Aldeburgh Golf Club Championship Course Review

Aldeburgh Golf Club Championship Course Review - every birdie is hard-gained at this unique heathland-links hybrid with views out over the River Alde and the North Sea.

Aldeburgh Golf Club
The 16th is the toughest par 4 of all

Every birdie is hard-gained at this unique heathland-links hybrid with views out over the River Alde and the North Sea.

Aldeburgh Golf Club Championship Course Review

Top 100 Ranking 2021/22 - 77

Previous Rankings 2019/20 - 74 2017/18 - 70 2015/16 - 71 2013/14 - 77 2011/12 - 78 2009/10 - 84

Summer Green Fees

Round: £65-£95 Sun-Fri, £85-£125 Sat

Visitor Times: Welcome weekdays and weekends throughout the year. Check for availability.

Medal Tee: Par 68 – 6,603 Yards

Website: www.aldeburghgolfclub.co.uk

Changes since previous ranking

None, although Martin Ebert is currently engaged in a course review.

Aldeburgh Golf Club Championship Course Review

Aldeburgh Golf Club

The 2nd hole plays down and round to the left

Not far from the Suffolk coast, set in an area of outstanding natural beauty, Aldeburgh is a historic layout dating back to the 1880s.

Some of golf’s early greats - Willie Park Jnr, J.H. Taylor and Harry Colt - made alterations in the early part of the 20th century, with some subtle changes more recently courtesy of Ken Brown and Ken Moodie. The next stage of its evolution, whatever that might entail, is being entrusted to the in-demand Martin Ebert.

Related: Top 100 courses UK and Ireland

When you play Aldeburgh for the first time, two things will likely spring to mind. First, there are no par 5s, and, if you venture off the tips, 12 par 4s over 400 yards, which means limited scope for any pushover birdies.

Then the question is, just what type of course is Aldeburgh? The terrain often feels like proper linksland, and there’s certainly a heathland vibe too, which perhaps explains why the members categorise it as a “maritime heath” layout.

A strong test of golf

Whatever you call it, there’s no doubting that it is a very, very good test of golf played over gorse-lined fairways that aren’t quite as gorse-lined as they used to be prior to some thinning out in recent years.

But if you haven’t played here for quite a while, don’t get the impression that it is now wide open. It certainly isn’t. There’s still plenty of the vibrant yellow shrub, but some of the avenues you have to fire along are now just slightly more kindly disposed to minor miscues.

Aldeburgh Golf Club

The view looking up the 11th hole

If the wind is against heading out, you could find yourself hitting a lot of club into the 1st,  3rd and 5th, which are all members of Aldeburgh’s 400+ par-4 club. But toughest test of all is the 16th – a 478-yard brute of a par 4, whose only saving grace is that its fairway doesn’t rank among Aldeburgh’s narrowest.

Aldeburgh Golf Club

The 16th is the toughest par 4 of all

Of the par 3s, where sleepered bunkers are often in evidence, the short 4th stands out on account of its incredibly long, sloping green.

In many ways Aldeburgh is a conundrum of a course to master from a strategy perspective. Accuracy may be an ever-present requirement, but those copious long par 4s mean you can ill afford to be giving up distance too willingly off the tee.

Assessor Feedback

Being out on a limb in terms of relative golfing access, Aldeburgh probably receives relatively few visitors in relation to its stature. If situated in another part of the country where there are other great golf courses nearby, everybody would be raving about this fine golfing venue.

The home of the challenging second shot, and a masterclass in bunkering.

GM Verdict

Every birdie is hard-gained at this unique heathland-links hybrid with views out over the River Alde and the North Sea.

 

Jeremy Ellwood
Contributing Editor

Jeremy Ellwood has worked in the golf industry since 1993 and for Golf Monthly since 2002 when he started out as equipment editor. He is now a freelance journalist writing mainly for Golf Monthly across the whole spectrum from courses and Rules to equipment and instruction. He also edits The Golf Club Secretary Newsletter, a highly regarded trade publication for golf club secretaries and managers, and has authored or co-authored three books and written for a number of national papers including The Telegraph and The Independent. He is a senior panelist for Golf Monthly's Top 100 UK & Ireland Course Rankings and has played all of the Top 100 plus 91 of the Next 100, making him well-qualified when it comes to assessing and comparing our premier golf courses. He has now played well over 950 golf courses worldwide in 35 countries, right across the spectrum from the humblest of nine-holers in the Scottish Highlands to the very grandest of international golf resorts, but put him on a links course anywhere and he will be blissfully content.

Jezz can be contacted via Twitter - @JezzEllwoodGolf


Jeremy is currently playing...

Driver: Ping G425 LST 10.5˚ (draw setting), Mitsubishi Tensei AV Orange 55 S shaft

3 wood: Ping G425 Max 15˚ (set to flat +1), Mitsubishi Tensei AV Orange 65 S shaft

Hybrid: Ping G425 17˚, Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Orange 80 S shaft

Irons 3-PW: Ping i525, True Temper Dynamic Gold 105 R300 shafts

Wedges: Ping Glide 4.0 50˚ and 54˚, 12˚ bounce, True Temper Dynamic Gold 105 R300 shafts

Putter: Ping Fetch 2021 model, 33in shaft (set flat 2)

Ball: Varies but mostly now TaylorMade Tour Response