Hunstanton Golf Club

Hunstanton Golf Club | NCG Top 100s: GB&I Golf Courses

Hunstanton or Brancaster? That is the question that has vexed thousands of golfers over the past century when visiting the North Norfolk coast and while many have strong opinions in one direction or the other, the correct answer is surely 'both'.

The two courses are situated on the glorious Norfolk coastline with Hunstanton being the only resort on Britain's east coast to be west-facing, meaning the sun sets over the sea, providing gorgeous views.

The club was founded in 1891, making it one of the older golfing venues in the country. Amateur Championships, Brabazon Trophies and more have been hosted on the golf course over its 130-year history.

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A Brief History of Hunstanton Golf Club

Hunstanton Golf Club was founded in 1891, with George Fernie being the man to lay-out the original 18-hole course.

Open Champion James Braid extened and revised that design, while James Sherlock came in to Hunstanton in the 1920 and created three new holes. They are today's 9th, 10th and 11th.

Martin Hawtree, the world-renowned golf course architect, has led a project over the last decade. The course has undergone redevelopment following Hawtree's plans with new bunkering and the reshaping of the 8th and 10th holes. The opening and closing holes on the lay-out were also redesigned as part of Hawtree's ideas.
A number of prestigious tournaments have been held at Hunstanton, including the Women's Amateur Championship most recently in 2022. The Brabazon Trophy, English Men's and Women's Amateur Championships and the British Boys Championship have all been played on the course over the years.

Hunstanton Golf Club Review | NCG Top 100s: GB&I Golf Courses

The Front Nine

The course is the typical out-and-back course that you are accustomed to seeing along British coastlines. For the majority, the front nine plays long the Norfolk coast, with the back nine being more inland. The Par 72, 6,740 yard track is a tough test of anyone's abilities. 
For the better player, oblivious to the potential embarrassment of an opening drive struck from a 1st tee yards away from the bay windows of the clubhouse, the approach will be little more than a pitch and the par-5 2nd often plays shorter than would appear likely to judge by the scorecard.
Even the 3rd and 5th, both well in excess of 400 yards, can be safely navigated without need for heroics and the large flat green at the 4th, played back towards the clubhouse, is a generous enough target.
The need for strategy is paramount at the 6th. Better players can choose to play short of, between or beyond the fairway bunkers with their drive. Depending on the wind, finding and holding this green – even with a short iron – can be incredibly difficult and the penalties for missing it severe. It is a fine hole.
Then comes the famous 7th, played across a gully and over an enormous, gaping bunker to the green beyond. It is hard to know whether you would rather be playing downwind or into the breeze. Two par-5s end the front nine, and since they play in opposite directions, it is often the case that a five on the one is more worthy than a four at the other. The 8th is quirky while the 9th is classy. 

The Back Nine

After the awkward 10th, doglegging left into the farthest corner of the links, comes the turn for home. Stand on the 11th tee and not only can you survey a par four of genuine championship stature, you will also be able to see the clubhouse in the distance. The run for home starts here.
The 12th, with its blind drive across the dunes, is less taxing before another par four, in the opposite direction, traverses the same set of dunes to a green sunken and hidden by the ripples of the land. This is a terrific hole but the next is not as universally loved.

It involves an oscillating marker post, a completely blind long iron or wood and the hope of a favourable downhill bounce to take you on to the large green. Holes like this do split golfing opinion but on the basis that a solid shot will invariably find the 14th green while a poor one will assuredly not, it is hard to be entirely critical.
The last four holes offer a little bit of everything - a five, a three and two fours. The short 16th is a vintage par 3, and also the scene of a quite remarkable feat back in the 1970s.
The most testing is the 17th, surely one of the toughest par fours in the British Isles. It does not need the protection of a single bunker. Measuring over 464 yards and into the prevailing wind, the real difficulty lies in the green. It is tucked against the spine of dunes and is little more than a ledge – especially when viewed from 200 yards or more away.
Go left and you will find thick rough while anything fading away will run off and down, leaving a chip few will relish. The final hole is fractionally shorter but again anything off line will leave the hardest of up and downs. They combine to create a fitting finish, and are worthy of deciding any match.

Is there a dress code at Hunstanton Golf Club?

Yes, Hunstanton Golf Club asks visitors and members to adhere to their dress code to remain appropriate as it is one of the oldest golf clubs in Norfolk.

On the Course:
  • Smart golfing attire at all times. 
  • Shorts with patch pockets or cargo style trousers/shorts are not allowed.
  • Men's shirts should be tucked in.

In the Clubhouse:
  • Smart casual should be worn in the Clubhouse with the exception of when jacket and tie for men and equivalent smartness for ladies is expressly required.
  • Jeans are allowed as long as they are smart with no rips.
  • Golf shoes and wet-weather attire are not allowed in the lounge areas.

Where is Hunstanton Golf Club located?

Hunstanton Golf Club is located in the town of Hunstanton, situated on the northwestern coast of Norfolk, overlooking The Wash, a large bay on the North Sea. 

The club's location on the coast provides golfers with scenic views of the sea and the surrounding coastal landscape.

Does Hunstanton Golf Club offer golf lessons?

Yes. James Dodds, a qualified PGA Professional and Level 3 Coach with over 30 years' experience as a PGA Pro, offers both group & individual tuition, on the practice areas and on the course. He and his team cater for all abilities from beginners to experienced golfers with group lessons occurring once or twice a week for all ages.

Visit Hunstanton's website here.
Go back to the NCG Top 100s Homepage.