Sheringham Golf Club Feature Review
Nestled on the Norfolk coast is the quaint town of Sheringham. On the Northern edge of the town, sandwiched between the steam railway and the spectacular cliffs is Sheringham Golf Course, it is no more than 5 minutes walk from the town centre and is one of several highly rated Norfolk coastal courses the likes of which include Hunstanton, Brancaster (Royal West Norfolk) and Cromer.
The course was built in 1897 and you have a sense that it has been part of the coastland forever. The clubhouse has a colonial feel to it, with a veranda overlooking the first and last holes. The first inspires you to get out on the links as soon as possible with its green distantly nestled into a dune and surrounded by gorse.
As you might expect from a traditional members club, the bar area is furnished fantastically with old furniture and plenty of historical memorabilia on the walls. The welcome is friendly and a quick meal before the round confirms that the bar food is good and wholesome with traditional British bar snack choices.
The first of the par 3’s comes at the 6th. The hole forms part of a famous two hole stretch for which the club is renowned. The hole is long at 210 yards and is played from a raised tee, the hole drops 30 -40 ft with the stunning Norfolk coastline stretching off into the distance! The green is generous and inviting as it collects balls to its centre, but miss it left or short in one of the bunkers and a bogey awaits.
The 8th is next par 3. It is difficult to gauge the distance as it plays slightly uphill. It has a long, thin green guarded by two deep bunkers either side. Next up is the short 11th. A fantastic hole at just 155yrds which is set into a large dune. It falls away steeply if you hit short or left. Several bunkers guard the green, but hit it to the heart of the green and a birdie is a very real possibility.
The final Par 3 is the difficult 15th. The steam railway runs down the right hand side of the hole, but is not really in play (although I managed a shank over the railway tracks!). It is quite long at 190 yards, but you can bounce the ball into the green in classic links fashion. It completes a strong set of par 3’s in which a set of pars is something to proud of.
The par 4’s start at the 1st. It is at first glance an easy start at only 330yrds but plays longer than its yardage as it is uphill. Pot bunkers guard the right hand side of the fairway. Gorse and thick rough await wayward drives to the left. The green is beautifully nestled into a large dune and surrounded by gorse making it a tricky opener.
The uphill 3rd is a challenge and short 4th a birdie opportunity, but it is the 5th hole that makes Sheringham famous and for good reason. It is a stunner! Playing from a raised tee you are met with a fantastic vista of the course laid out before you and the Norfolk coastline stretching for miles to your right. The cliffs are very much in play all the way down the right hand side of the hole. They are only 15yrds from the fairway at some points and a sheer drop of 40-50ft awaits any sliced tee shots. Bunkers and gorse guard the left hand side of the fairway making the 5th the most demanding tee shot on the course. The second shot is no easier with a large mound to the front right of the green and steep banking to the left awaiting any pulled shots.
Birdie opportunities abound at the 9th, 13th and 14th, but the 10th and 12th are tough with demanding tee shots and long seconds required. The finishing stretch of Sheringham is a classic run of 3 par 4’s that follow the railway line all the way back to the clubhouse. Starting with the short 16th which is a brilliant risk reward hole at 310yards long. The railway is in play all the way down the right and the green is protected by gorse to the left and deep fairway bunkers 60 yards short of the green. A draw off the tee is required if you are to hit the green or you can lay up and play it safe.
The 17th is one of the strongest holes on the course with another demanding tee shot. The fairway hugs the railway line and then runs away down to a series of thick gorse patches. The green is the raised above you with gorse and trees surrounding the green. The 18th again requires a solid tee shot, but room to the left allows you to open the shoulders and let rip. The green is nestled into the corner of the course with the clubhouse overlooking a demanding green.
Sheringham has just two par 5’s. The first of which is the 2nd. Out of bounds lurks to the right as does a penal grass bunker, but there is room left and a good tee shot will allow long hitters to have a crack at the green in two. The hole sweeps downhill and should you clear the cross traps 100yards short of the green a birdie is a real possibility. If you decide to lay up an accurate shot is required to miss a peppering of bunkers.
The second of the par 5’s comes at the 7th. You tee off with the cliffs to you right, but there are not really in play and the large bunker to left of the fairway is more of a concern. The hole is long and straight rising over a brow in the land. An accurate layup is required as again sand traps await anything wayward. A large green allows for a good chance for birdie.
Sheringham was a pleasure to play with stunning views of the Norfolk coastline throughout the front nine. The steam railway line on the back nine is a real pleasure, although watch out for the drivers hooting the horn on your backswing! The train line undoubtedly adds to the charm of Sheringahm as does the classic clubhouse.
It does need to be noted that Sheringham is not easy to get to with poor single carriageway roads to get to the town, but with Cromer only a few miles away it is well worth considering for a weekend away or maybe something longer if you fancy playing the full set of Norfolk links courses. Being a well established members club, green fees are not cheap, but a bargain maybe found in off peak season.
I will be left with one image in mind and that is off standing on the 5th tee with the Norfolk coast sweeping before me with the most challenging of holes lying in wait, undoubtedly one of the most memorable holes I have ever played!
Golfshake Rating 8/10
|Sheringham Golf Club
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