It is not surprising that Woodbridge Golf Club is rated so highly in Suffolk and has a rating of Highly Recommended by experts given that the area is a hub for heathland courses. This historic club, with its surroundings and position in a Suffolk Coastal Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty about 20 minutes from Ipswich, explodes into color all year long. It offers a genuine challenge of golf with heather, gorse, and freshly improved bunkers.
Each of the venue’s 27 holes takes use of the rapid draining conditions, with the main 18-hole Heath Course (6,299 yards) being complimented by the 9-hole Forest Course, which is really a full-length 9-hole layout that, if played twice, measures longer than the Heath Course (6,382 yards). The club was established in 1893 and had its current layout altered by famous course architect James Braid in the late 1920s. Martin Hawtree has recently rebuilt and relocated certain bunkers to ensure that the course continues to provide the challenge it always had.
When we arrived, the young professional Peter offered us a warm welcome and gave us the lowdown on the course as well as the modifications that had been done to some of the bunkers. With a 250-yard grass hitting area, hitting nets, a chipping area, a practice green with bunkers, and the main putting green located between the pro shop and the first tee, there is everything you need to complete a short warm-up or a lengthy practice session.
The front nine begins with a nice, enjoyable beginning in terms of length. From the tee to the green on the first hole, everything else falls from left to right, including the green. Big hitters could be tempted, but anything off-line will be caught in the bunkers just short of the green.
The second hole also plays downhill off the tee, but this time the challenge is the water that lies between the fairway and raised green. While most golfers will be able to get by with an iron, the club you choose for your approach shot will determine whether or not your ball rolls back down into the water.
The third hole, the first of the two par fives, is long, steep, and almost always into a headwind. On a hole where par is a respectable score, avoiding the three fairways bunkers and three around the green is a difficult challenge.
The par-4 sixth hole, which has bunkers on each side of the fairway and again between 90 and 60 yards short of the green, creates the impression that they are much closer to the putting surface from the tee. Avoid them as well as the other two bunkers that are situated short and to the left and right of the green on this hole, which is another one where you would take a par and leave.
The eighth hole’s second and final par 5 is shorter and may be approached in two by stronger players. In typical style, there are a total of six bunkers between the tee and the green that must be avoided, but there is unquestionably an opportunity to get a shot back. The 9th is a treasure, to finish. This par three, which measures just under 200 yards from the back tees, veers sharply to the left and right as it plays. Even with space between them and the objective, the two bunkers short must be avoided.
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Reverse 9 Overview
The back nine begins with a difficult hole at the number 10. A precise second shot will be needed since the hole plays uphill from the tee to the green and is 430 yards long. To have a chance of locating the putting surface, which is blind from the fairway, you must avoid the deep bunker in the center of the fairway.
From 13 to 15, in my perspective, the back 9 really shines. The 13th hole is a relatively short par 4, but it is beautifully framed and plays down from the tee with everything in sight of the hole, including bunkers and heather either side. While it may not be the most difficult hole to play, it really does illustrate everything that is good about heathland golf.
The 14th hole then slopes away from the tee, requiring a 425-yard second shot onto a worn-out green that will play more difficultly when the pin is set up near the top. The approach shot plays steeply downhill, so club selection will be crucial once again. Another joy is the expansive view from the fairway to the green.
The last hole in the trilogy is a challenging par three that plays downhill from the tee to a green that has been carved into the side of a hill, creating a lovely sense of seclusion. Five enormous, difficult bunkers surround the green, which must be successfully avoided as per normal.
Before the 17th doglegs through some woods to a green that slopes from back to front, the 16th has no fewer than nine bunkers between the tee and the green. The last hole goes from right to left, but you should resist the urge to hit it far off the tee since bunkers are all throughout the landing area and turn of the course. Make sure you give yourself the greatest opportunity to escape with a half-decent score since the green is in front of the clubhouse and balcony, and you never know how large the gallery will be up there. Excellent last hole.
The Woodbridge course is excellent. Like every top-notch heathland course, there are several sections where it is really difficult. However, you can score if you keep it in play and clear of the strategically positioned bunkers. It’s clear that this is a course for strategic players; although hitting the driver on every hole isn’t the greatest option, you may truly enjoy planning your strategy.
Given the land’s extraordinary drainage capabilities, which have already been discussed, the course is in excellent shape all year long. Its fairways are dry and firm, and a well-hit golf shot produces a pleasing sound. The greens are excellent and, if they wanted to speed them up, they could also add another test. After the round, go inside for a snack and, if the weather is nice, go out onto the balcony to enjoy watching other players finish their rounds down the 18th.
Things to be aware of
1. Nothing compares to a few holes of golf in the sunlight with close friends and family
Regular golfers may take use of the courses anytime they want, participate in neighborhood activities, and hone their abilities by becoming a member. Sean Clark, club secretary of Woodbridge Golf Club, explains the benefits of membership, the history of the courses, and how to join up.
View of the bunkers and beautiful wooded golf course at Woodbridge Golf Club in Woodbridge the nine-hole Forest course does not need a handicap, however the 18-hole Heath course is a serious test to seasoned players.
2. The history of Woodbridge Golf Club
A gathering conducted in the town of Woodbridge in 1893 served as the catalyst for the club’s founding. The Heath course is located on the heathland of the Sink Farm near Bromes well, which was chosen by Major J.E.W Howey, the club’s founder, and all-around athlete. Today, this is still the location of the current course.
With the exception of a change in the 1920s, the original 18-hole Heath course was created by renowned professional golfer Davie Grant. Since then, the layout has mostly stayed the same. The most recent significant renovations were made in the late 1960s when a new clubhouse was constructed. The club’s membership has grown from the original 40 gentlemen who paid 21 shillings annually to its present over 800 enthusiastic golfers!
3. What kind of memberships are available at Woodbridge Golf Club?
We offer the complete membership and the Forest course membership, two different sorts of memberships. There are nine holes on the Forest course and playing is not handicapped-required. You get unrestricted access to both courses, all club amenities, and social events if you have a full membership.
Men’s, Ladies’, Seniors’, Juniors’, and Mixed contests are available to members, and each category has a calendar full of both competitive and social activities. Additionally, there is a visitor’s charge that entitles you to a daylong temporary membership that gives you full access to both courses, the pro shop, and all other amenities. Members of the Woodbridge Golf Club are eligible to compete in a variety of local, state, and federal tournaments, including the Eastern Counties Cup. Charles Briscoe-Knight provided the photo.
4. How strong is the sense of belonging to the community?
At the golf club, creating a lively, welcoming community is a top goal. Every month, we have a supper club where members may reminisce and have a good dinner. Along with a full schedule of golfing tournaments, regular social gatherings including Sunday lunches, barbecues, and quiz evenings are an integral aspect of club life.
5. Are your members allowed to compete in local or national events?
Yes, we support our more seasoned members in pushing themselves to compete. Our players participate in local, regional, and international competitions, and they do well in most cases.
One of the oldest and most important open events for men in East Anglia is the Eastern Counties Cup. With a maximum handicap index of 10, clubs from Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, and Cambridgeshire compete over 36 holes. In addition, we have a Charity Golf Day, Mixed Open, Seniors Open, and Ladies Open.
Every golfer may compete and enjoy a great day on the course by putting their skills to the test. Modern technologies and practice facilities are available at the performance and custom fitting studio to help golfers of all ability levels. It’s ideal for those who want an additional session to polish a skill or get ready for a competition.
6. Do you have any interesting upcoming projects in the works?
Yes, we want to improve our courses via a number of projects, including expanding the length of the courses, adding additional tees, and redesigning the green complexes. We just completed a significant renovation of the locker rooms, and we are now inspecting the remainder of the clubhouse.
A forward-looking perspective is necessary to make sure that our members have a good time. To maintain the caliber of all our endeavors, we plan ahead, spend time and money in important areas, and listen to our community throughout every initiative.
By following these tips, you have a clear overall idea on what it is like to visit the Woodbridge Golf Club. Keep these tips in mind and make sure that you get the most out of your golfing adventures in here. You will be able to enjoy golfing in here, and can provide a once in a lifetime golfing experience as well.