I have been a member at Ufford Park Golf Club for the last 10 years and although I have recently left Suffolk, I still travel back frequently to utilise their facilities. The two-tier driving range is arguably the best in the UK, with over 30 bays ensuring everyone is well catered for.
The course has improved significantly over the last few years and was recently ranked in the top 10 winter golf courses by Today's Golfer. The greenkeepers have done a great job over the summer by ensuring errant tee-shots are penalised by thick rough (similar to Links courses) and have also addressed some of the tee areas which previously sloped to one side.
The fairways do have a tendency to become quite dry during the summer, but this year they look in pristine condition. The greens are probably one area the club need to improve on, with the chances of finding a true roll on a putt becoming increasingly rare.
In regards to the holes, the opening stretch is very challenging with the second, fourth and sixth posing real challenges for all abilities. There is water on all but four holes so make sure you pack plenty of balls just in case! The back nine offers plenty of scoring opportunities, with both the 13th and 15th (par fours) reachable in one. The closing two holes are fairly devilish, with plenty of danger either side of the fairways.
The club as a whole is very friendly and has a relatively small membership which increases your chances of winning a competition. Due to the number of hotel guests, tee-times at the weekend are at a premium so it is essential that you book in advance.
Recent changes have meant the club only has one fully qualified PGA professional but the three trainees are certainly well equipped. Having had several lessons with Daniel Skriabin, I would certainly recommend his method of teaching...and the price is very reasonable as well. Unlike some senior professionals, he employs a very patient approach and has an arsenal of modern coaching techniques to harness the best possible result.
Michael Halliday, Golf Manager at Ufford Park, is also extremely approachable and genuinely makes an effort to ensure everyone is satisfied with their visit to the club. Sadly, the bar staff fail to provide a similar service and I have seen other members actually serve themselves after waiting for over 15 minutes!
Overall though, you would probably struggle to find better value-for-money and while a few minor flaws prevent the club from achieving a more revered status, it is certainly worth a visit (or two).
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