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Crazy for golf: Our best coastal courses

PUBLISHED: 17:58 28 July 2010 | UPDATED: 17:38 20 February 2013

Crazy for golf: Our best coastal courses

Crazy for golf: Our best coastal courses

Escape the hurly burly of the seafront for the quiet calm of the golf course. What could be nicer on a fine summer's day? PGA professional Stuart Robertson, based at Ufford Park, picks out his favourites

Escape the hurly burly of the seafront for the quiet calm of the golf course. What could be nicer on a fine summers day?
PGA professional Stuart Robertson, based at Ufford Park, picks out his favourites



ALDEBURGH


One of the toughest courses in East Anglia. A par of 68 sounds easy enough but with no par 5s and most of the par fours measuring in excess of 400 yards, you not only need to be straight to miss the gorse but you will need some well-struck long irons or fairway woods to score well here. The view from the 7th tee looking towards the River Alde is one of the best of many on this course.
FAVOURITE HOLE: The 3rd, a long par four with a slight dogleg left, up a slight incline. The second shot needs to be played to an undulating green with bunkers on either side to trap a loose shot.
A four here will feel like a birdie.



FELIXSTOWE FERRY


On a calm day this can play relatively easy with four par fives around 500 yards and several par fours of under 350. Up to now I have yet to play it on a calm day! With a stiff breeze it will make two of the par fives downwind, where club choice is critical, and the other two will be into the wind making them unreachable in two shots. There are several ditches that meander across the course which need to be avoided, with some difficult to see if it is your first visit.


FAVOURITE HOLE: The 17th, a strong par four of 450 yards which can be anything from a three wood to a 9 iron second shot depending on the wind!



THORPENESS


This is a slightly easier version of Aldeburgh sharing similar soil conditions which make it free draining in the winter with fast running fairways during the summer. This is a par 69 course with only one par five hole, but dont be mis-led into thinking it is a pushover. With bushes, gorse and trees close to the edges of fairways and greens, any loose shot will have you chipping out or dropping under penalty.


FAVOURITE HOLE: The 18th, a strong finishing hole in excess of 400 yards with bushes and trees down the right, a road to the left and bunkers at around driving distance. If you have negotiated all of that the second shot is played to a very narrow green that is raised making the choice of club and execution of shot paramount.



FRINTON ON SEA


Very similar to Felixstowe it has four par fives around 500 yards and ditches taking water out to sea. The ground can become soft in the winter as it is a low lying course, but this can help to keep it green in the summer time. As with many seaside courses the wind tends to be its main defence but if you can catch it on a calm day scoring should be straightforward.


FAVOURITE HOLE: The 13th, a short par three of just over 100 yards where, from the tee, it appears that the flag is in one of the protective bunkers!



CLACTON ON SEA


With far more trees on the course, Clacton has a different character to its near neighbour Frinton. Coastal ditches that run through the course mean that some tee shots need a bit of planning to ensure there are no additional penalties to be added to your score!


FAVOURITE HOLE: The 17th, a medium length par 3 with a two tier green with the back part around four feet higher than the front. If you go for the flag when it is at the back and you fail, it is a very tricky recovery bail out to the front and it could be a three putt!



UFFORD PARK


Not quite a coastal course but one to try if the weather by the sea is too inclement! There is a good variety of holes with a couple of 150 yard par 3s over water and one par 5 of over 600 yards! The front 9 is longer with a par of 37 but the back 9 is a shorter challenge with a par of 34. There are many memorable holes but many visitors remark on the 8th, a dogleg right that has ponds from the tee and in front of the green that will need to be avoided if you are to score your par.


FAVOURITE HOLE: The 4th, a 400 yard, uphill dogleg to the right with Out Of Bounds all the way down the right to be avoided. Once the tee shot is in play, your second shot will be played to a green that is slightly above you and almost completely surrounded by bunkers. A potential card wrecker early in the round!




Stuart Robertson is head PGA professional and director of The Doctorgolf Academy based at Best Western Ufford Park Hotel, Golf & Spa, Melton, Woodbridge, Suffolk IP12 1QW
Tel: 01394 383480
mail@doctorgolf.co.uk

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