (Heath)
November 07, 2014


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I am a member at Woodbridge so confess my bias early. It is a course with enough variety and interest to ensure that it is never boring ( in some places it may be a little too quirky for first timers with the odd blind or semi blind shot with only a marker post to rely on, and a proper crossover of holes), the greens are superb, the heathland turf a pleasure to play on and the gorse and heather are a constant threat. Although not long, there are a number of long par 4s which make it seem longer than the card would suggest, and in any sort of wind it is a real challenge. Subjectively for me this is a six ball course but by the standard of the site I think 4 would be an over compensation or my bias so I give it 5
5 / 6
Woodbridge (Heath)
May 07, 2011


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On the whole, I enjoyed my recent visit to Woodbridge – Having played locally at Aldeburgh, Thorpeness and Ipswich in the past, I expected a similar style of course and that is what Woodbridge delivers. It is difficult to find any serious faults about the course except that on this occasion, the shortness does make some of the holes a little easy. Woodbridge Golf Course - Photo by reviewerWithin the first four holes there are three under 350 yards which will flatter most golfers and should get your round off to a flyer to be honest. Pick of the holes on the front-9 would be the par-4 5th, named ‘Hole O’Cross’ and the par-3 7th (which is nearly ready after some great renovation work on the bunkers and the green). A couple of long par-4’s start the back-9 and this nine is tough with a par of only 34 (no par 5’s). The par-3 15th is a really nice hole (maybe my favourite on the course) and the last two holes are worth a mention, the 17th dog-legging right and with an uphill approach and the last being a dog-leg to the left with a semi-blind approach. I would imagine that all who play at Woodbridge will end their round with a smile on their face as it is a lovely place to enjoy golf and I think that the current ranking is about right, certainly third in a trio that includes Aldeburgh and Ipswich. Although the clubhouse is not the prettiest that I have ever seen, a warm welcome awaits from the locals and the terrace over-looking the final green is well worth a little piece of anyone’s time.
4 / 6
Woodbridge (Heath)
April 19, 2011


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Played last week and found the whole set up to be very enjoyable and highly recommend it to all. The sectary was most helpful and very effective with email responses while on arrival the members, Pro and bar staff were most welcoming. Sadly the greens had been verti drained the week before and one hole was reduced to a pitch & putt while the green & bunkers were being remodeled but none of this lessened the fun and intrigue of the course. Not one simple straight hole… Its relatively short nature is well protected by requiring highly accurate tee shorts and mastering the heavily guarded undulating greens.We had a mix of standards playing and all found the course highly enjoyable and there are a few very memorable holes that kept us talking all the way home. Would be keen to play again in the summer and see how quick the greens get…
5 / 6
Woodbridge (Heath)
March 23, 2011


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Now before I go on, it’s worth pointing out at this stage that I am a very proud member of this golf course. But there is a very good reason for me being a member; it is the finest golf course to be found within a reasonable distance of my home town of Ipswich. And by a long way. Aldeburgh deserves a notable mention, as does Purdis (Ipswich) and Felixstowe. But Woodbridge is the one with the WOW factor, and its here that I intend to stay for a very long time! Don’t let the length of the course put you off, far from it. Yes, it may be short, but it has an SSS higher than the par for a very good reason. 3 irons from the tee for safety on certain holes is a must to avoid drop shots caused by finding gorse bushes. So many people turn up at Woodbridge, see the course, and feel they’ll rip it apart. I enjoy as a member sitting in the clubhouse afterwards seeing guests scratching their heads in bemusement as to just how their high score came to be. “Took driver and tried to cut the corner of the 5th didn’t we, and found the trees along the way”. “Yep”. And so on. I’d say the pictures posted certainly do the course justice, and every hole (on both the 18 and 9 hole courses) follow the same look and feel. Do come, you’ll be very welcome. It’s worth it just for the taste of the gravity-fed Adnams in clubhouse alone!!
5 / 6
Woodbridge (Heath)
November 23, 2005


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Woodbridge is one of the most underrated courses I’ve ever had the pleasure to play. I’ve played Aldeburgh, Thorpeness and Felixstowe, but for me Woodbridge is the pick of the bunch… but only just. The club is tucked away but once found it will never be forgotten. Great course presentation, very natural with fast greens all played in quiet seclusion (although you can hear the A12 if the wind is in the wrong direction). You need your accurate driving boots on here otherwise you’ll be in trouble. I’m considering retiring to Suffolk and if so I’d want to be a member here… superb. Nial.
5 / 6
Woodbridge (Heath)
November 10, 2005


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Dick Whittaker
February 20, 2008
Is this the same Woodbridge Golf Course that I played while stationed at Bentwaters during 1953?What a great course. I learned a lot playing here that I used to good use when I got home.I was a member of the Air Force golf team which had as its captain Master Sergeant Herb Ridgley who won the world wide Air Foce individual championship and the next year was runner up at the British amataur.I would love to come back and see this great course.