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Why Bubba is good for golf

By Matthew Moore, Editor Global Golfer Magazine
In a sport dominated by technology, innovation, science and statistics what a refreshing change to see Bubba Watson slip on his second Green Jacket and become a double Masters Champion last night.

There’s no doubt, Bubba is different to almost every modern professional golfer playing the world tours.
He uses a pink driver with a pink shaft, he’s never had a golf lesson and his wedge goes the same distance most people hit a 7-iron.

Bubba Watson – The Elvis of Golf
When he hits the ball the tall left hander looks like Elvis Presley working a microphone and in his spare time he’s in a boy band, “The Golf Boys,” with fellow US PGA Tour players Rickie Fowler, Hunter Mahan and Ben Crane.

Bubba’s car of choice is the iconic “General Lee,” a 1969 Dodge Charger originally used in "The Dukes of Hazzard" television show, which he bought for $110,000.

The average golfer today is exposed to so much powerful and persuasive advertising aiming to sell the secrets to better golf, including longer drives, fewer putts, greater comfort and higher energy levels.

When you book a swing lesson, you are as likely to end up having your launch angle and spin rate analysed on a piece of software and technology once used to track missiles used by the world’s military.

If you’re lucky, your results and stats can be transmitted to an app on your mobile phone or stored in a wrist watch that also tells you how far you are from the nearest hole.

At the push of a button you can share all of this with friends through social networks, or better still a social network created exclusively for golfers.

Bubba Watson – Hometown Boy
Bubba still lives in his hometown of Baghdad, Florida, U.S.A and still knows the people he grew up playing golf with.

He doesn’t really ask anyone to look at his swing, most commentators wince when asked to comment on his action. In an era when drivers are designed to lower the spin and the ball is created to stay straighter and spin less from side to side, Bubba likes to shape it and loves to spin it.

He’s one of the few top golfers comfortable with hitting it both ways and shaping clubs as short as a wedge – think about the incredible hook shot he played from the trees at Augusta’s 10th hole – to win a playoff for his first Masters in 2012.

The 36-year-old is a self-made golfer, a truly unique athlete and a complete exception to the formula for success that any college, sports performance institute or national golf union worldwide is currently preaching.

Bubba is good for golf, because he takes a natural approach to the sport. He reminds golf fans of a bygone golden era when Arnold Palmer had his powerful twirl, Lee Trevino played with a laser fade and Jack Nicklaus stuck with a swing and a style that looked comfier than leather slippers.

Golfers today can take a lot from Bubba’s play. Find your style and swing, one that fits your body and which you can live with and go play. Enjoy your time on the course and get committed to everything you do, if it works great – if it doesn't keep smiling until it does.

Compare Bubba with former Masters Champion Mike Weir, a fiercely professional and dedicated competitor whose swing looks robotic and whose every move appears contrived.

Mike has disappeared from the world stage and now struggles to keep a tour card. Would he do better if he went in search of his “inner Bubba.”

Another great way to copy Bubba is to let the golf course be your guide. If the hole shapes a certain way that best rewards a shot shape, then play it that way and let your mind create perfect pictures of the ball flying with the camber of the hole.

Bubba sees it, feels it and does it.
He’s one of the few artists left in the world of top professional golf. His green jackets put him in the same unique fraternity as a Phil Mickelson with the appeal and popularity of a Seve or a Palmer.

It was amazing to see the Augusta patrons holding out their hands to high-five Bubba as he walked to the scorer’s hut. He is one of them, an everyday American boy with a special talent.

Today, I see Bubba alongside Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez as being two of the most interesting people in the sport, who never cease to entertain and who perfectly combine competition with fun and a healthy perspective on real life outside of the big-money circus of professional golf.

All images courtesy of Tour Pro Golf Clubs
Bubba Watson (image courtesy of

Swing Into Spring

The gloom of winter seems to have finally disappeared with the emergence of longer, brighter and warmer days arriving as we enter spring. Wildlife is back in song on the fairways, plants and trees are back in blossom, and what better way to embrace this turn in weather than a few rounds of golf on Suffolk’s award-winning course…

Playing to a par 70, our golf club in Suffolk is set in 6500 yards of beautiful coastal heathland surroundings. Designed by famous Scottish architect James Braid and opened in 1922, it winds its way through silver birch, pine trees, gorse and purple heather and is an exciting challenge for golfers of all abilities. For an insight, why not take a tour of all 18 holes on our website with image galleries and expert advice from our seasoned pro, Frank Hill.

To celebrate spring and this turn in weather, we have our very own ‘Swing Into Spring’ offer for those who are looking for short golf break in Suffolk, with a night’s stay, unlimited golf and a three course meal in our Tee View Restaurant.

We hope to see you embracing the sunshine with us on our fairways very soon.
Thorpeness Hotel & Golf Club
Thorpeness Hotel & Golf Club

Famous Female Golfers

In celebration of ladies golf in Suffolk and at our club here in Thorpeness, we take a look at a selection of the most influential female golfers ever to grace the greens. We are proud of our sport and its appeal to both men and women and hope to see you on our fairways very soon!

Annika Sörenstam
Commonly recognised as the greatest female golfer of all time. Although she hasn’t set any records in regard to tour wins or titles, the manner in which she won her 72 LPGA victories and 10 majors in an era argued to have the sport’s most competitive players have led her to be associated with such a title.

Michelle Wie
The glamour girl of the modern game. Michelle Wie took the world by storm as a child prodigy in 2000 as she became the youngest player to qualify for the USGA Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship at just 10 years old. Turning pro just before her 16th birthday, endorsement deals that have followed have seen her earn in excess of a reported $20million.

Karrie Webb
A recent pro who scooped an impressive seven majors in the 90s and early 2000s. What makes her inspiring is the fact that she won all her majors whilst in her 20s, which with no surprises has seen her become an official member of the World Golf Hall of Fame.

Patty Berg
One of the founding members and first president of the LPGA who became the first winner of the US Women’s Open Championship in 1946. After serving in the marines in the Second World War, Patty ‘Dynamite’ Berg went on to win a record 15 majors.

Babe Didrikson Zaharias
A true sporting wonder. Zaharias played basketball, baseball, tennis, swimming and a vast array of other sports, winning gold and silver Olympic medals in track and field along the way. She even played in four PGA tournaments against men, making the cut in three, and went on to become a founding member of the LPGA. Wow.

Mickey Wright
Heralded by Golf Digest and Golf Magazine as the best female golfer of all time. Wright won a tournament every year between 1956 and 1969, with 82 tour victories and 13 major championships. All of this achieved before retiring at the modest age of 34.

Kathy Whitworth
The first woman to earn one million dollars in career winnings on the LGPA Tour who also tops the list for most tournament wins with a monumental 88. Other accolades include being awarded the LGPA Player of the Year seven times and winning at least a tournament a year for a record 17 consecutive years.

Feeling inspired? Then head on down to our Thorpeness Golf Club and get swinging! You could even make a stay of it with our ‘Golf for Girls’ hotel and dinner package, with unlimited golf on our course.
Thorpeness Golf Club
Thorpeness Golf Club

Why the Ladies love Thorpeness

March is the month when daffodils dare to flower and Spring begins to wriggle free of the cold grip of Winter.

At Thorpeness Hotel and Golf Club, it’s also the perfect time to be a lady golfer.

This month, the girls are out in force as the club is again running its hugely popular Golf for Girls short breaks on March 17.

Girls golf getaway for less than £100
For just £95 ladies can enjoy a one-night break with 18-holes of golf, three course dinner – a cocktail in the bar beforehand - hearty Thorpeness breakfast and soup and sandwich lunch on the day of departure.
An upgrade to a superior room is also available at a package price of £99.

There are so many reasons why Thorpeness is well loved by groups of lady golfers and couples and why our mixed events always attract a great field.

• Thorpeness golf course is a thinker’s course, where course management, strategy and execution count for more than raw power and brute strength
• Thorpeness enjoys a mild micro-climate, one of the lowest rates of rainfall in the UK and an extra two hours of sunshine per week compared to the rest of Britain
• The golf course is a haven for wildlife, flora and fauna – and a tranquil relaxing place to play
• Thorpeness lies in an AONB (Area of outstanding natural beauty) close to the Suffolk Heritage Coast
• At Thorpeness Hotel you can get from your bedroom to the first tee in under a minute
• Off course, there are quaint cafes, beautiful boutiques and independent retailers in nearby Aldeburgh

Thorpeness is a big favourite of Former Solheim Cup Captain Mickey Walker – who runs an annual golf school here – she recently recommended Thorpeness as the ‘perfect winter golf destination’ in Lady Golfer Magazine.

Steal a march on your competition with ladies golf competitions at Thorpeness.

March is also the unofficial start to the season for the Thorpeness Hotel and Golf Club lady members as the club’s competition calendar gets into full swing.

The first competition of the month is a Ladies Stableford on March 6. It’s a qualifying event for handicaps, the winner takes home a Marks and Spencer voucher and the winners of each handicap division pick up a sleeve of golf balls.

On March 13, the fun and friendly Ladies Captains vs Secretaries match sees two teams of 18 players competing in a Greensomes Matchplay event. Every member of the winning team receives a Primrose as a prize.

The name primrose is derived from the latin prima rosa, meaning ‘first rose of the year,’ and this competition marks the arrival of Spring and the beginning of another year at our outstanding James Braid designed championship golf course.

The same week, the draw for the Ladies Greensomes takes place. The actual tournament is played on March 20th and there are excellent prizes to be won, with fine wine and toiletries for the winner and two runners up.

On March 27, the first Ladies Medal takes place. The winner will be presented with an engraved goblet at the Ladies Spring Meeting in April, and the winners of each handicap division pick up golf balls.

Whether you are thinking of visiting for a one or two night Girls Golf Break, or are interested in the range of flexible membership options at Thorpeness – with annual golf from just £300 – the club is the perfect place for lady golfers to enjoy life on the links.

The Man Behind the Whites at Thorpeness

We spend 2 minutes with kitchen manager Mark Knowles...

2014 Golf Majors and Events

2014 is now in full swing with a blockbuster schedule of golfing events to look forward to. Here is a rundown of the key dates this year which should be enough to spark your own personal golfing season into action, possibly with a visit to our golf course here in Suffolk! We hope to see you on our greens very soon, and don’t forget that many of these events will be live on the big screen in our Club House Bar.

77th Masters, 10-13th April
Hosted at Augusta National Golf Club, Adam Scott will return as defending champion having scooped an impressive $1.44 million dollars in prize money last year. The tournament has a number of traditions, including awarding a famous green jacket to the champion of the tournament.

114th U.S. Open, 12-15th June
The annual open golf tournament of the United States with the final round played on the third Sunday in June, which is also Father’s Day. Englishman Justin Rose won the event last year and will defend his title at the Pinehurst Resort, North Carolina.

69th U.S. Women’s Open 27-30th June
The 2014 edition of the US Women’s Open will be the first time the event will be played on the same course in the same year as the men’s. It also has the largest amount of prize money in women’s golf with $3.25million this year.

39th Women's Open Championship, 10-13th July
Before 2013, this was the only tournament classified as a major championship by both the Ladies European Tour and LPGA Tour. American reigning champion, Stacy Lewis, will return to the UK this summer to defend her title.

143rd Open Championship, 17-20th July
US favourite Phil Mickelson won the British Open in 2013 with a three-under score. The 2014 edition will be played at the Royal Liverpool Golf Club and is the oldest of the major championships, also becoming the first tournament to introduce a playoff system back in 1985.

96th PGA Championship, 7-10th August
The annual tournament of the Professional Golfers Association of America will be hosted at Valhalla Golf Club, Louisville. Champions of the tournament are automatically invited to play in the three other majors for the following five years.

40th Ryder Cup, 23rd -28th September
Scotland will host the greatest golfing tournament and one of the top global sporting events for only the second time in Ryder Cup history this year. Team Europe are current holders after a dramatic comeback win in 2012. Can we do it again on home turf?
2014 Golf Majors
2014 Golf Majors and Events

Thorpeness, Aldeburgh as a Wedding Destination

Your wedding should quite rightly be one of the most memorable experiences of your life which makes choosing where to get married an incredibly important part of the planning process. Whether you’re looking for your dream ceremony, reception or honeymoon, the beautiful Suffolk coast could well be the answer.

There really is no better place to get married to your loved one with the stunning beaches of Suffolk’s ‘Sunrise Coast’ just a pebble’s throw away. Surrounded by big open skies and landscapes of outstanding natural beauty, the stretch of coastline here at Thorpeness and Aldeburgh provides the perfect setting for a day or weekend of romance and celebration. Add the convenience of close friends and family being able to stay at either our hotel or one of the self-catering properties by the beach and you have everything you need for a truly special occasion.

We have a magnificent venue in Thorpeness Country Club which has seen many happy couples enjoy their special day here on the Suffolk coast. To see it for yourself, check out the Weddings pages on our website and browse through our stunning photos, many of them taken by local photographer Tony Pick of Coastal Images.

We are blessed with beautiful scenery here on the Thorpeness and Aldeburgh coastline and we hope you choose to celebrate your special day with us.
Thorpeness, Weddings, Country Club, Aldeburgh
A Happy Couple Enjoying Their Special Day Here at Thorpeness

How to winter-proof your ‘Fair Weather Golfer’ at Thorpeness

There’s no getting away from it. Winter is here.
Fair weather golfers are running for cover and golf clubs are dreading a dark winter locked away in the garage or loft.

For British golfers who do play through the winter months it can mean driving rain, ankle deep mud, temporary greens, woolly hats, mittens and waterproofs – and worst of all – the ‘Course Closed’ sign.

Luckily, the winter golf curse hasn't landed on Thorpeness Hotel and Golf Club, and we are one of the most winter-proof golf destinations in the UK.

Just ask one of the UK’s biggest golf travel companies, Your Golf Travel, who ranked us #3 in its Top-10 Winter Golf Breaks in Britain, read their blog here

Former Solheim Cup Captain Mickey Walker is also a big fan. In her recent column for Lady Golfer Magazine she wrote about her favourite UK winter golf destinations and Thorpeness was first on her list.

Mickey wrote: “The great thing is that in the winter months, because hotels and golf courses aren’t always that busy, there are usually some great bargains. One such place to play and stay, and where the course is especially good in winter, is Thorpeness in Suffolk.”

Why is Thorpeness perfect for winter golf breaks?
Our course hardly ever closes and we aim to be open for play 365 days a year, so you can even fit in a round before your Turkey, sprouts and Christmas pudding on December 25th.

Thorpeness is one of those rare places that enjoys an ultra-mild micro climate delivering weather that is more golfer friendly than Peter Aliss.

Here on the Suffolk Coast we enjoy some mighty good meteorology that makes us the perfect winter golf course:

• One of the lowest average rainfall rates in the UK
• Sandy quick drying soil
• A location on a flat low lying coastal plain
• Around two hours more sunshine per week than the rest of the UK

Suffolk is a special county when it comes to good weather, here are some fun facts for you:

• Suffolk’s annual rainfall is generally as little as one fifth of that in the West Country and only half that of the South Coast
• Suffolk was the driest part of the UK in 2009 with only a mere 22.5mm of rain in August

Wonderful Winter Golf Breaks at Thorpeness
We aren’t for one minute suggesting that playing golf at Thorpeness in Winter is like teeing off in the Caribbean or Florida, winter weather is still bracing and it can be windy, but generally our course is dry, in great condition, open for play and on full tees and greens all year round. When your course is a 1922 James Braid coastal classic, that’s a pretty special combination all-round.

It’s always good to be well prepared for winter golf and that means having the right equipment, clothing and plenty of energy from eating and drinking the right things. Here’s a handy winter golf guide from golf travel magazine Global Golfer on how to winter-proof your game, read it here, with these handy tips and our weather-proof course you can’t really go wrong.

There’s nothing quite like holing out on the 18th green – ours is right beneath an amazing floating house called the ‘House in the Clouds’ – and then heading to the bar for a well earned drink and a great bite to eat.

At Thorpeness, our clubhouse feels like home for golfers, in fact it’s the epitome of a classic British golf clubhouse.

The wood panelled honours boards, mounted trophies, large roaring fire and well stocked bar are a sight to behold after a tussle on the links. Whether you like a spirit lifter, like a Kummel or a Port, or good old fashioned English breakfast tea, our friendly staff will be pleased to see you and tell you about the hearty locally produced dishes on our menu.

We think golf should be played all year round, which is why we believe in making it easy for you to play and stay at any time of year. Our winter golf packages are some of the most competitively priced in the UK and you can enjoy a 1 night stay with 2 rounds of golf from just £89pp.

Our 36-bedroom hotel is under a minute’s walk from the first tee and the putting green and ideal for making the most of every minute in the shorter winter day.

We are not the only people who believe Thorpeness is a great place to play golf. Just ask the Professional Golfer’s Association. They have held three of their tournaments here this year, from the PGA Super 60’s to the PGA East Region Autumn Classic and Matchplay Championship.

Click here for more about Thorpeness Winter Golf Breaks.
Winter proof golf at Thorpeness

Why your swing could save lives

What’s pink, round, 1.68 inches in diameter and helps save lives?

The answer: a golf ball!

This month, Thorpeness Hotel and Golf Club is hosting a special golf competition in aid of UK Breast Cancer Awareness Month and you’re invited.

The inaugural Thorpeness Pink Putter is being played for on October 25th, 2013 – the UK’s official Wear it Pink Day – and all entry fees are being donated to breast cancer charities.

Pink Up in the fight against Britain’s most common cancer

Did you know?
Breast Cancer is the common form of cancer in the UK today. Every year it claims the lives of 12,000 women and a further 50,000 women are diagnosed with the condition.

What can you do to help?
Start by signing up for the Thorpeness Pink Putter – an individual Stableford Competition - played for over our 18-hole James Braid designed heathland golf course, with only a few conditions:
• You have to play with a pink golf ball
• You must wear Pink clothes, or at least a significant amount of pink clothing
• You pay £5, on top of your green fee or golf break package, to enter the Pink Putter and in return you receive your prized pink ball

There are great prizes to be won, donated by Adnams of Southwold, for golfers with the highest stableford scores as well as extras like longest drive and nearest the pin on par threes.

Two of our holes will be completely ‘pinked up,’ and we’ll be serving pink drinks and snacks at our halfway hut.

Extraordinary Pink Putter Deals
Thorpeness is offering great value golf deals in order to encourage golfers to support this excellent cause.
Visiting golfers can play the course for £22, a 50 per cent saving on the standard green fee of £44 midweek.
Golfers booking to stay in the 36-bedroom hotel on the 24th or 25th October for the Pink Putter can enjoy dinner, bed, breakfast and golf packages from £99.

To enter the Thorpeness Pink Putter, email: or call The Golf Shop on: 01728 454926.

Come on putt a bit of pink into your golf game and help save some lives!!
For more about Wear it Pink Day:

Thorpeness team ready for the Wear it Pink Day

What’s on at Thorpeness this Festive Season #christmassuffolk

Experience something magical this Christmas in Thorpeness; one of Britain’s best-kept secrets and let someone else sweat over the sprouts!

Escape to the Suffolk coast, to celebrate a traditional British Christmas without worry, work or obligation.

At this time of year, the picturesque Thorpeness Meare glistens in the low winter sun, transforming the village into a winter wonderland of dreams. It is clear to see why The Meare is credited with helping inspire J.M Barrie to write his renowned children’s fiction Peter Pan.

So look no further and transport yourself into this fairy-tale setting and enjoy your Christmas at Thorpeness Hotel and Golf Club.

Christmas Lunches
Thorpeness Hotel and Golf Club embodies a traditional, fun and festive Christmas - we've decked the halls, trimmed the trees and created a gentle festive ambiance for a traditional Christmas on the beautiful Suffolk coast.

Join us with family, friends or work colleagues from as early as the 1st of December through to the 19th of December for a festive lunch in our Clubhouse. The Christmas lunches are a perfect opportunity to don the silly cracker hats, laugh at the not-so funny cracker jokes and eat, drink and be merry in the lead up to Santa’s big arrival. So where better to have these festivities than in the beautiful settings of the stunning Thorpeness Hotel and Golf Club.

Christmas Lunches two courses for £13.50 per person and three courses for £16.50 per person.

Christmas Breaks
For those wanting to make their Christmas period an unforgettable one, Thorpeness Hotel and Golf Club host a three night Christmas break,which promises to warm the hearts of even the most coldest of Scrooges.

Take the stress out of the most anticipated days of the year, as we dazzle you with the hospitality and ensure your Christmas is as easy as putting the baubles on the tree!
From only £425 per person.

New Year
Start your New Year with a sparkle, with a New Year one night break at the Thorpeness Hotel and Golf Club and outshine the rest.

The New Year break begins with a festive afternoon tea or a round of golf on the famous James Braid course on arrival before guests get ready to see the New Year in style on this decadent break.

Dress to impress with the black and diamonds theme, before being transported into the winter wonderland of the Thorpeness Country Club for winter cocktails and canapés as you mingle with your fellow VIP’s. A gourmet five-course meal will be served with a bottle of fizz per table - as you marvel at the quickness of hand of our Magician, then dance the night away to our live band, Serendipity.

As the countdown to the New Year begins, the corks will pop as you are served with champagne ready to toast 2014 by the beach, as the remarkable fireworks display illuminates the night sky around Aldeburgh Bay. The event promises to bring 2014 in with a bang! Literally...fireworks!

On New Year’s Day, blow away those cobwebs with a round of golf or recharge with a walk along the delightful Suffolk coast or simply head home with all the wonderful memories of your stay at Thorpeness.

This fantastic break is from only £165 per person, non-residents £85 per person.

Its 90 days until Christmas and it’s not too late to get booked for the festive season 2013! I’m sure you won’t regret it!

Never visited us before… then make 2013 the year and we promise you’ll be back!
Spend Christmas at Thorpeness Hotel & Golf Club

It’s Carnival Time!

The annual Aldeburgh Carnival is in full swing! The car parks are full, the beach is packed with people enjoying the sunshine and there’s lot of fabulous, colourful costumes on show.

Which means, the Thorpeness Regatta is just around the corner…

Thorpeness Hotel will be holding their annual garden party in celebration of the events. Come along and enjoy a delicious hog roast, served with Aspall Cyder stuffing, apple sauce and mixed salads. There will also be a vegetarian BBQ and live music from the Ipswich Youth Steel Band.

The party starts with welcome drinks on arrival at 6.30pm then pick your spot next to the Meare for front row seats to the magical lit boat parade around the Meare and firework spectacular from 8.30pm.

Adult’s £12.50 advance ticket purchase/£15 on the night. Children are half price, free for those under 6 years old.

For tickets please call our friendly reception team on 01728 452176.

Thorpeness Annual Regatta

Summer BBQ's and Live Music at Thorpeness Hotel

With Britain in the middle of a heat wave why not make the most of it with us at our summer BBQ's being held in the gardens by the Meare from 28th July through until September.

Join us every Sunday when Head Chef Ronnie and his team will be serving a delicious BBQ from 12noon. Enjoy all the favourites from the grill and a salad bar. Picnic blankets will be available for use and jugs of Pimms are from just £17.50 - everything you need for a perfect British summer's afternoon in Thorpeness.

The live music will start from 1pm.

Adults £9.95, children £4.95 under 6 eat free!

Please call reception on 01728 452176 to book.
BBQ by the Meare this summer at Thorpeness Hotel

Staying true to the spirit of James Braid – Thorpeness Golf Course

By Christopher Oldrey

Last year we put the finishing touches to three years of renovations and improvements to Thorpeness Golf Course.

It’s not an easy task to renovate a classic James Braid designed heathland golf course laid out in 1922. It’s a bit like asking today’s mechanic to tweak the engine on a Leyland Eight, a Rolls-Royce or a Daimler – all classic British automobiles from the 1920’s.

James Braid is one of the most famous names in golf course architecture. His vision for what makes a great golf course is sacred and respected the world over.

We knew that in renovating the golf course we had to account for the radical technological developments in driver and golf ball technology, which both make the ball fly further than ever before.

At the same time we wanted to stay true to the way James Braid first intended the 18 holes to be laid out at Thorpeness.

Our 3-year program of renovation included new bunkering, extended tees, deepening greenside swales and hollows, cultivating heather and seeding bent grass greens. These are big changes.

So how did we stay true to the spirit of Braid?
In his book, Advanced Golf, written in 1902 Braid said this about golf course design:
"It is both necessary and desirable that the holes should be laid out as suggested by the lie of the land, every natural obstacle being taken care of."

"There should be a complete variety of holes…not just length, but in their character – the way in which they are bunkered…the kind of shot that is required…the kind of approach and so forth."

The greens should be well guarded.

"The shorter the hole, the smaller the green, the more closely guarded."

"There should as frequently as possible be (at least) two possible alternative methods of playing the hole – an easy one, a difficult one – and there should be a chance of gaining a stroke when the latter is chosen."

We chose Creative Golf Design and Scottish architect Ken Moodie to make the changes at Thorpeness.
We honoured Braid’s design philosophy by focusing on greenside bunkers, enhancing naturally occurring swales and hollows by greens and placing an emphasis on positional play from the tee and with approach shots.

“Thorpeness is a beautiful golf course but it is not long playing 6,449 yards at its full length. The changes to the bunkering and green aprons and run-off’s has added another level of strategic decision making for golfers hitting approach shots,” said Moodie.

"We have also worked hard to enhance the visual composition and heathland character of the golf course by widening fairways at key points to accommodate new bunkering and by adding additional areas of heather, including on the faces of certain key bunkers. The widening of the fairways offers options for the golfer off the tee and an advantage for one who takes more risk.”

A new tee has also been built at the 12th hole, extending it from 373 yards to 406 yards, and the greens have been seeded with finer bent grasses for quicker surfaces and consistent roll.

While the course is tougher and longer, the essential challenge set by Braid remains as relevant today as they did in 1922.

To score well around Thorpeness you have to drive into the right position to make your approach shot easier and then avoid a myriad of hazards and bunkering around closely guarded greens.

Test your golf game at Thorpeness Golf Club, find out more about our Suffolk golf breaks here
Thorpeness Golf Club

News: Thorpeness hosts PGA Super 60's

( 3rd March 2013 )

We are thrilled to be hosting the PGA Super 60's this year on August 29th and 30th.

Senior golfers including past Ryder Cup players regularly play in the 36-hole betterball event which carries a £10,000 prize-fund.

Our head PGA professional Frank Hill lifted the Super 60s title back in 2006 with Brian Underwood in Lincolnshire but won't have far to travel for the next two years with his home course named as the venue for 2013 and 2014.

PGA head of tournaments, Simon Higginbottom, said: "The PGA Super 60s is a popular event for our older members and we're delighted to be staging the tournament at Thorpeness which rightly has a reputation for being an outstanding course and venue.

Good luck to all the competitors and we hope that you enjoy your visit to Thorpeness.

Read more about this event on the PGA website
Frank Hill Head PGA Professional at Thorpeness GC

Blog: Your Holiday Home Golf Club

( 21st July 2012 )

Here at Thorpeness Hotel, our aim is to give guests a truly personal experience during their stay – almost comparable to visiting a really good friend’s home and Golf Club. It is not about being servile or becoming someone’s servant. It is about anticipating guests’ needs just as one would plan ahead when friends come to visit. It’s about being there for them, caring for their needs and making them as comfortable during their stay as one would wish to be themselves. Endeavouring to offer a holiday home Golf Club experience, however, is entirely dependent on the people providing the service. It is so important that they genuinely care about what they do. I can think of many instances where our staff have been instinctively caring without it forming part of their ‘duty’. Like the time a lady’s camera ran out of memory space, our barman got his camera from his car, invited the lady to take however many pictures she wished and emailed them to her that same day. It is not in his job description, he did not need to go out of his way to help and it is impossible to foresee such situations to train individuals how best to deal with them. He cared about this lady being able to keep mementos of her visit, he cared enough to think about how he could help and he genuinely wanted to make a difference. To me, it’s examples like above which probably best describes what we are about at Thorpeness.

Bruno Mollier
General Manager

General Manager Bruno Mollier and Darshan Kantrodia. Darshan recently passed his MBA in Hospitality.

News: Thorpeness unveils golf course renovations for English Seniors Championship

3-year program of renovation at Suffolk heathland course includes new bunkering, tees, greenside swales and hollows, heather management and bent grass greens

(Thorpeness, Suffolk – May 29, 2012)
The Golf Club unveils a three year program of golf course renovations and improvements at the English Men’s Seniors Championship this week.

We have chosen this week to unveil the renovations by Creative Golf Design and Scottish architect Ken Moodie at the James Braid designed course.

Christopher Oldrey, Golf Operations Manager and PGA Professional at Thorpeness, said: “This is an exciting milestone for Thorpeness. We are looking forward to seeing what happens when we put our new, improved and lengthened layout to the test against England’s most experienced and talented senior golfers.”

We brought in Creative Golf Design and senior golf course architect Ken Moodie three years ago to create a five-year plan to modernize and improve the golf course which dates back to 1922.

The work has seen extensive remodeling of the greenside bunker complexes at holes 11 through to 17 and the addition of swales, hollows and run-offs to draw in balls that narrowly miss the greens.

“Thorpeness is a beautiful golf course but it is not long playing 6,449 yards at its full length. The changes to the bunkering and green aprons and run-off’s has added another level of strategic decision making for golfers hitting approach shots,” said Moodie."We have also worked hard to enhance the visual composition and heathland character of the golf course by widening fairways at key points to accommodate new bunkering and by adding additional areas of heather, including on the faces of certain key bunkers. The widening of the fairways offers options for the golfer off the tee and an advantage for one who takes more risk.”

A new tee has also been built at the 12th hole, extending it from 373 yards to 406 yards, and the greens have been seeded with finer bent grasses for quicker surfaces and consistent roll.

This week’s English Seniors Championship is the first time that all of the renovations have been put in play at the same time.

New fairway and altered bunkers on 11th hole

Top-10 Reasons to visit Suffolk

Suffolk is called England’s “Curious County,” a place different to the norm, which has inspired artists, writers and musicians and long held fascinating whispers of history and secrets that stretch back through the ages.

Suffolk is a flat sprawling county with few hills and an abundance of beautiful landscapes, dramatic coastlines, windswept shingle beaches and hidden holiday villages.

Here are our Top-10 Reasons to visit Suffolk:
1. Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty)
Suffolk’s coastline is a place of dramatic landscapes and breath-taking beauty. There are several coastal walks and trails to enjoy and the annual Suffolk Walking Festival is an ideal way to be guided around one of England’s most inspiring coastlines.

2. Sutton Hoo – discover the riches of England’s battle scarred past
Sutton Hoo is one of Britain’s greatest archaeological treasures and the site of an Anglo Saxon Royal burial ground, complete with awe inspiring burial mounds, a war ship and a treasure horde. Come face to face with the past.

3. Coast and Colour – Southwold’s iconic Beach Huts
The brightly coloured beach huts at Southwold are iconic Suffolk attractions and are available to rent for the quintessentially British seaside holiday.

4. The home of Horse Racing
Newmarket in Suffolk is the home of Horse Racing in England and its special status is captured at the National Horse Racing Museum.

5. Benjamin Britten – composer of Britain’s only Opera
2013 is the 100th anniversary of Benjamin Britten’s birth. The famous composer lived on Golf Lane in Aldeburgh and penned Britain’s only Opera called Peter Grimes. Click here for information about Britten’s centenary celebrations

6. Awesome Ales – Adnams, Suffolk’s finest brewer for over 140-years
Adnams, Suffolk’s best known brewers, has been creating award winning real ales for over 140-years. You can go on a tour of its Southwold brewery and distillery for £12 per person and taste its ales and spirits in the Adnams Cellar and Kitchen.

7. Curious House in the Clouds
One of the most unusual attractions in the Curious County is a converted water tower floating on the Suffolk skyline overlooking the golf course at Thorpeness. The “House in the Clouds” is now a privately owned residence and is the focus of many iconic photographs.

8. Cycle the UFO Trail in Rendlesham Forest
In 1980, several witnesses reported seeing a UFO in Rendlesham Forest near Woodbridge, Suffolk. The Forestry Commission has opened a UFO Trail which you can either cycle or walk. Experts refer to the sighting as Britain’s answer to Roswell in America.

9. Delightful hidden villages
Suffolk is home to hideaway’s and bolt-holes that are perfect for relaxing short breaks, including the fantasy holiday village of Thorpeness, Aldeburgh with its arts and music scene and Lavenham with its stunning 15th century coaching inn

10. John Constable – England’s masterful painter
John Constable was an English romantic painter born in Suffolk in 1776 and most famous for his paintings of his childhood haunts like Dedham Vale and Hay Wein. His works are among the most valuable in British art and the landscapes which inspired his art are an excellent place to spend time walking.

Thorpeness Hotel and Golf Club is an ideal place to base yourself for a short break in Suffolk.
Beach Huts at Southwold

News: Four days of tennis, tournaments and fun

( May 2013 )

Welcome back to Nick Ring who will be hosting a three day tennis break at Thorpeness Hotel from 1st July for 4 days.

Nick is the former head tennis pro at Windmill Hill Tennis & Golf Academy, has developed this informative, social – and above all, fun - tennis holiday specifically for improvers up to club level. Our 15 hour group tennis programme is spread over 4 days and is ideally paced to suit the group's age and fitness.

The programme includes individual coaching focused on four key areas: tactical, technical, mental and physical.To maximise your enjoyment (well, it is supposed to be a holiday after all), the group – which, in previous years has included couples and solo holidaymakers alike, will be sub-divided based on skill and fitness.

News: Great White Egret spotted on the Thorpeness Meare

( 22nd February 2013 )

Over the last few years in January or February a Great White Egret has come to Thorpeness Meare. We understand that he ( or maybe she ) is quite a rarity. According to the Rare Bird Alert website less than 30 of these beautiful birds have been spotted countywide this week. So we feel very privileged to have seen it from the hotel gardens again this year.

Several of us tried to take a photo but getting close was difficult, however a very patient Darshan managed to take one early this morning.

For sightings of other coastal birds and wildlife go the RSPB MInsmere website.

RSPB Minsmere

Happy New Year

We hope you had a fantastic Christmas and we wish you a happy and prosperous New Year.

As we look ahead to next 12 months we have some superb events and short breaks planned at the hotel and golf club.

Banish the winter blues and work off that Christmas pud with an exclusive golf break in January and February from just £85.

This fantastic break is inclusive of accommodation, breakfast, a three course dinner and daily golf on our award winning course.

Play two superb Golf Courses
Stay with us for three nights or more on this break and enjoy a round of golf on us at nearby Aldeburgh Golf Club worth up to £50!*

Please click here to read more and to book

We look forward to seeing you in 2013.

* Excludes Saturday and Sunday nights. A handicap certificate is mandatory at Aldeburgh who allow Two Ball or Foursomes.
Enjoy a round on the award winning Thorpeness Golf Course

Out of the ordinary

January 2013

It isn't until you do something out of the ordinary that you find out just what goes on around the golf course. The green-keeping team are moving the ninth green back to create a longer hole making it a par five.

During the alterations we had to move the irrigation main because the old one ran straight under the middle of the new green. The very next day in came the JCB and a trench was dug, so the new pipe could be installed. The next morning on inspection five slow worms lay in the bottom of the trench. This was a great surprise as I had only seen two on the course in the past sixteen years!

We managed to rescue the creatures and transport them a fair distance away from the site but on returning the next day another four had turned up. I had taken photographs of the ones we found the day before and everyone was different from each other smaller, fatter, thinner etc. The ones we found on the second day were all different from those we caught on the first.

It goes to show that there is a huge amount of activity going on around us that we know nothing about!

Ian, Head Greenkeeper

Blog: A good time was had by all

(28th December 2012)

Our Christmas three night break started as soon as our guests arrived on Christmas Eve. Bar Manager Andy Bolton had arranged a Cluedo evening and gave everyone a run down on how to play the game, collecting clues throughout the afternoon to give them a head start. Later in the afternoon there were Christmas carols with the British Legion Band before Champagne, canapes and dinner and the Cluedo conclusion. The Cluedo went so well and was so enjoyable that we are concidering including it in a future Mixed Couples Golf Break.

Christmas Day was more relaxed with plenty of excellent dining, a little golf and to finish the day an informal Quiz Night.

On Boxing Day there was the opportunity to play in our golf competition a Fourball Better Ball Stableford. 1st Prize went to Mr and Mrs Burke, 2nd Prize to Mr Barker and Mrs Hill and the 3rd Prize was won by Mr and Mrs Kirkham-Hunt who also won the Cluedo on Christmas Eve. Well done to all. In the evening guests were entertained by Tommy Winn and his music.

Everyone enjoyed their Christmas celebrations, it was so nice to see so many regular guests and we hope to see them again during 2013. Not everyone was a golfer but those who were enjoyed golf every day, the weather was kind to us with just a little light rain.

A huge thanks to General Manager Bruno Mollier who was on duty for all three days and all the Thorpeness staff who worked so hard providing festive menus, drinks and good service.

Bar Manager Andy Bolton and colleagues Shauna and James

News: Summer Mixed Couples Break

( 26th July 2012 )

We had four days of glorious sunshine and hot weather for our Mixed Couples Break which finished this morning. We opened our Halfway House to serve cold drinks and snacks to the wilting golfers taking part in our competitions.

It was so nice to see some new faces joining us along with others who are regular guests at the hotel.

The competition winners on Tuesday were- 1st Mr and Mrs Horton (41 points) 2nd Mr and Mrs Walne (36 points) and 3rd Mr and Mrs Thornton ( 36 points )countback.

Wednesday's results were- 1st Mr and Mrs Balchin (27 points)2nd Mr and Mrs Powell ( 27th points) countback, and 3rd Mr and Mrs McKibben (23 points)

Mr and Mrs Horton and Mr and Mrs Balchin, our competition winners

News: EGU Results

Alan Squires makes it a record-breaking three wins in a row…

He went into the final round of the English Senior Mens Amateur Championship being played at Aldeburgh seven shots behind the leader, Douglas Cameron of Moor Park, and even Alan Squires himself thought it was probably too much to make up. After the presentation he said ‘I didn’t hit the ball quite right for the first two days, but then it got better. I could see the places to land the ball and got used to the greens’. Today, he made his way to the turn in 34, cancelling out a dropped shot at three with a birdie at five.

Spotted striding to the tenth tee, he certainly looked like a man on a mission. A forfeited shot at eleven was promptly recovered with a birdie at twelve. The sixteenth was the third long par four at which he made five, but it was to be his last problem, though perhaps he was a mite lucky at eighteen to make four when his second wavered a little to the right before landing on the useful banking of the green and rolling conveniently towards the back left pin position. Covering the inward nine in 35 gave him a score of 69, the only sub-seventy round of the week.

Behind him on the course, the leading contenders were finding it tough, almost without exception tossing about extra shots with confetti-type abandon. Douglas Cameron had a particularly torrid time over the last five holes. He had reached the fourteenth tee at only fourteen over par for the Championship. Squires had finished on +16 and, if only Cameron could have continued steadily on his way, he might well have robbed the eventual winner of his success. However, to finish five, five, six, three, five was hard to watch, never mind for him to bear and he must have known when he made the double bogey at fifteen and another at sixteen that it was all over.

Paul Baxter, England President, gave warm thanks to both Aldeburgh and Thorpeness, saying just how much the Seniors had enjoyed their week on the East Coast. Praise was heaped upon the condition of both courses, not to mention the catering. Each club received a plaque to commemorate the event.

The Category prizes were presented (details given below), followed by the runner-up prize which went to Chris Reynolds, the English International from Littlestone. Then it was the turn of Alan Squires to receive the Championship Trophy for the third year running, a fantastic achievement.

The Champion admitted that he never thought he could win but praised the beautiful golf courses and said that Aldeburgh was the hardest the Seniors had ever played on. When asked later about his home course, Oldham, he explained that it is short and hilly, very different from Aldeburgh, but that he was fortunate in being able to play on many different courses.

The members will no doubt be pleased to get back in the swing tomorrow, but those who were involved in the Championship organisation thoroughly enjoyed it and, in particular, the enthusiasm and friendliness of all the competitors.

Although I’d promised myself I would, I never did manage to catch up with Alan Beesley (Nuneaton) who returned a sparkling 72 in the first round. Unfortunately his subsequent two rounds of 85 left him down the field but I hope he enjoyed the occasion along with everyone else.

Stephen Whymark (Woodbridge) was undoubtedly disappointed with his final round but it was great to see him playing some really good golf at Aldeburgh and Thorpeness.

So what is to be the next big golfing occasion? I hope it’s as good as this one has been!
Julie Latimer-Jones

Category Winners:
Cat D (+70) David Lane (Goring & Streatley) 75/76/77
Cat C (65-69) John Baldwin (Sunningdale) 73/73/79
Cat B (60-64) Steven Carpenter (Hagley) 74/76/76
Cat A (55-59) Andrew Stracey (Denham) 76/73/73

News: Jubilee Trophy winners

( 7th June 2012 )

Our Summer Mixed Couples golf break held this week featured a golf competition to win our Jubilee Trophy.

We were delighted that Mr and Mrs Kyle took first prize as they have been visiting Thorpeness for over 25 years and Mr Kyle was celebrating his 80th birthday. 2nd prize went to Mr Taylor and Mrs Bush and third prize to Mr and Mrs Wooldridge.

The second competition held on Wednesday was won by Mr and Mrs Dudgeon, 2nd was Mr and Mrs Greatorex and 3rd was Mr and Mrs Hobday.

Traditionally we hold Mixed Couples Breaks in January which are extremely popular, and organise a couple of other dates during the year. Watch the website for details as they become available.

Jubilee Winners: Mr and Mrs Kyle and Mr and Mrs Dudgeon

News: First day's play at the EGU Men's Amateur Championship

Tyrone Carter and Alan Beesley are out in front at the English Senior Men’s Amateur Championship being played at Aldeburgh and Thorpeness.

Report by Julie Latimer-Jones

Two scores of 72 lead the way after the first round of the English Senior Men’s Amateur Championship being played at Aldeburgh and Thorpeness. At Thorpeness, Alan Beesley (High Legh Park) finished three over the standard scratch score of 69 and, at Aldeburgh, Tyrone Carter (Stevenage) finished four over the SSS of 68.

Beesley is a category B player which puts him in the age range 60-64. Since it was difficult being in two places at once, we will have to catch up with him tomorrow, but he had a very steady round! Carter, on the other hand, is in Category A, 55 to 59 years. He was obviously delighted with his round and had enjoyed Aldeburgh’s challenge enormously. A powerful and seemingly very straight hitter, he came to golf when he was in his early forties having forsaken football and cricket. One could see him wellying the ball straight over the bowler’s head without any difficulty. His score included three birdies. Two came at four and five and a splendid one at eleven where a drive to 290 yards was followed by a 7-iron to 8 ft and a nice smooth putt.

Behind these two were two 73s at Thorpeness from Dave Jessup (Wrotham Heath) who made three birdies (at 6, 11 and 14) and Douglas Cameron (Moor Park). Cameron would have been even better but for a mishap at eighteen which wiped out the advantage of his two earlier birdies. John Baldwin (Sunningdale) and Michael Jones (Moortown) both returned useful seventy-threes late in the day at Aldeburgh to finish ahead of Stewart King (West Lancs), David Potter (Naunton Downs) and Cliff Pearce (Ellesborough) all on 74.

Past winners Andrew Stracey and Jon Marks (Woodbridge) finished on 76 at Aldeburgh and 78 at Thorpeness respectively. Suffolk’s ex-professional, Stephen Whymark (Woodbridge) returned a 76 at Thorpeness, alongside Peter Hedges (wildernesse) and John Ambridge (Moor Park).

Alan Squires (Oldham), who is attempting a third successive win here, three-putted eighteen at Aldeburgh to finish on 77 which had not made him a happy man. He’ll obviously be working hard tomorrow at Thorpeness, hoping to catch up and overtake his rivals.

The local players did not disgrace themselves. Roger Taylor returned an 83 at Aldeburgh as did Geoff Henney. Mike Jones was on 84 at Thorpeness. They

As the competition got under way the relaxed mood of practice day was somewhat muted with everyone’s concentration fixed on firing the ball straight down the fairway off the first tee. It didn’t always work and a bias to the right was evident on both courses with more than a few reloads ‘just in case’.

Peter Hedges, past Walker Cup player, offered an outstanding example of how it should be done. He stood over the ball cocooned inside his own almost perceptible thought bubble and knocked the ball with an iron dead centre towards the first green at Thorpeness.

Much was said about the relative speed of the greens. The Thorpeness greens at 9ft on the stimp meter are slightly easier paced than Aldeburgh’s 10ft, which caused a spot of bother for many of the visitors, but both courses are in great condition over all.

Probably it’s to be expected that the younger players will post the best scores, but there’s plenty to play for in this Championship and tomorrow should be another interesting day.

Leading Scores:
72: Tyrone Carter (Stevenage);
73: John Baldwin (Sunningdale); Michael Jones (Moortown)
74: Stewart King (West Lancs); Cliff Pearce (Ellesborough); David Potter (Naunton Downs);
75: Stuart Masson (Minchinhampton); David Niven (Newbury & Crookham); Glyn Rees (Fleetwood); Peter Jack (Carlisle); Ian Anderson (Rothley Park);
76: David Lane (Goring & Streatley); Steven Carpenter (Haley); Michael Baker (Chester-le-Street); Glen McBryde (Stone); Stuart Graves (Sleaford); Trevor Gray (Royal Jersey); Andrew Stracey (Denham); Michael Latham (Wisley)
77: Stuart Fawcett (Southport & Ainsdale); Graham Meddings (Pedham Place); Alan Squires (Oldham); Ian Gemmell (Stockport)

72: Alan Beesley (High Legh Park)
73: Douglas Cameron (Moor Park); Dave Jessup (Wrotham Heath);
75: Peter Harrison (Wisley); Rhys Francis (Parkstone); Neil Martin (Beeston Fields); Jon Wright (Wildernesse);Chris Gotla (Royal Wimbledon); Chris Reynolds (Littlestone);p
76: John Ambridge (Moor Park); Philip Gray (Birstall); Peter Hedges (Wildernesse); David Hicks (Bognor Regis; Stephen J Whymark (Woodbridge);
77: Ross Galgut (Walton Heath); Peter Bax (Mid Herts); David Baron (Bournemouth & Meyrick Park); Ian Brooker (Littlestone); Marshall Newman (Moor Allerton); Dougie Arnold (Copthorne); Roger Ford (Bearwood Lakes ); Stuart Pond (Worksop); Martin Farmer (North Hants); Phil Sewell (Castle Royle);

Tyrone Carter drives off at Aldeburgh’s first hole, watched by an enthusiastic group of spectators. He was to produce the round of the day on this course.

News: English Seniors visit our corner of East Anglia....

( 27th May 2012 )

With great good fortune, England Golf found two fine golf courses on which to hold their prestigious English Men’s Seniors Amateur Championship for 2012.

Aldeburgh and Thorpeness lie side by side in golfing terms, yet each offers an entirely different challenge, adding an extra dimension to the keen competition for the winning spot. 240 players aged 55+ with handicaps of five or lower will complete eighteen holes on each course vying for the sixty places available for the final day at Aldeburgh.

Thorpeness looks wonderful. Its championship layout is about 160 yards shorter than Aldeburgh but some serious questions are posed to those in search of a good score, especially if the wind blows. In particular, the intriguing new championship tee at twelve is the thinking golfer’s dream! Set back and to the right of the original line of play, the driver must avoid two trees standing sentinel between the tee and the fairway. Picking the correct angle of attack is vital to avoid a heathery grave. Thorpeness is adorned with a fistful of demanding new bunkers and swales. Naturally decorated with gorse, trees in full vibrant leaf and ablaze with blossom, it is a delightful and challenging place to play golf.

With much more of its wide expanses visible from the club house and equally full of flower, Aldeburgh is obviously in magnificent shape. Its greens are running smooth and true. All the recent rains left the playing surfaces unscathed, which is the usual pattern for both the free draining courses, but the following warm sunshine has brought an abundance of foliage and invigorated the rough which will be punishing for those who miss the fairways. The course defends itself vigorously in any event and the final round on Friday should be exhilarating to watch. There will be no easy scores for these top notch golfers.

So what of the men who will be pitting their wits and exercising their talent here next week? There are six former champions in the field, one of whom is attempting to bag the trophy for the third successive year. Alan Squires (Oldham, Lancs) has to watch out for five other past champions, including Douggie Arnold (Copthorne), Chris Reynolds (Littlestone), David Lane (Goring & Streatley), John Jermine (Sunningdale) and Jon Marks of Woodbridge, an impressive golfer who knows the courses well and is the current Suffolk Seniors Champion. Add in Andrew Carman (Coventry), Dave Jessup (Rochester & Cobham Park) and Philip Slater (Sandiway). With Arnold, Reynolds and Squires they won the European Seniors’ Title in 2010. The Kent County side, which has monopolised the English Seniors County Championship during recent years, is strongly represented in the field.
Alan Squires ( Oldham, Lancs) holds the Championship Trophy he won in 2011 c Tom Ward

Besides Marks, the Suffolk contingent features Steve Whymark (Woodbridge), well-known as a former pro now returned to the amateur ranks, Roger Taylor (Aldeburgh) and Nick Owles (Diss) both former County Captains and Chris Ginn (Woodbridge) who had a good outing in this year’s French Seniors Championship. Mike Jones (Aldeburgh) and fellow member Geoff Henney also have a chance on home turf. All these could make their mark.

Others to look out for are ex-professional Geoff King (West Essex), Paul Baxter (Woodhall) a joint President of England Golf and former winner of the Carris Trophy, and John Ambridge (Moor Park) who joined the Seniors’ ranks this year and won the Spanish Seniors Championship at his first attempt. Charlie Banks (Stanton-on-the-Wold) and Andrew Stracey (Littlestone) are both past English Seniors internationals.

There will be information boards at the Golf Clubs during the event but finding someone to follow in such a field could be a challenge, so look for:

Game No
21: Alan Squires A/30th/12.00; T/31st 14.30;
29: David Lane A/30th/13.30; T/31st/8.40;
36: John Jermine A/30th/14.50; T/31st/9.50;
60: Jon Marks T/30th/11.50; A/31st/14.20;
73: Douggie Arnold; T/30th/14.20; A/31st/9.20
79: Chris Reynolds: T/30th/15.20: A/31st/10.30

Julie Latimer-Jones

Jon Marks ( Woodbridge ) a past winner of the Championship and present Suffolk Seniors Champion

Blog: Let the nightmare begin

The time is almost upon us where every greenkeeper dons his tin hat and ducks for cover, the reason for this action is the approach of the 2012 Augusta National Golf Tournament.
Golfers in Golf Clubs up and down the country will be sitting around huge widescreen digital TV’s in the bar analysing every shot and making notes on the speed and colour of the greens. Eventual a bright spark will stand pint in hand and announce to the members. ‘Why aren’t our greens that fast and looking that good at this time of the year’. There is the usual ripple of agreement and the usual letter is sent to the Club Secretary, resulting in the poor Head Greenkeeper being dragged in on the following Monday morning to receive a telling off because he has let the side down. There is a simple answer to this problem, we move the British Isles 2000 miles further south towards the equator, employ over 60 gardeners and greenstaff, and increase the budget to £20,000,000 per annum and last but not least put the annual subs up to £250,000.
At this time of year our golf courses are coming out of hibernation, some of the grasses are slowly beginning to revive and others will remain dormant until mid-may, to expect any course to be in full vigour at this time of year is a ludicrous idea. The Greenkeeper is well aware of the courses progress at this time of year and is nurturing each plant to get back to full health, despite have hundreds of pairs of golf shoes trampling all over the course during the winter months with the heavy rain, frost and in some cases snow. I know that your lawn at home may be growing very well indeed but let me get 600 people to walk over it in an afternoon and then see what it looks like.
Give your full support to your greenkeeper during these first few months of the year, don’t look over the fence and think that the grass is greener on the other side, if it is the first question you must ask yourself is how much does it cost, then how much will it cost me.

News: Thorpeness Country Club Centenary

( 24th April 2012 )

Summer 2012 sees the centenary of the first phase of the development of Thorpeness, a unique village built according to Ebenezer Howard’s garden city principles. Howard’s socially motivated planning was adapted to suit a place far smaller in scale, but no less ideologically ambitious. Under the direction of G. Stuart Ogilvie, Thorpeness became a haven of beauty, adventure, and relaxation for its visitors and permanent residents alike. To celebrate the remarkable vision of its creator, Thorpeness Country Club is hosting an exhibition of archival photographs, documents and ephemera that chart the construction of the village, its idiosyncratic events, and the lives of its inhabitants. The exhibition hopes to capture the collective memories and experiences of the village, past and present. There will be a ‘bring and leave’ board for photographs and other printed memorabilia you may have. We would be delighted if you have copies you would like to contribute.

Curated by Dr Charlotte de Mille.

May 26th - 31st 2012

Open from 11am - 4pm each day

Blog: Don't let the snow put you off

February 13th
For the first time in several years we have had to close the golf course for over a week. The four inches of snow is not clearing as it has been so cold and regrettably the Valentine Break including golf has had to be cancelled. Most of the guests have re booked for later in the month, or have chosen to change their booking to our popular Winter Kir Royale and cream tea at Snape Maltings offer.

Getting to Thorpeness is not a problem the roads are clear, and even in the chilly weather our guests are enjoying their stay, many coming from London only a two hour drive away.

The chefs are pulling out the stops with delicious dinner menus and Bar Manager Andy is serving a Pimms Winter Warmer, a welcome drink after a wonder along the sea front at Aldeburgh or Thorpeness, to watch the fisherman on the beach. Aldeburgh Monopoly, Bridge and Scrabble have suddenly become very popular, a nice way to spend the evening in from of a log fire.

A view of Aldeburgh taken from Aldeburgh Yacht Club

News: Thorpeness and Aldeburgh Sports Relief Mile

February 22nd
Thorpeness Hotel and Golf Club invite you to do your Sainsbury's Sport Relief Mile. We want to raise as much money as possible so get your family and friends together and sign up now!

Date: 25th March 2012
Event opens: 09:00am to 2pm

Starting and finishing at Thorpeness Country Club where refreshments will be available during the morning.


News: Rain did not stop play

January 26th 2012
We have just said farewell to sixty four guests who stayed with us this week on the second Mixed Couples Golf Break of 2012.
The winners on this occasion were-
Tuesday Greensomes Stableford, 1st Mrs and Mrs Lawson, 2nd Mr and Mrs McKenzie and 3rd Mr and Mrs Collins. The Wednesday Fourball Better Ball Stableford was won by Mr Todd and Ms Henn, 2nd Mr and Mrs James and 3rd place went to Mrs and Mrs Freshwater. The weather was very wet and not the best conditions for golf but everyone completed the 18 holes.
Our thanks to Mr Todd who made a point of complimenting our staff, the food and condition of the golf course. A special mention to Neville Griffin who organised the competitions.
We hope to see all the guests later in the year at other Thorpeness events.

News: Didn't they do well?

January 9th 2012
The first Mixed Couples Golf Break of the year got off to a perfect start with warm sunny weather on all three days. Most of the couples had visited Thorpeness before so it nice to catch up with friends and welcome any newcomers.
Tuesday’s competition was a 4 ball betterball stableford and on Wednesday it was greensomes.
Two couples did exceptionally well. Mrs and Mrs Christie took first place on both days and Mr and Mrs Aylmer took second place on both days. Over the many years that we have held special event this is the first time that this has happened. Third place on Tuesday went to Mr and Mrs Foster and on Wednesday to Mr and Mrs Kyle.

We are hoping for the same brilliant weather for 23rd January when we hold the second three night Mixed Couples event for 2012.

News: 50 Years as a Professional

Head Professional at Thorpeness Frank Hill has just celebrated fifty years as a member of the PGA, marked by a special event along with other professionals at The Belfry.
Frank started his career at Sherwood Forest going on to Selsdon Park, Lark Valley,Great Yarmouth and Caister, Eaton Norwich and Caldecott Hall golf clubs before taking up his place at Thorpeness.
He has played on the PGA European Seniors Tour for several years.
Our best wishes to Frank

News: Another winner

Another hotel guest has won a £40 Thorpeness Gift Voucher. Gill Brazier from Essex who visited us in November on a golf break, was this months winner drawn from the many people who gave us their email address.

News: Congratulations Trish

During October we have been encouraging our golf guests to receive our newsletter by email; we like to keep in touch. Collecting email addresses is not always easy as some people worry about their information being given to a third party. That is not our policy we keep things to ourselves.

On 28th October we held a draw from all the email addresses collected over the month with the winner receiving a £40 gift voucher to use at Thorpeness. This month’s winner is Trish Hopkins from Essex so well done Trish your voucher is on its way.

We will continue the monthly draw so if you are planning to visit us don’t forget to pop into reception and give us your details. Alternatively you can sign up here on the website.

Come and see us soon!

News: Thorpeness Juniors win at Stonham Barns

We are delighted that one of our junior members Jack Cuthbert recently won the Junior Championship at Stonham Barns,in Suffolk.
Jack scored three-over-par 32, five shots better than his rivals. Well done Jack!
Another Thorpeness Junior James Cook came third with a score of 38, so congratulations to James as well.
We are very proud of our juniors at Thorpeness, we have two coaching sessions on a Saturday morning for children, some as young as four. It's never too early to start playing golf.
Contact Chris Oldrey for more information Tel 01728 454926.

Blog: Americans, flora and fauna

Apart from my very busy schedule, October gave me the opportunity of getting to know a few new friends. At the beginning of the month I received a telephone call from a firm called Bernhard they manufacture grinding machines for mowers and had a small problem and wondered whether I could help. They had asked nine customers from America over on a visit. I was asked if the men could come and visit a typical British golf club and I was only too happy to help. I arranged for coffee and sat down with them and gave a brief history of the course and Thorpeness village followed by a course walk. They were very impressed with the course and its surroundings and wished that they had brought their golf clubs with them. We left the best of friends and promises of visits with their families in the near future.

The end of October brought the Woodwose Festival. The golf club had liaised with Suffolk Coastal to give a course walk followed by a cream tea. My old mate Doctor Ray Hardinge was seconded onto the team. To say that he knows a lot about the flora and fauna would defiantly be an understatement. He has in his possession personal journals that document the wildlife on and around the golf course for nearly thirty years. It is rumoured that he knows all the animals and insects by their Christian names as he has caught the in various devices set on the course during the said thirty years. Hotel guests have mentioned about seeing strange blue lights in the middle of the night and sighting a strange figure walking the course, but do not worry dear reader we are not being invaded by aliens from another world, it is Ray with his moth traps out doing another count. Ray volunteered to take the walk and fourteen intrepid individuals dressed in Kangol and suitable walking attire and disappeared down one of the many footpaths that cross the course. After much searching on my behalf they surfaced at the far end of the course just about to turn back to the hotel. Everyone had enjoyed the walk and Ray’s commentary but none of the indigenous fauna had been seen. (Probably knew that Ray was about and did not want to be caught again)

Blog: It is all about the team work!

I am very honoured and fortunate to be working with one of the best teams of greenkeepers that I have ever known. It has been said that I treat my team as though they were my family, which in a way they are.

Each member have their own considerable attributes and when required gel together to make a very efficient unit. Treat your team with respect and they will reciprocate. Do not make yourself look foolish by sitting in the bar telling everyone what a wonderful person you are and that the sun shines out of your posterior or stand at the greenkeepers complex in the morning watching your watch so you can issue verbal warnings for the slightest misdemeanour.

I have heard many remarks made by golfers about how lucky the greenkeepers are working out in the fresh air, in reply I just nod my head, smile and make my way back to the golf course thinking of skin cancer in the summer months and standing by the 10th green on a January morning with a wind chill factor of minus 14 degrees centigrade hoping that some of my extremities do not freeze and drop off.

My job is to show leadership, give direction, create a happy working environment and ensure that all the materials, logistics and personal protective equipment are in place to allow the team to perform their duties to the best of their abilities. The team I lead is only a small part of the Hotel, the heads of departments that I work with are another great group of individuals all I regard as my friends, and they lead very dedicated teams of their own. We all work closely together to provide the unique experience that is 'Thorpeness'.

In closing you may be the best greenkeeper in the world but unless you have the support of your team you might as well be one of the worst. Also there is no I in a team.

Ian, Head Greenkeeper

Blog: Coughs and sneezes spread diseases and so do dirty golf shoes on turf

There is no doubt that the world as we know it is changing - climate change, continental drift, volcanic activity, are but a few of natural occurrences that we are enduring at this present time. Whether mankind is a major factor or not I will not debate at this time, suffice to say the planet that we call our home has existed for some six billion years, in that time there have been seven near planet wide extinction. The temperature sixty five million years ago was five degrees Celsius hotter with sea levels four hundred feet lower than they are today. The reason I quote these statistics is the fact that the slight change we are now going through has caused a change in the habits of some very nasty turf fungal diseases that used to exist in the warmer areas of America and along the Mediterranean coast. I refer to Dollar spot (Sclerotinia Homoeocarpa or Moellerodiscus) which is now prevalent all along the English south coast. Whether the weather has caused the problem that has been my constant nightmare or dirty golf shoes on turf…I cannot say. However, in this blog I would like to ask you for your help and support! So far I have had to spray twice to try and control its spread on the greens. This procedure is very costly and time consuming. So please… please… please, I beg you on bended knee - clean your shoes before you play and after and make the beleaguered lives of Head Greenkeepers everywhere a little less fraught.

Ian, Head Greenkeeper

News: Tweet and share when you are playing golf!

We are pleased to announce that we have finally launched our tweet spot!

The tweet spot is there to remind you to tweet and share those amazing golf pictures with your family and friends.

Follow our Twitter and Facebook page to be up-to-date with the exclusive news and offers. Also, share your experience with us - fantastic prizes await you if you post your pictures onto our Facebook page.

See you online folks!

Blog: Get to know our golf course...

For the 59 years I have existed on this planet, 52 of those years I have been involved in one way or another with the golfing industry. My greenkeeping career started in 1974 and I have worked on many great courses in the southeast of England. The one thing that has bugged me throughout my working life is the stigma aimed at golf courses by the environmental lobby. The course I manage at the moment is smack bang in the middle of a heavily farmed area both arable and livestock. I maintain that instead of being labled destroyers of the environment the golf course should be looked on as an oasis of wild life, they offer various habitats from heathland to heavy clay and from dry to very wet, all with their own special flora and forna. I can boast that Thorpeness has won several awards over the last few years and it makes me laugh when I hear on radio 4 a wildlife programme with the presenter explaining to the listeners how difficult it was to spot a Chinese barking deer and had spent most of the programme traipsing around the countryside looking for said animal, well if he wants to find one come with me one morning and he will probably view at least half a dozen in twenty minutes. Ray our course environmentalist has listed many species of animals, birds, insects, plants and fungi that can be found within the boundary of the course, some of which are very rare. We do not as supposed throw huge amount of nitrogen about to make the grass grow or spray thousands of litres of noxious chemical to kill off anything that may or may not cause damage to the course. On the contrary I manage the golf course with the help of Mother Nature and not against her. So before you condemn me as a environmental demon come and join me at 5am and listen to the boom of the bitten as he calls for his mate and the shrill cry of the oyster catcher as I disturb his foraging on the 18th fairway as he hunts for his breakfast of earthworms.

Ian, Head Greenkeeper

Blog: Don’t blame the course...

It is my job as Head Greenkeeper to provide the golfers that play Thorpeness a fair but demanding golf course. How many times have you heard comments from other players that the greens are too slow or too fast or there is no sand in the bunkers or too much sand in the bunkers? Recently I was asked at a committee meeting why we had put sand to a depth of eight inches in the left hand green side bunker on the tenth. The next day Christopher one of our professionals accompanied me to the said bunker with a ruler to measure the sand depth, as we arrived a player was about to play from the bunker. Christopher took one look at the guy’s set up and stated that” he will never get out of the bunker playing a shot like that” and surprise…surprise that is exactly what happened. The player’s golf ball landed on the edge of the bunker and rolled back into the sand. The golfer who had not noticed our arrival smashed his club down on the turf and exclaimed “b***** typical no sand in the bunkers” at this point Christopher walked up behind him and told him what he had said to me when we arrived on the scene, a very sheepish golfer walked off and joined his fellow players. Christopher and I then measured the sand, we found that up the face of the bunker there was ¾ of an inch and at the back the sand depth was 2 inches mainly due to all the golfers raking the sand back when they tidy up after playing out. We spent a few minutes pushing the sand forward to give a uniform depth of 1 ½ inches and left. On our way back we checked several others and came to the conclusion that the average depth of sand in our bunkers was 1 ½ to 2 inches, which is more than enough to make good shot. The morale of this tale is that you as a golfer must match your golfing skills to the course that is provided on that day, if the conditions are fair or foul, the greens are fast or slow or the sand is dry or wet as long as the greens are true, it is up to you to make the best score you can. If you can’t, please do me a favour and have a lesson with the professional.

Ian, Head Greenkeeper

Thorpeness Preparing for Christmas

Here we are preparing for the festivities ahead.
Xmas stars

Thorpeness hotel and golf club, situated on the Suffolk coast. For short breaks, golf, weddings and meetings and conferences.
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