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Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Suffolk Sojourn: Flavoursome FLEMPTON GC New
« on: June 01, 2021, 06:06:00 AM »


Set on a small 45 acre site, just near the village of the same name, Flempton is the second oldest club in west Suffolk, being formed not long after the Sacred 9. Originally known as Flempton & Bury St Edmunds GC, it wasn't until 12 acres of land was procured on the right side of the club entrance (holes 7-9) in 1906 that we see Flempton evolve into what exists today. The club called in JH Taylor to redesign the course and an admirable job he did. In keeping with the compact nature of this 9 hole course, Taylor ingeniously designed three loops of three holes which are easily accessible from the house. Orginally the course would have had very few trees, but self seeding and a club program to plant 5000 trees in 1954 has robbed the site of its heathland aesthetic. I believe the club has recently approved a MacKenzie & Ebert plan which will to some degree, address the tree issue. In many ways, the course is defined by its number and shape of bunkers.  There must be 75 bunkers and with some care, they can be restored to the more rugged, original aesthetic.

The club has a very attractive sleepy ambience which is enhanced by signs such as this.


The charming house sits beside the 1st tee.




1926 Plan of Flempton.


The 1st shakes hands with the golfer in a very amenable manner.  Being reachable for some, the bunkers influence the drive and approach shots.


Back in the day this would have been a large cross bunker.




#s 2, 4 & 8 have bothersome walk backs to tees. On the second it happens the hole plays over a pond which I suspect was built to use for irrigation. Somewhat similar to the first, the approach is obscured.


While not crazy, the greens are of interest. The hole is located in a difficult to access bowl.


More demanding, the lone par five plays back toward the house. The course is essentially flat with pop up bunkers and Taylor mounding scattered about to add excitement.




More to follow.

Ciao
« Last Edit: August 28, 2021, 10:17:38 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Hankley Common, Ashridge, Gog Magog Old & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Adrian_Stiff

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Flavoursome FLEMPTON GC: 1st Loop
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2021, 07:00:15 AM »
Love the bold bunkering.
A combination of whats good for golf and good for turf.
The Players Club, Cumberwell Park, The Kendleshire, Oake Manor, Dainton Park, Forest Hills, Erlestoke, St Cleres.
www.theplayersgolfclub.com

Thomas Dai

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Flavoursome FLEMPTON GC: 1st Loop
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2021, 08:15:06 AM »
Folks herein have said nice things about this course before and even after only 3 holes I can understand why.
atb

John Mayhugh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Flavoursome FLEMPTON GC: 1st Loop
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2021, 10:32:42 AM »
Thanks for this, Sean. Wondering how much Taylor M&E will leave behind...

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Flavoursome FLEMPTON GC: 1st Loop
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2021, 05:26:48 AM »
Love the bold bunkering.

I think that a part of the M&E Plan is to restore the bunkers to make them stand out a bit more with sand higher up the faces.

FLEMPTON TOUR CONT

Quite near the house, the 4th is a bruising two-shotter played between bunkers for the drive and approach.


The short 5th is a very intriguing hole. The green is in a low lying area which must have had additional drainage work at some time; this may explain the presence of the pond.  The green used to be surrounded by very attractive bunkers which I suspect were removed due to drainage issues. With the winding stream between the tee and entertaining green I am not convinced this is the place to showcase bunkering. This photo is a bit deceptive; the tee wraps around to the right creating multiple angles for the tee shot.




Heading back toward the house, the 6th plays fairly long to a green very similar to the 3rd. There is a wing at the rear of the green which gives the impression of a punchbowl, but the green essentially runs front to back.


More to follow.

Ciao
« Last Edit: June 15, 2021, 04:05:49 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Hankley Common, Ashridge, Gog Magog Old & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Clyde Johnson

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Flavoursome FLEMPTON GC: 2 Loops
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2021, 07:09:54 AM »
I like Flempton a lot...understated, and classically English. The 7th is an especially fine hole! I imagine Mildenhall takes a bit of the attention away from the place.
[/size]
[/size]I played it in the winter, but could imagine how keen the approach to that slanted first green must play. The 3 loops of 3 are perfect for evening play. I had just enough light to play the last 3 again, and then the first 3 after that.
[/size]
[/size]There are certainly places to recapture flashed sand, but I hope they keep their funky, but quite simple edges.




Thomas Dai

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Flavoursome FLEMPTON GC: 2 Loops
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2021, 04:33:34 AM »
The putting surfaces look quite smallish in the photos. Is this the case (or maybe a angles/camera/optical illusion)?
Atb

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Flavoursome FLEMPTON GC: 2 Loops New
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2021, 07:36:03 AM »
FLEMPTON TOUR CONT

Arguably the most interesting loop comes last. A short par 4 with a sunken green protected by bunkers, the 7th is perhaps the best hole on the course. 


The hole is gradually revealed.








A modest length par four, the 8th has been lengthed over the years, but retains the dogleg element around a bunker, although it may pay dividends to stay on the outside of the dogleg due to mounding right of the green.


A solid short hole played over the entrance drive concludes a most enjoyable nine holes.  It is probably accurate to say the Flempton experience greatly enhances the day, but that opinion shouldn't reflect negatively on the course. Holes such as 3, 5 & 7 provide a combination of fun and challenge and there isn't a dead fish in the nine. 

MacKenzie and Ebert have been engaged to breath some life back into Flempton. The proposals will involve much of the usual works such as pushing greens and fairways out a bit, removing some trees and shrubs to increase playability and improve interior/exterior views, upgrading, increasing the size and adding bunkers etc. I particularly like the idea of tree removal right of the 2nd and left of the 8th to open up views. The proposals generally make perfect sense. However, I am not convinced the bunkers around the 5th need to be restored. The water and excellent green are enough to distinguish the hole.  Furthermore, it may be a good idea to have one bunker-free hole among a sea of sand. This would of course mean removing the left bunker.

Whatever the outcome of the works, folks should take the opportunity to play Flempton.  I found the course and club to be highly engaging.  While departing the club my last thought was Flempton is in good hands if it can see fit to build a petanque court!  2021


Suffolk Courses

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

Woodbridge
https://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,70107.0.html

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

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

Ciao
« Last Edit: September 02, 2021, 10:58:39 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Hankley Common, Ashridge, Gog Magog Old & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Thomas Dai

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Flavoursome FLEMPTON GC
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2021, 07:56:07 AM »
Thanks Sean. The more I see the more I like. Looks a wee gem.
Atb

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Flavoursome FLEMPTON GC
« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2021, 01:07:57 PM »
Thanks Sean. The more I see the more I like. Looks a wee gem.
Atb

David

You would like Flempton!

Ciao
« Last Edit: June 10, 2021, 03:12:24 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Hankley Common, Ashridge, Gog Magog Old & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Richard Fisher

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Flavoursome FLEMPTON GC
« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2021, 03:10:31 PM »
You absolutely would.


See https://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,64891.msg1546751.html#msg1546751


for a recommended Day Out in this part of Suffolk


Delighted that Sean and his camera have made it to Flempton, ditto historic Royston (even if the latter isn't quite the same since the amendments of the early 1990s and the end to holes crossing roads)

Duncan Cheslett

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Flavoursome FLEMPTON GC
« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2021, 03:35:57 PM »
According to his Facebook page Gordon Irvine has been at Flempton over the winter building new tees.

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Flavoursome FLEMPTON GC
« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2021, 02:41:54 AM »
According to his Facebook page Gordon Irvine has been at Flempton over the winter building new tees.

The first tee was closed. I don't know how new they are, but extended walk back tees at 2 and and 8 didn't look old. The 5th looked like the wraparound tee wasn't old.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Hankley Common, Ashridge, Gog Magog Old & Cruden Bay St Olaf

John Mayhugh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Flavoursome FLEMPTON GC
« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2021, 12:26:36 PM »
Sean,
Thanks for this tour. I hadn't previously heard of Flempton, and now it looks worth a detour to see, especially for the 7th. Course plays like a heathland?

Is that a boundary wall or hedge behind the 5th green? Looks really dark in the photos.

First time seeing a petanque court, at least as far as I know!

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Flavoursome FLEMPTON GC: 2 Loops
« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2021, 04:10:32 AM »
I like Flempton a lot...understated, and classically English. The 7th is an especially fine hole! I imagine Mildenhall takes a bit of the attention away from the place.

I played it in the winter, but could imagine how keen the approach to that slanted first green must play. The 3 loops of 3 are perfect for evening play. I had just enough light to play the last 3 again, and then the first 3 after that.

There are certainly places to recapture flashed sand, but I hope they keep their funky, but quite simple edges.

I hope the club decides to reinstate large cross bunkers on 1. I suspect there was a cross bunker off the tee on the 7th as well. Its not as if there is play between the bunkers on these holes. Plus I notice wear and tear from walking between the bunkers.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Hankley Common, Ashridge, Gog Magog Old & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Clyde Johnson

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Flavoursome FLEMPTON GC: 2 Loops
« Reply #15 on: June 15, 2021, 03:29:39 PM »
I like Flempton a lot...understated, and classically English. The 7th is an especially fine hole! I imagine Mildenhall takes a bit of the attention away from the place.

I played it in the winter, but could imagine how keen the approach to that slanted first green must play. The 3 loops of 3 are perfect for evening play. I had just enough light to play the last 3 again, and then the first 3 after that.

There are certainly places to recapture flashed sand, but I hope they keep their funky, but quite simple edges.

I hope the club decides to reinstate large cross bunkers on 1. I suspect there was a cross bunker off the tee on the 7th as well. Its not as if there is play between the bunkers on these holes. Plus I notice wear and tear from walking between the bunkers.

Ciao


Agreed on all of that. The first would be especially cool!

Tony_Muldoon

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Flavoursome FLEMPTON GC
« Reply #16 on: June 15, 2021, 05:22:13 PM »
For some reason my computer is blocked from posting on this site?

 Briefly Ben Steven's and I played 18 here a couple of years ago.  Delightful and a great walk for tired legs. 

Ben started well but once his demons arrived no course is wide enough.  Must be good he didn't suggest redesigning any holes😎

Come back Ben
Let's make GCA grate again!

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Flavoursome FLEMPTON GC New
« Reply #17 on: June 17, 2021, 03:33:18 AM »
Sean,
Thanks for this tour. I hadn't previously heard of Flempton, and now it looks worth a detour to see, especially for the 7th. Course plays like a heathland?

Is that a boundary wall or hedge behind the 5th green? Looks really dark in the photos.

First time seeing a petanque court, at least as far as I know!

Tucky

Sorry, that is a boundary hedge. The photo is the result of shooting into the sunlight with a cheap camera.

Ciao
« Last Edit: June 17, 2021, 08:02:30 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Hankley Common, Ashridge, Gog Magog Old & Cruden Bay St Olaf

John Mayhugh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Flavoursome FLEMPTON GC
« Reply #18 on: June 17, 2021, 07:19:06 AM »
Sean,
The green contours show up in the photo - that's what really matters.

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