Tee time! 14 golf courses in Suffolk, Essex & Norfolk that we highly recommend

Moving to Suffolk or Essex and keen on golf? Here are 14 courses to interest newcomers, or East Anglian residents already hooked on the game

Posted: November 28, 2023

Gog Magog Old Course

Royal Cromer (pictured in main photo)

A cliff top course that over the years has had to counter coastal erosion. Fortunately the work of various course architects has maintained a challenging layout. Look out for the signature 14th hole that heads towards the landmark lighthouse.


A gem of a nine holer near Bury St Edmunds and nestling beside Lackford Lakes Nature Reserve. The sandy soil makes it playable almost all year and its three loops of three mean you are never far away from the clubhouse. While it’s not long, there are plenty of bunkers to keep you on your mettle and that particularly applies on the 7th where there are 15 sandtraps waiting for a misdirected approach. Look out for the lovely par three 5th with a pond and ditches ready to punish any inaccuracy.


The Norfolk coast has some outstanding places to play but this clifftop links might just be the most fun. Elevated tees give fine views of the course and the North Sea, and take note of which way the wind is blowing and how hard . . . high handicappers may have to take a driver for one of the par 3s. Lending a yesteryear feel, a steam train can sometimes be seen puffing along a line by the closing holes.

Links Newmarket

The Devil’s Dyke features in one part of the course. Fairly quick running fairways in good condition with greens usually in fine order. The 14th is a par 4 played from an elevated position from what appears to be an old railway embankment to a tree and bush lined fairway. The green has a couple of bunkers to be avoided before you walk off with (hopefully) your par.

Bury St Edmunds

Bury St Edmunds (pictured)

A club celebrating its centenary in 2024 and a course where you will need to drive well to score well as there are trees lining most fairways. Sometimes slopes on the greens can serve up some quick putts, especially on the par three 2nd. The 17th is a tough par 4 with bunkers to be avoided. A lot of players will find the second shot is played from a sloping lie, downhill to a tight green – make par and hurry to the 18th.

Royal Worlington

Not far from Mildenhall, here is a club steeped in tradition and ranked 94th in Golf World’s Top 100 courses of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.  Admired by golf writers, it’s a lovely nine hole course.


Attractive, gently rolling, tree-lined course situated just north of the town with fast running fairways, subtly contoured greens and 70 bunkers to gobble up wayward shots.


Admired by the late Peter Alliss this is an outstanding course on the Suffolk/Norfolk border and a tough test for even the better players. Although it can look stunning in autumn it’s probably not an ideal course for a novice to play as the trees and bracken will devour any shots off target. Always in very good condition and greens can be very quick so plan for the occasional three putt.


A 6,603 yards Championship course with no par fives. However, every hole presents an examination in shotmaking and accuracy; a stroke given away to the course is difficult to recover. The gently rolling countryside allows views of the River Alde and glimpses of the North Sea. There’s a yesteryear feel to the clubhouse – old fashioned but friendly and very civilised.

Gog Magog Old Course

Gog Magog Old Course

Often rated as the Cambridge area’s best course. It’s not especially long so placement is the order of the day. In between some tough holes, that may need some distance-carrying shots, there are some that offer up easier par or birdie chances. The greens are usually immaculately presented and can be very quick so be warned!

Saffron Walden

Some wonderful views here – the course is set in the picturesque surroundings of Audley End House – and it’s a good test over rolling parkland.


A lovely place for relaxing seaside golf. Play alongside, or near to, the village’s famous Meare, spot Sizewell’s mighty dome and, on the 18th green, you are just a few yards from the House in the Clouds, a water tower converted into a private residence. Plot your way around carefully; gorse and heather line the fairways and will claim any errant shots.


Magnificent heathland course that looks just as good in autumn and winter as it does in summer. You’ll find two courses here, Heath and Forest, with the former stretching out over 6299 yards. Accuracy and strategic skill are needed to manoeuvre your way to a good score.

Royal West Norfolk

Otherwise known as Brancaster, this is tough to play in summer let alone on a gusty and chilly winter day.
But you should visit as (situated between the sea and a saltmarsh) it is atmospheric and a wonderfully challenging 18 holes. Not for high handicappers.