Suffolk may not be the first location people think of when planning a trip in England, but I can assure you there are some hidden gems in this part of the world, plenty of which I am sure I am yet to discover. A two day visit with some friends afforded me the chance to revisit a club I am a big fan of in Ipswich and the opportunity to play Woodbridge Golf Club for the first time.
With Woodbridge it is best to form your opinion of the club once you have walked past the tired looking clubhouse, for on the other side is a ruggedly beautiful rolling golf course with 18 varied holes which were a huge pleasure to play.
Most golf clubs would bite your hand off for the turf and terrain that is on offer at Woodbridge. Despite the lack of rain in recent months, the fairways were in great condition and some of the springiest as I have played on these shores. The course naturally undulates and plays in all different directions with a couple of cross fairways coming into play. The course is short, measuring only 6,299 off the whites, so it is extremely scoreable with the course’s main protection coming from the superb bunkering and run off areas around the greens. I understand there is a large heather regeneration project underway, which is probably needed to add more protection.
There were many highlights throughout the round. All of the Par 3s are good and visually impressive with the bunkering layout, but the back nine seemed to throw out one good hole after another and the closing stretch from 14 to home is worth the journey alone. The 14th is a superb Par 4, played over heather into sweeping downhill fairway to a two tiered green. The 15th is the best one shotter on the course, the 16th is a long Par 4 with a cambered fairway, 17th a pretty dogleg right Par 4 playing over the 4th green and the 18th a classy short Par 4 with bunkers running the width of the fairway. A good closing birdie opportunity, which I duly obliged.
There was an overriding sense of fun when I walked off Woodbridge and it is a course that I wouldn’t tire of knocking it around with some friends. This was the last of the three 18 hole Suffolk courses currently residing in the England Top 100 rankings that I have played and I can’t understand why Woodbridge languishes so far below Ipswich and Aldeburgh. I would have it ranked higher than Aldeburgh and it is certainly more varied. Woodbridge is a course that should be visited if in Suffolk, but Suffolk should be an area on everyone’s golfing ‘to do’ list.
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Date: May 07, 2021