Thorpeness | NCG Top 100s: England

Thorpeness is one of a number of venues that features on multiple lists in the NCG Top 100s. As well as a place on the GB&I Golf Resorts list, it also features in our list of the top 100 English golf courses. 
The James Braid design has been around for just over a century, dating back to its inception in 1922 as a 10-hole layout. 
Despite being so close to the Suffolk coastline, the course plays as a heathland, and hosted the Logan Trophy, one of England Golf’s biggest events, in 2021. 
You can check out our full piece on the Thorpeness Resort here
Visit the Thorpeness website here.  

A Brief History of Thorpeness

The origins of the idea of a golf course at Thorpeness date back to before the First World War, when Harry Colt was asked to come in and design a golf course. However, the war interrupted those plans. 
Instead, in 1922, five-time Open champion James Braid was drafted in to design a course. Ten holes opened that year, with the course being extended to 18, also by Braid, a year later.  
Following the opening of the 18-hole golf course, Stuart Ogilvie then went about planting almost a million trees on the estate and surrounding area, turning Thorpeness into a beautiful heathland course.  
In 2021, the venue achieved championship status as it hosted England Golf’s Logan Trophy. 

Thorpeness Review | NCG Top 100s: England

Despite being so close to the Suffolk coastline, Thorpeness is most definitely a heathland course. That means it benefits hugely from firm, quick-drying soil and that gives Thorpeness exceptionally good turf that is always a delight to strike off. The famous ‘House in the Clouds’ and Thorpeness Windmill provide a beautiful backdrop as you get to the conclusion of your round.  
After a gentle start, featuring a short par 4 and the opening par 3 on the course, the run of holes from the 3rd onwards will certainly get your attention. In a six-hole spell, there are four par 4s that measure more than 400 yards from the tips, while the other two holes have water hazards. The standout of those is the par 3 7th. It is only 170 yards but plays over water and into a two-tiered green, one that has two greenside bunkers guarding it.   
You have to wait until the 9th for the first par 5 on the property, but it is one that is reachable in two shots at just 490 yards. The back nine opens with another 170-yard par 3, and another that has plenty of trouble surrounding the green. 11 is drivable for the longer hitters at 315 yards, but there are seven bunkers to avoid if you do so! The 12th is a straight away par 4 of just 365 yards, while the 14th plays more than 420 from the tips and has five fairway bunkers to avoid.  
The 14th is the last par 5 and offers one of the only real birdie opportunities on the back nine, ahead of a tough closing stretch. 15 is the hardest hole on the back nine, a strong dog-leg left around the trees. 16 is a 210-yard par 3, while 17 is only 277 yards long. However, it plays uphill making this par 4 much more than hitting a driver and hoping for the best, especially with five greenside bunkers. The closing hole is a tough par 4 but has that ‘House in the Clouds’ as the backdrop, a perfect finish to any round of golf. 

FAQs about Thorpeness

Where is Thorpeness located?  
Thorpeness is one of the easternmost venues on the NCG Top 100s: England list. It sits on the eastern coastline of Suffolk, near Thorpeness Beach and the Hundred River. Ipswich is 25 miles to the southwest.  
Saxmundham is the nearest train station to Thorpeness, sitting seven miles away by road from the resort. Saxmundham is on the line that services Ipswich and Lowestoft, with trains running in both directions every hour. In terms of air travel, Norwich Airport is the closest international airport. However, London Stansted Airport is only an extra 30 minutes away by road, albeit in the opposite direction. Stansted is one of the five busiest airports in the country in terms of passengers in 2022. Stansted offers flights to most European countries, along with flights to the Middle East.   

What golf facilities does Thorpeness offer?
Along with the championship course, Thorpeness also has a driving range and short game facility on the eastern side of the resort. The short game area has a practice chipping green and a couple of bunkers to work on your sand saves. There is also a putting green by the 1st tee for those last touches before you tee off.   

What are the green fees at Thorpeness?
The price of a green fee at Thorpeness changes throughout the year, depending on the season. It is also different depending on whether it is a weekday or weekend. 
For more information on current green fees at Thorpeness visit their website here
Visit the Thorpeness website here