Royal West Norfolk - Norfolk - England

Royal West Norfolk Golf Club,
Brancaster,
Norfolk,
PE31 8AX,
England


  • +44 (0) 1485 210223

  • Golf Club Website

  • 7 miles E of Hunstanton

  • Contact in advance – restricted at weekends

  • Ian Symington

  • Holcombe Ingleby

  • Simon Rayner

Founded in 1892, Royal West Norfolk Golf Club is a classic, nothing much has changed here for 100 years. Squeezed beautifully between Brancaster Bay and the salt marshes, Royal West Norfolk truly is a peaceful golf links, except when the wind blows and boy, is the wind bracing here!

Check the tide times before you plan your trip to Royal West Norfolk Golf Club. The course plays on a narrow strip of links-land which gets cut off at high tide, turning it into an island. If you are lucky enough to play the course during high tide, you are in for a real treat; the downside is that you will need plenty of golf balls.

Prior to your game, grab a quick drink in the oak-panelled Smoke Room inside the Victorian clubhouse and check the wind speed on the gauge next to the bar. If you want to eat after your round, make sure you order before you play, otherwise you will only be offered a choice of delicious cakes.

“In the days of the gutty it was most emphatically a driver’s course,” wrote Bernard Darwin in his book, The Golf Courses of the British Isles, “since nobody could get over the ground without exceptional hitting. Even now, when the pampering Haskell has noticeably reduced its terrors, it is still a driver’s course, in the sense that it is one on which one derives the maximum of sensual pleasure from opening one’s shoulders for a wooden club shot.”

Out on the course, you feel delightfully isolated; often all you can hear are the seductive sounds of the wind, the seagulls, the clinking of stays and the flapping of boat sails. Essentially, the course is a traditional out and back links; huge sleeper-faced bunkers, fast greens and that beautiful links turf. A magical place to play golf. However, three-ball play is only allowed at the discretion of the Secretary and four-ball play is forbidden.

“Few things are more terrifying than the first hole at Brancaster on a cold, raw, windy morning,” wrote Darwin, “when our wrists are stiff and our beautiful steely-shafted driver feels like a poker. There is a bunker – really a very big, deep bunker – right in front of our noses.”

Beware the weather at Brancaster though; it can take you by surprise. We played here in late spring and ignored the black clouds to the west. After all, we were on the 15th and the sun was shining. By the time we reached the 17th it was raining and by the 18th, we faced a full-blown tempest. When, soaked to the skin, we arrived to knowing smiles in the clubhouse, the wind gauge was fluctuating between 50 and 55mph.

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Reviews for Royal West Norfolk

Av. Reviewers Score:
Description: Check the tide times before you plan your trip to Royal West Norfolk Golf Club, the course plays on a narrow strip of links-land which gets cut off at high tide, turning it into an island. Rating: 5.2641509433962 out of 6 Reviews: 10

You have to play this golf course,its brilliant.Being quite calm in the morning made it slightly easier but when the wind got up in the afternoon it was pure hard golf.We was made very welcome by everyone including the two fine gentlemen in the smoking room who before we left for our 2nd round were drinking red wine and when we returned in the afternoon were still there.The clubhouse is something to be seen (old golf style).Not one bad golf hole,you must do this and great value.
5 / 6
Royal West Norfolk
May 31, 2007


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Incredibly difficult, unforgiving and if the wind is blowing some holes are virtually impossible.A truly humbling but absolutely brilliant golfing experience.
6 / 6
Royal West Norfolk
May 11, 2007


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Beauty and elegance. RWN is a now wonderful quirky echo of a time long gone. The clubhouse is plain, well worn and a quite homely refuge from the elements. If you want peace and isolation then this course delivers both. The day I played it last September was calm, the tide was out and the couse was quite benign. I can easliy imagine it chopping one off at the knees in a howling gale.
4 / 6
Royal West Norfolk
April 03, 2007


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A course of character and majesty, in great abundance. Despair, therefore, that it remains in constant danger of tidal destruction. And, although its near neighbour, Hunstanton, may be more of a Championship course, regard Brancaster as a definitive challenge, to both your physical and mental game-its is a golfing game of chess, and you are constantly under fear of "checkmate" from the deep, sleeper faced bunkers, the hard and long rough, the wind and water, delightful! Holes to cherish include the 3rd, 4th, 6th (a develish par three with the green set out in the marsh!), 8th, 9th, 10th, 15th and 16th. Its a shorter walk back than it is out, but, if the wind is a'blowing, it'll feel double that. Timewarp golf. Polite and formal rather than friendly and effusive membership and clubhouse but I guess the history and ancient golfing traditions have set into one and all. Do play it.
6 / 6
Royal West Norfolk
December 04, 2006


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Great Norfolk course. Club house not as friendly as Hunstanton or Cromer.
5 / 6
Royal West Norfolk
October 14, 2006


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Wonderful experience - I felt as if I had gone back in time. Clubhouse must have been unchanged for a 100yrs - nor should it be for another 100 yrs - except the odd coat of paint perhaps. Course is a real challenge, although I played it in 'quiet' weather conditions. I will be back.
5 / 6
Royal West Norfolk
October 14, 2006


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An excellent course. I was lucky enough to play the course at high tide when you have to drive over water on the 8th and 9th holes. Even a bad round is made enjoyable by the wonderful views. I will be back to play again and again.
6 / 6
Royal West Norfolk
August 31, 2006


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Without a doubt, the best golf course in the British Isles. Beautiful, unpredictable, tough and friendly, and the added charm of numerous well behaved black labradors and springer spaniels accompanying many of the golfers. Be prepared for a mad sprint to the club house when the weather changes from glorious sunshine to thunder and lightning as it can do in the space of a matter of minutes! The pinnacle of links golf, without any hint of pretension.
6 / 6
Royal West Norfolk
November 23, 2005


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Delightful with superb clubhouse and members, a must play.
6 / 6
Royal West Norfolk
May 06, 2005


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This course is unique within the British Isles with its 'tidal' entrance scenic beauty. I have heard many visitors to the course talk about the 'aura' of Royal West Norfolk, and they would not be wrong. The 'smoking room' in the club house is a sight to be seen, the epitome of golfing tradition. When the wind blows the course is a stern test. One will have to search hard to find a hole more inteligently designed as the 3rd and more picturesque than the 8th and 9th. The soul of this course is hard to define but easy to feel, magnificent.
6 / 6
Royal West Norfolk
April 25, 2005


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