A guide to the best Norfolk golf courses holiday cottages

A guide to the best Norfolk golf courses

Courtney Kelly 19 April 2023

Known for its large swathes of flat, low-lying land, coastal beauty and temperate weather, it would seem as though Norfolk was made for golfing. Add to that a friendly populace that shows an unrivalled passion for golf and you know you’re in the right place to enjoy a round of Norfolk golf.

There are over 40 golf courses in Norfolk, with a mixture of inland and links courses to test your wood and iron acumen. Whether you like to be near a city and want to revel in the golfing oasis that is Eaton Golf Club, or you prefer to be beside the sea at one of the oldest Norfolk golf courses in Royal Cromer, we’ve no doubt you’ll be able to plan your perfect Norfolk golf break by reading on.

When you’ve decided upon your course and you’ve picked out your most dazzling plus fours, choose a Norfolk holiday cottage to return to where you can rest your head and have sweet dreams of smooth fairways and slow greens.

Royal Cromer Golf Club

A green at Royal Cromer by the lighthouse

Formed in 1888, Royal Cromer is the second oldest golf club in Norfolk and has seen some of the best architectural minds in golf work creatively to maintain all 18 holes. This is because, despite being a parkland course, the majority of the golf takes place next to the coastline and over the years, coastal erosion has forced significant changes from the likes of JH Taylor, James Braid, Frank Pennink and Donald Steel.

You’ll have views of the sea at nearly every hole and, as you take in the glorious sights, you can delight in the realisation that you’re playing in the very same spot where the first-ever international golf match was played.

  • Address: 145 Overstrand Rd, Cromer, NR27 0JH
  • Type: Parkland
  • Par: 72
  • Facilities: Trolley hire, catering, clubhouse, shower available, changing rooms, pro shop, putting area, buggy hire
  • Stay nearby: Stones Throw Cottage | Sleeps 4

Hunstanton Golf Club

A man playing golf at sunset

Until 1907, Hunstanton Golf Club was a mere nine-hole course, that is until James Braid revised the layout and extended the course to 18 holes - modifications that cost a whopping £25 in total! A links course that is mostly out and back with a few meandering holes in the middle section, Hunstanton is bordered by the River Hun on one side and the coast on the other.

This is a serious championships course and one of the best golf courses in North Norfolk. So much so that many amateur championships are held here, including the Women’s Amateur and the English Men’s Amateur. Hunstanton is the only course on the east coast of England where you can finish a round whilst watching the sunset, so try your best for a hole-in-one on the famous 16th whilst taking in the splendid views.

  • Address: Gold Course Rd, Hunstanton, PE36 6JQ
  • Type: Links
  • Par: 72
  • Facilities: Trolley hire, catering, club hire, clubhouse, shower available, changing rooms, pro shop, putting area, buggy hire
  • Stay nearby: Blacksmith's Cottage - Old Hunstanton | Sleeps 6

Royal West Norfolk Golf Club

An immaculate green with bunkers in the distance

Choosing a still day when visiting Royal West Norfolk Golf Club is wise as when the wind gets going, it really gets going! You might also want to check the tide times as the club is inaccessible at high tide due to water on the road. It’s been said that if you don’t like this place, then you don’t like golf so if you do make it past the water hazard, you’ll be in for a fine day of North Norfolk golfing.

Set between the North Sea and the salt marshes, this links course turns into an island at high tide, giving you a unique golfing experience, albeit one where you’re likely to lose quite a few balls. The course is a traditional out-and-back, with large, sinkhole-like bunkers and fast greens. Don’t let the wind and water put you off though – Golf World recently labelled this course as the 61st-best course in the world (that you can play) and the 17th-best in England.

  • Address: Beach Road, Brancaster, King’s Lynn, PE31 8AX
  • Type: Links
  • Par: 71
  • Facilities: Trolley hire, catering, club hire, clubhouse, shower available, changing rooms, driving range, pro shop, putting area, buggy hire
  • Stay nearby: Hay's Wood 32 | Sleeps 4

Sheringham Golf Club

A view of one of the holes at Sheringham with the North Norfolk Railway in the distance

If you like to golf in unpretentious splendour, then Sheringham Golf Club could be for you. Set in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, this course sits high up on the clifftops and occupies a rippling stretch of land between the North Sea and the North Norfolk Railway. So thin is this sliver of parkland that steam trains and vintage diesels often pass right by the course – once famously in 1920 when Joyce Wethered putted out on the 17th to win her first championship unperturbed by the 16.20 train out of Sheringham as it rattled by.

The most enjoyable holes are those that run close to the cliff edge but, being so close to the North Sea, the course suffers from bracing winds that can challenge even the most skilled competitor. In 2022, Sheringham was ranked 75th in Golf World’s top 100 courses in England and, along with nearby Royal Cromer, it is one of England’s most outstanding cliff-top courses.

  • Address: Sweetbriar Lane, Sheringham, NR26 8HG
  • Type: Parkland
  • Par: 70
  • Facilities: Catering, clubhouse, shower available, changing rooms, pro shop, putting area
  • Stay nearby: Beeston Sea View | Sleeps 4

King's Lynn Golf Club

Two men preparing approach shots

Sitting 5 miles inland from the coast and the same distance from one of King Charles III’s royal residences in Sandringham Estate, King's Lynn Golf Club is often overlooked by visiting golfers who bypass it all together on their way to Royal West Norfolk or Hunstanton. However, the locals know (and now you do too) that a few miles north of King’s Lynn town centre lies one of East Anglia’s finest courses complete with pretty woodland and decent drainage.

It was only in 1975 that the course relocated to its current position, just over 50 years since its foundation. It’s a decision that has proven fruitful as it has now become one of the most scenic courses in the region thanks to the architectural partnership of Dave Thomas and Peter Alliss. The tree-lined course has its challenges thanks to its narrow fairways and, with an 18th green that’s closer to its clubhouse than on any course this writer can recall, you’ll do well to maintain your nerve as you putt in front of the onlooking eyes of the members.

  • Address: Lynn Road Castle Rising, King’s Lynn, PE31 6BD
  • Type: Parkland
  • Par: 72
  • Facilities: Trolley hire, catering, club hire, clubhouse, shower available, changing rooms, pro shop
  • Stay nearby: The Green Oaks | Sleeps 10 + 2 dogs

Royal Norwich Golf Club

A woman thinking about her putt

A course that was driven towards change by an ever-growing society, Royal Norwich Golf Club is now set in 350 acres of stunning parkland. Originally just 2 miles from the city centre, as Norwich grew, the course became framed by roads making it perilous to walk from one hole to the next. In 2019, Ian Poulter opened the new 24-hole complex, comprising a par 73 18-hole course and a 6-hole academy course.

The 400-year-old estate upon which the course now sits has state-of-the-art practice facilities and a clubhouse with a truly exquisite restaurant. It’s the perfect stopover for unwinding after your journey to your holiday home: grab a quick 6-hole round and have a bite to eat, whilst booking yourself in for a longer 18-hole round when you have more time.

  • Address: The Weston Estate, Weston Hall Road, Norwich, NR9 5JZ
  • Type: Parkland
  • Par: 72
  • Facilities: Trolley hire, catering, clubhouse, shower available, changing rooms, pro shop, putting area
  • Stay nearby: The Dollery | Sleeps 4

Barnham Broom Golf Club

A man practicing on the driving range

Located just outside Mattishall, Barnham Broom Golf Club provides 36 holes on a beautiful 259-acre patch of Norfolk countryside. Boasting two contrasting 18-hole courses to suit all ability levels, as well as three academy holes, a short game area and a driving range, Barnham Broom has gained a reputation for its excellent practice facilities and first-class tuition. 

The Valley Course, designed by Frank Pennick, has the River Yare crisscrossing through it and thus has plenty of water features to overcome. The Hill Course, which entered the fray ten years later, is not as tight off the tee due to the young trees but has ample bunkers guarding the greens. There’s even a refreshment buggy that rolls over the landscape seeking out those golfers in need of drinks and snacks.

  • Address: Honingham Road, Barnham Broom, Norwich, NR9 4DD
  • Type: Parkland
  • Par: 72
  • Facilities: Trolley hire, catering, club hire, clubhouse, shower available, changing rooms, driving range, pro shop, putting area, buggy hire, tuition available, storage lockers, conference facilities, function room available, corporate golf, event management, society golf, leisure facilities
  • Stay nearby: Daisy's Barn | Sleeps 8 + 2 dogs

Great Yarmouth and Caister Golf Club

Friends watch on as a woman tees off

Founded in 1882, Great Yarmouth and Caister Golf Club is Norfolk’s oldest course and its layout has remained largely the same for over a century. A classic links course, the 18-hole par 70 is located along a beautiful stretch of golden East Anglian coastline on predominantly sandy ground. A modern irrigation system allows for the course to stay in peak condition without ever minimising the links feel.

It is one of many courses throughout Britain and Ireland that incorporates a racecourse into its grounds, ever since the racecourse was relocated shortly after World War I. The racetrack acts as rough for some of the course, and you’ll find yourself ducking under the rails to retrieve your ball if you go out of bounds. The clubhouse is renowned for its friendly vibe and its pro shop is well-stocked with all the latest brands.

  • Address: Beach House, Caister-on-Sea, Great Yarmouth, NR30 5TD
  • Type: Links
  • Par: 70
  • Facilities: Trolley hire, catering, clubhouse, shower available, changing rooms, pro shop
  • Stay nearby: 8b By The Sea | Sleeps 5 + 2 dogs

Eaton Golf Club

Autumn leaves scattered on a green

When Eaton Golf Club was founded in 1920, the entrance fees would have set you back 2.5 guineas! Suffice it to say, it costs slightly more to play a round these days but with a management team that prides itself on looking after local wildlife and habitats as well as the golfers who visit, the course promises a great day in unexpected tranquillity seeing as it’s so close to Norwich city centre.

Designed in part by JH Taylor, the four times Open Champion, Eaton has often been described as a hidden gem or a veritable golfing oasis within the city. At 6,114 yards, it’s certainly not the longest course you’ll find in Norfolk, but its tree-lined fairways will no doubt provide a challenge, necessitating some precise and perceptive shots, especially off the tees.

  • Address: Newmarket Road, Eaton, Norwich, NR4 6SF
  • Type: Parkland
  • Par: 70
  • Facilities: Trolley hire, catering, clubhouse, shower available, changing rooms, pro shop, putting area
  • Stay nearby: Wyatt House | Sleeps 4

Thetford Golf Club

A deep-looking bunker protects the green

Deemed ‘a class act’ by Golf World, Thetford Golf Club has a course that has a variety of terrain. Its current layout is largely due to updates and changes made by James Braid and Philip Mackenzie Ross, and the course comprises heather, gorse and broom whilst incorporating the oak, pine and birch trees of Breckland Forest.

Located within a Site of Special Scientific Interest, Thetford is a course that will challenge your golfing prowess whilst also providing spellbinding visual stimulation to cheer you up in case you get caught in the chalk pit. The natural drainage qualities of the heathland mean that the course is open and playable nearly every day of the year. The greens are immaculate, just watch out for those sneaky bunkers that are expertly placed to test your short game.

  • Address: Brandon Road, Thetford, Norfolk, IP24 3NE
  • Type: Parkland
  • Par: 74
  • Facilities: Trolley hire, catering, club hire, clubhouse, shower available, changing rooms, pro shop, putting area
  • Stay nearby: The Old Cart Shed | Sleeps 6 + 1 dog

Map of Norfolk golf courses

Use our handy golf courses in Norfolk map to help you find the right teeing-off point.

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Plan your Norfolk golf break

Now that we’ve highlighted some of the top golf courses and clubs in Norfolk, it’s time to work on that handicap or perhaps just head straight to the 19th hole. Our holidays in Norfolk are on par with cottage breaks anywhere in the UK so get searching now for a fantastic holiday let where you can rest your head prior to joining the dawn patrol.

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

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