There is always something happening at Thorpeness and Aldeburgh or in the local area, stay up to date with our news and blog.
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: 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
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
Out of the ordinary
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
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
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
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.
General Manager Bruno Mollier and Darshan Kantrodia. Darshan recently passed his MBA in Hospitality.
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!
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: 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
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.
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:
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
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 2012Open from 11am - 4pm each day
Blog: Don't let the snow put you off
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.
News: Thorpeness and Aldeburgh Sports Relief MileFebruary 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.ENTER HERE
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: 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
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