The second part of the blog covers holes 7-12 in my composite course. For holes 1-6 and an explanation of the rules I have followed to create the course, check out Part 1 here.
7th Hole – Richmond Park Golf Club – 438 yards Par 4
Another strong Par 4 features on a front 9 that forces the golfer to excel with the longest Club in the bag in order to maximise their scoring opportunities.
This particular long Par 4 is to be found at the very pretty parkland layout just outside the town of Watton in central Norfolk.
A left to right wind may force you to aim across the dog-leg but generally the safe play is down the right centre of the fairly generous fairway between rivers to right and left. The approach will generally be a long-iron with the river cutting in dangerously to the left of the green. Like many of the holes on this 9, quality ball-striking will be essential to walk off with par figures.
Other 7th hole contenders: Hunstanton, Feltwell
8th Hole – Royal West Norfolk Golf Club – 494 yards Par 5
I have to admit that the 8th at RWNGC is my favourite hole in Norfolk – and one of the best that I have ever played.
It provides a truly exhilarating experience – with eagle or double-bogey available in equal measure depending on very narrow margins.
The drive offers a classic risk-reward opportunity depending on the bravery of carry over the marsh. A fade to suit the shape of the hole is the percentage option. Another carry over the marsh is required to reach the green. Truly fantastic and worth the green fee on its own.
Other 8th hole contenders: Hunstanton
9th Hole – Costessey Park Golf Club – 168 yards Par 3
This intimidating Par 3 over water was previously the 1st hole at Costessey Park, just outside Norwich, before they decided to change the order of the holes.
Situated as it is right outside the clubhouse, this is another occasion on this front 9 that the golfer’s adrenaline is raised. Many of the members decide to lay up in front of the water, particularly when it was their opening tee shot.
Other 9th hole contenders: Links Country Park, Royal Cromer, Royal West Norfolk.
Overall, this is a fitting end to the opening 9 holes that feature a predominantly parkland feel. To score well on these holes, the golfer will need to have driven the ball long. The fairways have been wide in the main, but missed fairways will have left tough approach shots to small greens.
Whilst the front 9 holes have been an excellent test, with a couple of stand-outs, it is the back 9 that if anything is an even stronger examination of the golfers repertoire.
10th Hole – Kings Lynn Golf Club – 499 yards Par 5
The back 9 begins with a left to right sweeping Par 5 in a stunning but claustrophobic setting.
Like all great Par 5’s, it offers options – long hitters can attempt to thread a drive round the narrow dog-leg to attempt to reach the green in 2, whilst a couple of careful 200 yard shots will leave a wedge approach shot.
Like many of the holes on this delightful West Norfolk course, the 10th has shades of Woburn about it. The key is accuracy and if the wind is up, to keep the trajectory below the tree line. A lovely hole where the golfer never feels fully comfortable due to the harsh penalties for a wayward shot.
Other 10th hole contenders: Eaton.
11th hole – Great Yarmouth & Caister Golf Club – 423 yards Par 4
The links course on the far East coast of Norfolk is the setting for the magnificent 11th hole.
This hole, situated in a valley between dunes with a delightful sunken green setting would not be out-of-place on any of the Open layouts and has particular similarities to Royal Birkdale.
Like many of the holes on this layout, most golfers will be hitting a Driver from the tee in order to reach in regulation. Even after a long, straight drive, the second shot is still demanding to a very shallow green.
Other 11th hole contenders: Swaffham, Sheringham, Kings Lynn.
12th hole – Feltwell Golf Club – 562 yards Par 5
Played against the prevailing wind, this is a true 3 shot Par 5 for all but the very longest hitters.
Situated on the very edge of the fens in West Norfolk, the 9 hole course at Feltwell offers much more than expected from the unspectacular flat surroundings. Well designed holes and subtle undulations combined with fine draining turf create an interesting layout. The windswept nature and firm turf lead to a real links feel despite being 40 miles from the nearest coast.
Although mainly removed now, a couple of the holes (including the 12th) still feature the rather unique concrete posts formely used to fire Thor rockets from when the area was still part of the nearby RAF base.
The 12th hole is a fearsome Par 5 that can often require 3 massive shots to reach in regulation into the often savage winds. With out-of-bounds left and right for the first and second shots, margins of error are tight. A single tree on the corner of the dog-leg can often act as a magnet for tee shots. Even when the green is reached, the severe left to right slopes can often lead to 3-putts. Par is never a bad score here.
Other 12th hole contenders: Dereham, Middleton Hall, Kings Lynn.
The final 6 holes will be covered in Part 3, published 18th February.