Golf Courses

Fancy A Round Or Three? Why Not Mix Golf And Real Ale On A Trip To Beautiful Suffolk

Felixstowe Ferry - Martello Course - Hole 14

I have enjoyed more trips to this beautiful county over the years than I can now actually remember. Its big guns such as Aldeburgh, Ipswich and Woodbridge – coincidentally each with 27 fine holes – keep me coming back and are the best golf courses in Suffolk. But there are also plenty of less obvious delights that offer a great deal in the way of charm and interest.

Felixstowe Ferry

Looking back down the fourteenth hole on the Martello Course at Felixstowe Ferry

(Image credit: Felixstowe Ferry Golf Club)

Oddly, one of the county’s other bigger names also boasts 27 holes – perhaps it’s a Suffolk thing! Felixstowe Ferry is home to a traditional links of championship quality that is the only such course in the county. It also boasts the sporty, 9-hole Kingsfleet Course that is ideal for newcomers, for a warm-up or for practice. The club dates back to 1880 and its Martello Course is the fifth-oldest in the country. 

It is named after the tower that sits by the 17th green and which served as its first clubhouse. Just over 100 of these structures were built in the early 19th-century, of which fewer than half remain. This easy-walking links has four par 5s, three of which come in the space of four holes from the 7th.

Felixstowe Ferry - Martello Course - Green 14

The fourteenth green on the Martello Course

(Image credit: Felixstowe Ferry Golf Club)

It is a particularly strong test when the wind is up, but happily I was spared which may account for how I managed birdies at the last of these as well as the drive-and-pitch 3rd. The short 12th is very unusual as you play over the old Ferry Road to a green up by the clubhouse, and the holes from here to the end are particularly strong and make for an excellent climax. The 9-hole Kingsfleet Course is on the other side of the road and is ideal for practice or a quick nine.

Felixstowe Ferry - Kingsfleet Course

Rob trying to save par at the sixth on the Kingsfleet Course

(Image credit: Jeremy Ellwood)

Charm on tap

30 miles up the coast as the cormorant flies is the lovely town of Southwold where I very much enjoyed staying with my wife at the Swan Hotel which is owned by the Adnams Brewery. Informal but smart, friendly, great food, delicious ale, comfortable and stylish rooms, terrific but unfussy service – exactly my kind of place. 

Rob Smith - Adnams Brewery

Rob enjoying an Adnams brewery tour

(Image credit: Rob Smith)

We also took the opportunity to enjoy tours of both the brewery and the gin distillery… not on the same day I hasten to add! If this is your sort of thing, I would very much recommend both.


Southwold - Hole 5

A water tower…


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