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Diss Golf Club Review

By: Derek Clements | Mon 20 May 2024

I have driven past Diss Golf Club many times but had never played the course. I recently put that right and I am here to tell you that this is yet another one of those hidden gems that is well worth a visit.

Located on the Norfolk-Suffolk border, it is a delightful tree-lined heathland course. Like so many others around the country it has had more than its fair share of problems with flooding during the wettest winter and spring on record and on the day we played maintenance work was going on to protect the par-three fourth from any future issues should the nearby River Waveney burst its banks again.

It has around 700 members and has attracted 40+ new members this year alone so is clearly in a really good place. But the proof of the pudding is in the eating, so here are my thoughts on this delightful golf course.

Course Details

  • Heathland/parkland, 6,202 yards, par 70
  • Green fee: £40 summer, £45 weekend
  • £30 winter, £35 weekend
  • Twilight rate: £30
  • Annual subscription: £958, £200 joining fee
  • You play the first three holes and then cross a road to play the remaining 15.

Diss Golf Club

Front Nine

The opening hole is a challenging par three measuring 209 yards and is a properly tough start to your round. It requires a perfectly-struck shot to avoid the two bunkers that protect the green. The second is a lovely par five measuring 517 yards. It calls for a gentle draw to a fairway lined on both sides by trees, and some thick rough. A deep bunker protects the front right of the green, which slopes from back left to front right. The fourth is a cracking par three. It only measures 161 yards but is often played with a crosswind. Two bunkers protect a two-tier putting surface. 

The sixth is a 370-yard par four that demands an accurate drive - a tree sits in the middle of the fairway and the River Waveney runs down the left side of the hole. There is also a ditch that is out of bounds. Aim right of the tree and then have an approach to a green well protected by bunkers. The seventh is another wonderful par three, measuring 177 yards. Go right and you will find yourself in a hollow. The green is like an upside down saucer so holding the putting surface takes some doing. The ninth may only measure 337 yards but is a memorable par four. You need a straight drive to avoid trees on the left and bunkers on the right. The second shot is semi-blind, played to a green surrounded by mounds - it has a real links feel. But find the two-tier green and you have a decent birdie chance.

Diss Golf Club

Back Nine

The 11th is a par four that measures just 306 yards and is the shortest par four on the course. It is played sharply uphill and you will almost certainly need a club more than you think for your approach to a small green guarded by a bunker short left. The 12th is a delightful par three of 151 yards. It is slightly downhill but you have to hit the green - come up short and you will find yourself tangled up in the grassy mounds and face a devilish chip. The 13th is a sensational golf hole, a par four of 468 yards. The drive is blind - you aim for a marker in the middle of the fairway. Go left and you will need to reload. Your second shot is played to a green in a huge hollow and is extremely difficult to hit. Most of us would settle for five here. 

Unusually, Diss finishes with two par fives. The 17th is a brute. It plays slightly uphill and measures 529 yards. Stay away from the thick rough on the left. The ideal drive is a draw. Be aware of the out of bounds to the right for your second shot. The green slopes gently from left to right, with grass bunkers to the right and rear. The finishing hole measures 470 yards. Again, the perfect tee shot is a draw but ensure you stay away from the gorse on the left. The second shot needs to be threaded through two fairway bunkers to a long green that slopes from back to front. A genuine birdie chance to finish.

The Clubhouse

We were greeted by two smiling bar staff who made us feel more than welcome. And check this out - two pints of beer cost just £8.40! You read that right. The large bar and restaurant area is light and airy and there is also plenty of outdoor seating - perfect for the wonderful sunny spring day on which we played Diss. 

You will probably know that I have a thing about the food on offer at many golf clubs. The menu at Diss is extensive, offering plenty of mouthwatering food at affordable prices. It featured everything from snacks to proper meals. There is everything from all-day breakfast baps, toasted sandwiches, salad, scampi, home-made burger and pie of the day.

There was one big surprise - inside the gents changing rooms there is a library of books. Really! In all my years of playing this incredible game, that was a first. The shower and toilet areas were spotlessly clean.

Diss Golf Club

The Verdict

The course was in superb condition with springy fairways upon which the ball sits up. Some of the greens are quite small, the surfaces are smooth and true and there are a lot of subtle breaks and slopes. And the bunkers are filled with proper soft sand. 

On the first tee is a board upon which hang bags of sand which are used to fill in your divots - not just any ordinary sand mind you. These bags also contain grass seeds. You get the sense that the members and greenkeepers really care about the condition of their course. We were hugely impressed. The fairways are reasonably generous but if you should miss them you are going to find yourself in some juicy rough. 

There is an immaculate practice putting green, a short-game area and a practice ground.

And at £40 it represents terrific value for money.

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