Regarded as one of the best golf courses in Suffolk. Our hole by hole guide navigates you through our 6,311 yard, par 70 course.
Throughout the club’s history, the 6,311-yard par 70 James Braid Course has attracted major amateur and professional events, including The English Seniors Championship and the PGA Super 60’s Tournament, which regularly features former Ryder Cup players and European Tour stars.
Thorpeness has been described by the Sunday Telegraph Golfing Guide as "Reminiscent of the inland glories of Sunningdale and Woodhall Spa". Thorpeness belongs to a unique group of worldwide golf courses identified by a single special landmark, Turnberry and Harbour Town Links have their lighthouses and St Andrews has its Swilken Bridge – Thorpeness has the ‘House in the Clouds,’ a curious and dramatic spectator which watches over our fairways.
Golf Course hole-by-hole guide
The par 4 first is all about positioning off the tee, a seemingly gentle start to your round but be mindful of the fairway bunkers perfectly placed to capture any wayward drives.
The 2nd hole, par 3 second will test both distance control and accuracy. Miss the green left and you have a difficult chip shot downhill to the hole; miss it right and the bunker will catch you out.
The 3rd hole begins the toughest stretch of golf on the front nine, with three par 4's all requiring length and accuracy. Longer hitters can reach the top of the slope which will shorten the hole, but for everyone else it is a long iron or wood into the heavily sloping right to left green.
The most difficult hole of the front nine, a par four ranked as stroke index one requiring a long straight drive followed by an accurate second shot. Fairway bunkers will catch any wayward tee shot, while the approach is hindered by a greenside bunker as well as fairway bunkers for any shots left short.
The long par 4 5th will tempt you to hit the driver with one of the wider fairways on the course. A solid tee shot will run on leaving a long iron or wood into a tiered green leaving a tricky two-putt.
At 379 yards the par 4, 6th hole plays shorter than it reads, where a solid tee shot leaves a mid to short iron from an elevated fairway requiring yardage perfection and imagination to get the ball close.
A stunning par 3 playing over the picturesque pond to a tightly guarded tiered green. Club selection is critical here with 30 yards of green to navigate from front to back. The finger bunkers on the right hand side protect wayward shots leaving a difficult up and down, while the pot bunker attracts anything left hand side.
The par 4 8th will tempt the driver out of the bag but beware the tightening of the fairway between the bunker and the tree line. A solid drive leaves a mid-iron approach into a left to right sloping green protected by bunkers either side.
The first of only 2 par 5's at Thorpeness and one that will allow the longer driver to cut the corner over the left-hand side bunkers to leave an opportunity to hit the green in two. The safe route is right of the fairway bunkers leaving a layup approach and a wedge for your third into a back to front sloping green. One of the few birdie chances on the front nine.
At first glance a straightforward par 3 but trouble exists with bunkers right and left. Correct club selection is key and being the most exposed hole on the course beware of the wind speed and direction.
A classic risk-reward hole with longer players tempted to hit drive leaving a short pitch. The safer route is an iron off the tee avoiding the bunkers on the left leaving a short iron into a well guarded green.
The par 4 twelfth is one of the finest holes on the course, needing an accurate tee shot ideally placed between the bunker and the gorse line that comes into play on longer drives. A mid iron second awaits to an elevated green with bunkers to protect it short and on either side, with a large green requiring a deft touch to walk away with your par.
A fairly straight forward par 4 that requires two long and accurate shots to reach the green. Off the tee, the fairway bunkers are well within reach and for your second the unprotected back to front sloping green seems accessible. Although trouble sits left of the green where long grass and bracken awaits.
The widest fairway on the course and one of the few birdie opportunities on the back 9. A long drive favouring the left side will leave a blind second shot over the gorse and heather to set up your eagle chance. Alternatively, a layup down the right gives a short iron to the well protected and sloping green.
The toughest ranked hole on the back 9 requiring two long shots to reach the right to left tiered green guarded by bunkers. A tee shot as far into the dogleg as possible leaves the shortest route, but club selection is key both off the tee and into the green.
The teeing position hides the landing areas in front of the green, with club selection paramount to avoid the heather and rough with bunkers either side giving way to a large and undulating green.
Straight up the hill this par 4 is reachable by the longer hitters but a good fairway wood or iron off the tee will leave a straight forward short iron second. Bunkers on both sides protect the green making the shortest par 4 on the course a hole that still requires good course management.
Another driver hole requiring distance while avoiding the fairway bunker, leaving a mid to long iron for your second. Your approach shot into the green is framed by the iconic House in the Clouds and Thorpeness Windmill, leaving you with one of the most picturesque finishing holes in golf.
A TRADITIONALLY KEPT COURSE WITH MODERN THINKING
Our traditional heathland course is kept in first class condition year round and Course Manager – Ian Willett is considered one of the UK’s foremost experts on how to produce a great golf course in harmony with the environment.
GREENEST GOLF CLUB IN BRITAIN
In 2012, Thorpeness was voted winner of ‘The Overall Achievement Award’ in the STRI Golf Environment Awards, making it the “greenest golf club in Britain”. Ian and his team continue to seamlessly blend the native heather and grasses alongside 18 holes of golf in an area of outstanding natural beauty. Not only will you enjoy the native flora and fauna but it is not uncommon to see jays, muntjacs, deer and foxes enjoying the stunning grounds.