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Suffolk punches well above its weight

09 October, 2014

Suffolk punches well above its weight

Suffolk Best In County rankings updated

9th October 2014

Further to our announcement in September – click here for details – we’re continuing to review our English Best In County rankings. Suffolk, in East Anglia, was second on our list.

We followed the same process as our pilot, Middlesex, although the response rate from the Suffolk golf clubs was lower than we hoped, we received more than enough opinions from the county’s Club Champions to enable us to refresh the Top 10.

The Top 4 remain unchanged, although the gap between our No.1 Purdis Heath and our No.2 Aldeburgh has closed even more tightly. The Heath course at Woodbridge came out a clear third ahead of Thorpeness. However, from position five onwards, it’s all change.

The Martello course at Felixstowe Ferry displaces the “sacred nine” at Royal Worlington & Newmarket, which drops one place. Architecture aficionados will decry Mildenhall’s fall from grace and will no doubt question our process. I am surprised that this old fashioned layout, which once shone brightly in our Britain & Ireland Top 100, has lost some appeal. Nevertheless, Worlington showcases at every corner what can be achieved architecturally with a dearth of natural features and meagre acreage.

Stowmarket (founded in 1902) is the highest new entry, straight in at 7. Charles Grayston designed the course in the 1960s when the club moved to its present site, although Fred Hawtree later modified a number of holes. Stowmarket has hosted all the major county amateur championships and was a popular choice with the raters.

Haverhill is our second and final new entry, in at position 9. With its outward nine fashioned by Philip Pilgrem and its homeward nine by Charles Lawrie, this attractive parkland layout utilises two valleys and the River Stour to good effect.

To see our new Suffolk Top 10, click the link. If you have played golf extensively across any English county and would like to input into our Best In County rankings process, please contact me ([email protected]).

Keith Baxter


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