Diss Golf Club Feature Review
Review by Golfshake Ambassador Matt Holbrook, July 2019
Set just a very short drive from the main town of Diss on the Suffolk/Norfolk border, Diss Golf Club is a friendly members club welcoming visitors and societies alike to enjoy a excellent experience all year round.
Originally dating back to 1903, as a 9-hole course set on the free draining common heathland, it was expanded to a full 18 holes by 1991 and now offers what can only be describe as a unique experience combining heathland and parkland.
I had taken the journey on the B1077 - the road that separates the first three holes from the rest of the course - a number of times over the years whilst heading to Diss. Always looking out my window the right and thinking to myself how natural and appealing the course looked so I was super excited to get a chance to play - especially as it rates Highly Recommended on Golfshake by other visitors.
The professional Nigel gave such a warm welcome and took me out and showed me the way to the 1st tee and explained about the layout of the course and what to expect, the putting green in situated just next to the pro shop and just over the road by the 4th tee and 18th green the chipping green and practice bunker is a great area for short game work. A few swings in the warmup nets just by the 1st tee and you're all set.
Front 9 Overview
The 1st, 2nd and 3rd (Par 3, Par 5, Par 4) are all set on the clubhouse side of the road. It can a challenging start but what struck me was the parkland feel to the course, tree lined fairways on the 2nd and 3rd in particular give Diss a sensation of playing some parkland holes but on heathland ground which will be dry pretty much all year round.
As you cross the road onto the common heathland the real feel of what you would expect from a course in this location comes to fruition. The 5th is a great dog-leg where picking the right line/club from the tee is critical - and how much of the corner to pinch.
The 7th is a daunting par 3 playing 170 yards with and upside-down saucer as your target meaning finding the putting surface is a real challenge and if you navigate that well, the stroke index 1, 8th hole will more than likely bring you back down to earth!
At 414 yards and dog-legging right to left again you need to decide how much of the corner you want to pinch and if it is a first time visit that is a decision that isn't particularly easy. If you can find the fairway with a shorter club and avoid the bunkers, then you'll probably have 200 yards into a small green (a feature in itself at Diss) that is very well protected.
The 9th is also a great hole, fairly basic off the tee but you don’t want to be too long as bigger hitter may well run out of fairway.
Between the end of the fairway and the shallow undulating green can only be described as something that resembles the Himalayas at St Andrews which looks stunning in the late afternoon sun.
Back 9 Overview
The 10th and 11th and offer up some good scoring opportunities to get the back nine underway before you arrive at the stand pout par 3, the 12th.
It stands out because of the way the hole looks from the raised tee box. The green is set below you from the tee with grassy mounds and roll off areas grabbing anything that isn't precise. A stunning hole.
Then you swiftly move onto the 13th. Maybe some would say the signature hole at Diss. A blind tee shot straight at the marker post is required, if you go left you will be blocked out, right and you may still have a chance of going for the green.
With it being the longest par 4 on the course a 250-yard drive will still leave around 220-yard approach. The end of the fairway turns into a cliff and a sheer drop of around 40/50 feet means the second shot will play shorter, but the magnitude of the drop still means it’s a tough second shot. The view of the hole is spectacular, possibly one of the best in the county.
The 14th to 16th again gives the course a more parkland feel showcasing tree lined holes before the toughest of finishes with back to back par fives at 17 & 18 which I am led to believe will more often than not be playing into wind.
There is a lot to like about Diss. The mixture of parkland and heathland, the layout, the diversity of the holes themselves the friendly welcome, the Sunday carvery and the condition of the course. I could go on.
The course is challenging but fair, the greens felt small which personally is a good thing as good shots are well rewarded and the blind tee shots are well marked. Bad shot will get punished and different level but that’s what you look for in a great golf course.
Diss was tremendous. A really enjoyable course that due to the ground it is set on will be dry most of the year and very rarely, if ever, close due to bad weather.
A great course containing everything you would need, and I can see why it is Highly Recommended on Golfshake as I can't wait to go back.
Overall Rating: 9
Course (Conditions): 10
Course (Layout/Variety): 10
Course (Green Condition): 10
Course (Challenge/Difficulty): 10
Club Facilities 19th/Clubhouse: 9
Practice Facilities: 9
Pace of Play: 10
Value for Money: 10
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