I have travelled the length and breadth of England and Scotland playing Golf. And being half Scottish (Father) much of that has been of the links variety. Ironically, after living in Suffolk for 25 years (albeit) in the West of the county about 40 miles from Felixstowe, this was my first ever trip to Felixstowe Ferry Golf Club.
Initial impressions were not promising. I was on a society trip, initially cancelled (by the club) because they'd forgotten?!! that it clashed with the ladies section 120 year anniversary. You'd have thought that 120 years would have given them time to arrange their calendar (especially in this digital age).
The rearranged date (2 weeks later) started badly with the non appearance of the chef resulting in a bacon roll (lack of) crisis and the eventual breaking into the kitchen due to the lack of keys.
Firstly (if any Felixstowe members are reading this), please forgive my rather irreverent comments. Everyone messes up from time to time, normally beyond their control (and I'm not the sort to condemn) maybe my Glasgow Scottish roots means I take the rough with the smooth. But the test is how the problems are dealt with and this Golf Club came up trumps..
Firstly, when the original date was cancelled, a new date was offered not just at reduced rates, but with prizes of 2 free fourballs at a later date.
Secondly the captain offered our society a free bottle of wine for nearest the pin, apparently he does this for all societies...nice touch!
Even the bacon roll situation was eventually rectified (even without the chef, who I believed turned up later to cook the excellent dinner) and very good bacon rolls they were too!
On to the serious business of the golf. Felixstowe is a historic, quality links (rated in Britain's top 200 courses I believe) and one of England's oldest courses.
Its not the greatest links course I've ever played but its very good. It's one of those clubs that reeks history in an understated way...that only links clubs do?!! The weather was fabulous, the tall ship and yacht race that were passing all added to the atmosphere, as did those flying parachutes attached to boats.
For the golfing purists, Felixstowe is Suffolk's only true links, but if you want to be picky, (even with the lack of trees the first few holes have a more parkland feel, even the look of the bunkers are parkland, although the rough is definitely links.
The last 6 holes though are undisputedly links, pot bunkers, great holes...real links feel, and they push you to the limits.
The only weak hole (and its not the holes fault but the modern world) is the 12th with the incessant traffic, the net and the road. I loved the hole...and parred it...but any golf hole that has to cross a main road in the 21st century has to sacrifice ascetic appeal for health and safety.
To all members of Felixstowe Ferry Golf Club. I hope you can forgive my irreverent sense of humour. I make no apologies, I met a rather 'chippy' member of yours (with the club manager on arrival last Thursday (24th July), who also made several irreverent jokes about my club in West Suffolk...but that's golfing banter.
Seriously though guys, I loved your club and your course and would love to return...if I'm welcome.
Just sorry it took me 25 years to get there!
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