21 Suffolk golf clubs that have re-opened after lockdown
PUBLISHED: 12:00 22 May 2020 | UPDATED: 15:29 24 May 2020
VICHIEN PETCHMAI (VICHIEN PETCHMAI (Photographer) - [None]
Golf is leading us out of lockdown. It’s the one social activity that we can all enjoy once again. We round-up the clubs in Suffolk that are now opening their greens and fairways to golfers
With lockdown restrictions starting to ease, golf is one of the few sports that you can play safely, providing you follow the social distancing guidelines.
Advice from the government says that a golfer can play with one partner from May 13. Official guidance from England Golf, the governing body for amateur golf, states: “all outdoor sport, including golf, must be enjoyed alone or within a household group or with one person from outside your household.”
Jeremy Tomlinson, chief executive of England Golf, wrote to clubs saying: “It is realistic for golf clubs to expect restrictions on opening of facilities, requirements for social distancing and adaptations to the usual playing etiquette even after any easing of lockdown.
“Restarting the game on this basis will be a challenge. There is a key responsibility to balance the issue of public health while at the same time ensuring the vitality of our sport.
“Golf will play a prominent role in the nation’s sporting recovery – when the time is right.”
Here is a round-up of golf clubs in Suffolk that are emerging from lockdown.
Felixstowe Ferry Golf Club
Ferry Road, Felixstowe, Suffolk, IP11 9RY
The Kingsfleet pay and play nine hole course is now open to visitors from midday. Players have to book a tee time which at present has to done by calling the office (01394 286834) and then pay over the phone. There will be staff on the entrance to the car park who will give everyone their Covid instructions with regard to social distancing and you cannot arrive more than 15 minutes before your tee time.
More details including course fees can be found on their website.
Bramford Golf Centre
Loraine Way, Bramford, Ipswich IP8 4JS
This nine hole course is situated on the outskirts of Ipswich. The course and open bay driving range has re-opened but to play at Bramford you must book in advance. Call 07810 882138 to book a slot. “Individuals playing golf on their own. Two-balls comprising of individuals from different households and at the discretion of the golf club, members of the same household playing in two, three or four-balls.”
Social distancing rules must be strictly adhered to at all times. More details can be found on the website
Stowmarket Golf Club at Finborough Park
Lower Road, Onehouse, Stowmarket, IP14 3DA
This stunning, well maintained 18-hole 6,081 yard par 70 parkland course is set in the quiet and peaceful mid Suffolk countryside. The renowned high-quality greens and varied holes suit both high and low handicappers looking for a challenging yet rewarding game. A statement from the club said: “We are currently open to members only, with a full protocol in place adhering to England Golf and government recommendations. Our tee is fully booked from 5am until 8pm with two balls every 10 minutes. Once this situation eases, we will be opening up to visitors.”
For up to date information please visit the website
Waldringfield Golf & Leisure
Newbourne Rd, Woodbridge IP12 4PT
A nine hole layout is available on a ‘Pay & Play’ basis. The course is situated near Ipswich on the main A12/A14 within easy reach of Woodbridge, Felixstowe and the Suffolk Coastal area. All players must report to Pro-Shop before play. For further information phone (01603) 615024 or contact the club via email on firstname.lastname@example.org
Ufford Park Golf Course
Yarmouth Rd, Melton, Woodbridge IP12 1QW
Ufford Park have introduced a one way system, 2-ball only for 9/18 holes and have put tee times into pre-determined slots 10 minutes apart. Golfers are asked to be prompt for their time slots and not to come ahead of their tee time. Golfers are not allowed to touch anything on the course and rakes for bunkers have been taken away. The one way system dictates that players enter as normal through golf reception and out via the linkway into the car park. Tee times must be booked online prior to arrival. Phone 01394 383555 for further information.
Bury St Edmunds Golf Club
Tut Hill, Fornham All Saints, Bury St Edmunds IP28 6LG
The main course is open to members only. The nine hole course is available for non-members from Saturday May 23rd. Restrictions will apply, pay and play will be for nine holes only, tee times only bookable after 11am through the pro shop (01284 755978), no people will be allowed at the club unless they have a tee time.
The club will be staging a virtual open day on Sunday May 31. Further information is available on the club website.
Stowmarket Golf Centre
Lower Rd, Stowmarket IP14 3DA
Stowmarket Golf Centre is a nine hole golf course with a driving range located on the outskirts of Stowmarket with beautiful views across a valley. The centre, which re opened on May 13, is mainly a starter centre. Following guidance from the Government and the PGA, they have revised their processes to allow people to ‘Play Safe, Stay Safe’.
Under current guidelines you can play on your own or with another person. You will need to phone the golf centre on 01449 737090 in order to book a tee time. When booking players will also receive information on safety procedures at the golf centre. This information is also available on the website and on the facebook page at Stowmarket Golf Centre.
Seckford Golf Club
Seckford Hall Rd, Great Bealings, Woodbridge IP13 6NT
Seckford Golf Club is set in beautiful Suffolk countryside close to Woodbridge and is suitable for all types of golfer. The club is now re-opened for both members and visitors. The club is following strict PGA guidelines about social distancing and staying safe.
All players must stay two metres apart, not touch anything on the course including the flags, only their own equipment and leave immediately after their game is complete. All tee times must be booked in advance either online or by phoning 01394 388000.
Stoke by Nayland Hotel, Golf & Spa
Keeper’s Ln, Leavenheath, Colchester CO6 4PZ
Set on 300 acres, in an area of outstanding natural beauty, deep in the heart of Constable Country, this hotel and golf resort is 7.5 miles from Sudbury, and can be found in the village of Leavenheath, on the Essex/Suffolk border.
Both the Gainsborough and Constable courses at the Stoke by Nayland Golf Club have re-opened but, as with other courses, full England Golf approved safety measures have been put in place. Members can book using the normal channels, while non-members can book online (https://www.stokebynayland.com/golf/green-fees/) on a pay to play basis. Tee times will commence at different times for different courses.
Fynn Valley Golf Club
Witnesham Rd, Witnesham, Ipswich IP6 9JA
Set in beautiful countryside just two miles north of Ipswich, this established parkland par 70, 18 hole course, par three nine hole is currently only open to members and it is anticipated that this will be the case for some time to come.
They are currently offering two ball play, pre-booked online. Restricting to play to members only will ensure that the club can adhere safely to social distancing rules and the measures we have put in place for “COVID Golf”.
Restrictions also apply to the nine hole par three course too. However, the club are accepting new members check out the club’s website for details.
Hintlesham Golf Club
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Hintlesham, Ipswich, IP8 3JG
Set amidst the beautiful Suffolk countryside, Hintlesham Golf Club is a par 72, 6586 yard parkland golf course providing a great challenge for players of all abilities. A statement from club said: “We are currently open to members only due to the demand. Our tee is fully booked from 7-6 with two balls every 10 minutes. Once it starts to slow down we will be opening up to visitors.”
For further information and updates go to the club website
High Lodge Leisure
Haw Wood Hinton Nr, Saxmundham IP17 3QT
The course is opening from Saturday May 30, with pre-booked and pre-paid Tee-off times. As per government guidelines they are only allowing two players only, unless a family group living under the same roof is discussed on booking.
Telephone lines will open for bookings from Wednesday May 27 from 10am; phone 01986 784347. There is to be no removal of flags and will holes filled to stop ball falling down. Arrival should be no earlier than 10 minutes prior to tee-off time and social distancing will be in place throughout the course, please adhere to all signs. The cafe is currently closed but toilet for families are open.
Rushmere Golf Club
41 Glenavon Rd, Ipswich IP4 5QQ
Golf has been played on Rushmere Common, on the outskirts of Ipswich, for well over a century and Rushmere Golf Club has been established since 1927. The long established course caters for all ages and abilities and due to its rapid draining heathland soil is open virtually all year round. It is regarded as a good but fair test of golf.
The course has now re-opened but only for members for the time being. For updates and booking tee-times go to the website
Ipswich Golf Club
Purdis Heath, Bucklesham Rd, Warren Heath, Ipswich IP3 8UQ
Ipswich is a traditional members’ club offering a warm welcome to visitors, societies and prospective members. Golf has been played at Purdis Heath since 1926, although Ipswich Golf Club itself was founded 31 years earlier, in 1895. Originally located at nearby Rushmere Heath, the club moved to its present site to enjoy the delights of the Purdis Heath Course (18 hole course) designed by the legendary architect James Braid. Forty years later the Bixley Course (9 hole course) was added.
Both courses are now re-opened and following England Golf Play Safe, Stay Safe guidelines. Tee-times have to be booked in advance via the website
Woodbridge Golf Club
Heath Rd, Woodbridge IP12 2PF
Two of Suffolk’s finest heathland courses, The Heath Course is a serious golfer’s challenge requiring a CONGU handicap certificate for play, while Suffolk’s “hidden gem”, the full length 9-hole Forest course, is suitable for all standards.
Both courses have re-opened but are currently only available to members and tee-times have to be booked in advance. The club is maintaining safety protocols directed by England Golf and the PGA.
For updates check the club website
Aldeburgh Golf Club
Saxmundham Rd, Aldeburgh IP15 5PE
Aldeburgh Golf Club has two courses, the 18 hole Championship Course and the River Course, a less exacting nine holes more suitable for beginners and high handicap golfers.
Aldeburgh’s Championship Course is built on sandy heathland but has the feel of a links on many of the holes and is for golfers with handicap certificates. The River Course stands on the opposite side of the Saxmundham Road to the clubhouse and has challenging, sloping greens and a selection of par 4s and par 3s with beautiful views over the River Alde. The River Course is available to visitors at any time the Professional’s shop is open.
All tee-times must be booked in advance. The clubhouse remains closed and safety remains the club’s highest priority. Further information can be found the club website
Thorpeness Golf Club & Hotel
Lakeside Ave, Thorpeness, Leiston IP16 4NH
Thorpeness is regarded as one of the finest coastal heathland golf courses in Britain, and one of the best golf courses in Suffolk. Golfers play a course winding through heather, gorse, pine and silver birch trees, hit from firm quick drying soil with rare birdsong in their ears and the tang of sea salt in the air.
The course is now open to both members and visitors, although tee-times for non-members are only available between 11am and 2pm. The hotel, bar, restaurant and changing rooms remain closed. All tee-times must be booked in advance via the website
Southwold Golf Club
The Common, Southwold, IP18 6TB
Southwold Golf Club is now open but tee-times are restricted to members only. Like many clubs, Southwold Golf Club is strictly enforcing England Golf’s Play Safe, Stay Safe regulations and all reservations will need to be made in person, in advance, by calling the Pro Shop or office (07858 082260 / 01502 723234). These will be two ball reservations and will be spaced 10 minutes apart between 8am and 7pm.
No-one should arrive any earlier than 20 minutes in advance of the tee time. Practice facilities will remain open. Up until the end of May, due to anticipated demand and reduced tee time availability, golf will be restricted to three, nine hole rounds per person per week. Do not touch rakes or pins.
Halesworth Golf Club
Bramfield Rd, Halesworth IP19 9XA
Both Halesworth’s courses have re-opened to both members and pay and play visitors. Golfers must make bookings by calling the golf shop on 01986 875567 Ext 24. The 6,523 yard par 72, 18 hole Blyth Course has been significantly redesigned quite recently and is a challenge to any golfer but can be enjoyed by players of all abilities.
The Valley Course, the nine hole pay and play course is open to all and is a great place to learn the game. At 2280 yards and a mix of par 3’s and 4’s, its shorter more forgiving par 33 perfectly suits beginners yet still challenges the more accomplished player.
Under current England Golf guidelines golfers must not arrive any earlier than 10 minutes before their booked tee time and must remain in the car park until five minutes before teeing off and then make their way to the first tee. Tee times will be 16 minutes apart.
Driving range, chipping and putting facilities are all closed along with clubhouse facilities and social distancing guidelines will be strictly enforced and staff will intervene if groups are seen to be not following them. On the golf course, all rakes will be removed, and flagsticks/ball washers are not to be touched.
Alnesbourne Priory Golf Club
Priory Park, Ipswich IP10 0JT
Enjoying one of the most picturesque settings in East Anglia, this well maintained nine hole golf course overlooking the River Orwell offers a thoroughly enjoyable game for all players. Comprising of five par 3s and four par 4s, the course runs along the river saltings, with a backdrop of woodland.
The course is open for pay and play golf daily from 9am. Last tee off time is 5pm. To maintain social distancing play is restricted to singles, or a two-ball with a member of your household or one other person from outside your household while keeping two metres apart at all times. Hole cups are shallow so flags do not need to be touched. Bunker rakes have been removed, so please smooth bunker sand using your club.
Preferred payment is by credit or debit card, but exact cash is accepted (no change will be given).
Brett Vale Golf Club
Noaks Rd, Ipswich IP7 5LR
This 18 hole 5,877 yard course has now re-opened offers a challenge to players of all ages and handicaps and offers first class facilities. The club will only be taking tee time bookings over the phone (01473 310 718) from 9am until 4pm. England Golf social distancing regulations are being adopted.
Newton Green Golf Club
Newton Rd, Newton, Sudbury CO10 0QN
The 18 hole village golf course near Sudbury is open once again is offering tee-times for members and pay and play visitors alike. They are also offering coaching within social distancing guidelines. Booking tee-times can be done through the club website
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