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Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Suffolk Sojourn: WOODBRIDGE GC
« on: August 15, 2021, 05:38:07 AM »


Much like Norfolk, its southern neighbour, Suffolk, seems part of a lost world of remote villages and alluring agricultural landscapes as captured in Constable's work. For many, it does take some effort to reach this part of England, but the determination is well repaid. This may be one instance where bad roads have been a godsend.

Woodbridge is located just outside the charming Suffolk town of the same name. Originally designed by Davie Grant of North Berwick over Bromeswell Heath, James Braid had his say in the latter half of the 1920s. There were a few interlopers who contributed to the design, but various members of the Hawtree family have tended to Woodbridge for several decades. M Hawtree is working on the bunkers concurrently with a tree and gorse clearing program which started in 2017. I can attest to the effectiveness of the clearance!

The opener is a blind par 4 which in summer months is reachable for many. I was immediately struck by the width of the fairways and well presented rough.


The green follows the slope of the hill in playing front to back.


A down and up hole over water, the 2nd is much tighter than the opener.  Taking us back up the hill, the par 5 third is not without some interest at the green end of the hole.


The third short two-shotter in four holes does mean that one's score has to be earned early. While the bunkering is very good, I did walk away thinking there is too much leeway for the tee shot on #4.




More to follow.

Ciao
« Last Edit: September 02, 2021, 10:51:23 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Ashridge, Kennemer, de Pan, Eindhoven, Hilversumche, Royal Ostend, Alnmouth & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Niall C

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Suffolk Sojourn: WOODBRIDGE GC 1-4
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2021, 12:10:45 PM »
Sean


I've been very much looking forward to your Suffolk tours and disappointed I couldn't join you. BTW, are you going for the record having the greatest number of uncompleted tours on the DG at any one time ?  ;D


Niall

Peter Pallotta

Re: Suffolk Sojourn: WOODBRIDGE GC 1-4
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2021, 04:34:28 PM »
Sean - I bet this is going to be good, but I was taking another long look at your Elie tour last night and it's gonna take some doing for Woodbridge (or any course!) to knock it off the perch for me: my goodness, a course with 16 Par 4s (long, short, and everything in between), only 2 Par 3s, and not even a single Par 5, so therefore no banal ones -- golfing heaven on earth!!

Richard Fisher

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Suffolk Sojourn: WOODBRIDGE GC 1-4
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2021, 03:32:15 AM »
Sean, I have been banging on about the virtues of golf in Suffolk for several years on GCA, and am so glad that you have finally made the trip. Really looking forward to reading your appraisal of lovely Woodbridge...

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Suffolk Sojourn: WOODBRIDGE GC 1-4
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2021, 01:42:22 PM »
Sean - I bet this is going to be good, but I was taking another long look at your Elie tour last night and it's gonna take some doing for Woodbridge (or any course!) to knock it off the perch for me: my goodness, a course with 16 Par 4s (long, short, and everything in between), only 2 Par 3s, and not even a single Par 5, so therefore no banal ones -- golfing heaven on earth!!

Pietro

Woodbridge is good, but Elie is special.

WOODBRIDGE TOUR CONT

There is a bit of a different look on the 5th.  A bit less space for the tee shot, the hole legs strongly right against the lay of the land.  The green seems to flow against the terrain as well.


There is great visual deception on the 6th.  The bunkers are placed to look quite close to each other when in fact there are dozens of yards separating them. A relatively new hole, the short 7th was built in the late 60s when the house burned down.  The club used this disaster as an opportunity to move the clubhouse and thus eliminate the old 2nd hole (a par 3) and move the green for the 17th from across an inceasingly busy road to the current location. The current 18th was the 1st hole and the current 1st green was the old 3rd green. 




Not a long par five, the challenge for the 8th is supplied by the dogleg shape of the hole and large bunkers which nearly cut the fairway in two.


The green isn't without interest.


The side finishes with a downhill par 3 which looks pretty, but isn't special.


The back nine's total yardage reads very similar to the front nine's 3038 yards, but par is cut by two shots to 34. We immediately get a sense of the added difficulty on the down and up 10th which measures 420 yards.  The long, uphill approach is tightly guarded by bunkers left and right.


More to follow.

Ciao
« Last Edit: September 07, 2021, 02:22:09 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Ashridge, Kennemer, de Pan, Eindhoven, Hilversumche, Royal Ostend, Alnmouth & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Suffolk Sojourn: WOODBRIDGE GC 1-10 New
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2021, 05:10:08 AM »
WOODBRIDGE TOUR CONT

Due to the marking pole, the visuals on the 11th are odd, but the pole is accurate. There is a great low tech viewing mirror which proves it!






A superb short hole.  #12.




From the rear of the green the running gap between the bunkers is more obvious.


The purple patch continues with 13, a shortish down and up par 4.


More to follow.

Ciao
« Last Edit: April 15, 2023, 04:20:08 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Ashridge, Kennemer, de Pan, Eindhoven, Hilversumche, Royal Ostend, Alnmouth & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Thomas Dai

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Suffolk Sojourn: WOODBRIDGE GC 1-13
« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2021, 07:34:06 AM »
Seems interesting. Looking forward to viewing the rest of the tour.
Atb

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Suffolk Sojourn: WOODBRIDGE GC 1-13
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2021, 07:32:41 AM »
Woodbridge Tour Cont

If Woodbridge has an All-England candidate its the 14th; a downhill legger right about 420 yards long.


The heathland nature of the property comes alive on this hole.






Yet another cracking hole; the downhill 15th.


Crossing the 14th, #16 is a lingering, tough two-shotter with a surprisingly effective false front.


More to follow.

Ciao
« Last Edit: August 31, 2021, 08:00:53 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Ashridge, Kennemer, de Pan, Eindhoven, Hilversumche, Royal Ostend, Alnmouth & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Suffolk Sojourn: WOODBRIDGE GC 1-16
« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2021, 10:51:11 AM »
Woodbridge Tour Cont

Tighter than most holes at Woodbridge, the blind 17th plays downhill where the fairway abruptly ends....it is very easy to lose the drive if one isn't very careful or lucky. Approaching over low ground, the green isn't an inviting target.


Looking toward the tee the right (left in photo) of the green must see a ton of business with approaches finishing in the hollow or to the right.


A modest finisher, the 18th legs sternly left over crossing bunkers. For most, the sunken green will not be visible for the approach.


Thus ends a round at the most pleasant Woodbridge. Like many of the high profile Suffolk courses, Woodbridge is replete with good holes. My favourites are 8, 11, 12, 14! & 15; which indicates that at least for me the back nine is considerably better than the front. Playing wide fairways adds a joy to the game which is too rare and I am pleased to see the club getting on with clearance. Woodbridge is a very good trip filler if in Suffolk and certainly wouldn't disappoint.  2021

Suffolk courses

Sacred 9
https://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,55859.msg1296356.html#msg1296356

Thorpeness
https://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,70168.0.html

Flempton
https://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,69788.msg1678711.html#msg1678711

Aldeburgh
https://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,70170.0.html

Ciao
« Last Edit: September 07, 2021, 02:25:23 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Ashridge, Kennemer, de Pan, Eindhoven, Hilversumche, Royal Ostend, Alnmouth & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Tony_Muldoon

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Suffolk Sojourn: WOODBRIDGE GC
« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2021, 04:47:19 PM »
I've now played it in Summer and Winter and it played very well in both.  "a very good trip filler" might seem a little like damming with faint praise but I'm delighted you enjoyed it so much. Its an excellent photo tour btw.   


I wish you'd have seen Purdis Heath, ahfter 1 visit to each I had it slightly ahead. Add Thorpeness and Aldeburgh and I think its a real trip. I'd like to play Felixstowe Ferry and possibly Southwold and Thetford which pass under the radar.  All Americans should visit the town of Thetford and pay homage at the statue to Thomas Paine.


East Anglia has a special vibe and its not so far from the better known courses at Worlington, Hunst'on and Brancaster. Go see.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2021, 04:56:28 PM by Tony_Muldoon »
Let's make GCA grate again!

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Suffolk Sojourn: WOODBRIDGE GC
« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2021, 12:02:03 AM »
I didn't intend to damn Woodbridge with faint praise 😮. I like the course quite a bit. There are plenty of good holes in a pleasant setting.

I agree about East Anglia. The area is lovely and dotted with quality golf. Maybe one day I will make it to Purdis Heath, but it's the Sacred 9 I want to see most in East Anglia.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Ashridge, Kennemer, de Pan, Eindhoven, Hilversumche, Royal Ostend, Alnmouth & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Richard Fisher

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Suffolk Sojourn: WOODBRIDGE GC
« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2021, 08:56:44 AM »
Thanks so much for this Sean - really enjoying your various Suffolk tours, and am so glad you have at long last reached this part of East Anglia. My personal pecking order is probably Aldeburgh just ahead of Woodbridge which is some way ahead of Thorpeness, and with Purdis (where I have only played once) perhaps in third place. Either way it’s a super place for a tour, with the Sacred Nine and Flempton as a brilliant 36-hole combo at either end of the trip. Bernard Darwin, incidentally, was ‘inclined to think Woodbridge the best’.

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Suffolk Sojourn: WOODBRIDGE GC
« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2021, 11:13:56 AM »
Tough call between Woodbridge and Aldeburgh. I am not sure which I prefer. One thing I do know is The Sacred 9 is my preference of the five courses.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Ashridge, Kennemer, de Pan, Eindhoven, Hilversumche, Royal Ostend, Alnmouth & Cruden Bay St Olaf

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