Ipswich Golf Club Feature Review
Review by Golfshake Ambasssador Matt Holbrook
Set in the glorious Suffolk heathland, Ipswich Golf Club, commonly known as Purdis Heath, frequently features in the county's top five courses and for some, the UK's top 100.
The James Braid designed course is a traditional members' club offering a warm welcome to visitors, societies and prospective members since 1926.
A very warm reception awaits in the well stocked pro shop. I did notice that there seemed to be a fair selection of branded accessories at a reasonable price which makes a nice change if you are into that type of thing.
The warm up/practice facilities are great. There is a range that is set away from the clubhouse, but the four warm up nets, smaller 'pitching' range, chipping green (including course standard bunker) and putting green will be more than enough for either a pre game session or a short game workout.
With only four par 3's on the course it's the 6th hole (2nd par 3) and the 15th (Last) that stand out.
The 6th will play around 190 yards to a slightly elevated, well guarded green. Depending on the conditions it could become a beast and if you mark a three down on the scorecard you could count yourself lucky!
The 15th is 'only' 138 yards from the back tees but club choice is vital as anything between tee box and green will get gobbled up by the water hazard which sits some 15/20 yards below the two!
One thing that stands out at Purdis is there doesn't seem to be any par 4's that are like the last. Each hole possesses a different test be it bunkers, heather, tight tee shot or length.
The opening hole is a fairly gentle 320 yards long but has the smallest green of any hole so your approach in will need to be spot on! The fairway is lined with deep bunkers and heather.
The 4th was a particular favourite. 423 yards. Right to left running fairway with bunkers awaiting. If you avoid that a totally blind shot to the green awaits and the green sits well below the rest of the hole. Aim towards the marker at the back of the green taking a bit of yardage off your shot and then begin the walk down eagerly awaiting any sight of your ball.
The 8th is fun due to the two tees on offer. From the left will set up for a draw. From the right a fade. Should you find the fairway here a short iron in should be all that is required.
To finish the front, the 9th, is a real tempter for the longer hitters. At 300 yards straight down the green sits guarded by deep bunkers and low hanging trees. But if you do pull your drive make sure its straight! Anything off line will leave you some work to make par!
I also particularly enjoyed the 16th as the near 90 degree turn in the fairway means a Hybrid/Long iron off the tee is a must. With a bit of draw if possible a wedge into a long narrow green awaits!
The toughest par 5 of the three by a long way is the 17th. The tee shot is slightly blind and the fairway is littered with pot bunkers. Find one of these and you're in trouble but if you can manoeuvre your way around these a birdie is easily achievable.
What impressed me the most was the condition of the course. The green staff obviously work hard to keep a high level of maintenance.
The course can be really tough if you let it, however I would also highly recommend it to a higher handicapper as long as you select your club off the tee wisely.
The clubhouse offers a great selection of drinks and bar snacks at a reasonable price and the fish finger sandwich comes highly recommended!
Its worth pointing out that the variety on offer at Purdis Heath is like none other. Nothing is the same. Some offer wide fairways with length. Some short and tight. Some bunker lined. Some heather lined. Some blind tee shots. Some blind approach shots. Deep bunkers and undulating greens. As you walk to the next tee you cant help but wonder what lies ahead. It really is a pleasure to have played.
At £55 for a visitor some could be priced out. I have played other courses that charge similar in the past and they don't come close to Purdis Heath! Highly rated and I'd rate Purdis Heath 9/10.
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|Ipswich Golf Club
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