Royal West Norfolk Golf Club (Brancaster) is an outstanding links course set on the North Norfolk coast. With the North Sea on one side and the saltmarsh on the other it has a wonderfully atmospheric setting, and is ranked 17th in England and 44th in the UK by top100golfcourses.com.
Visitors are welcome, although numbers are strictly limited. This, together with the fact that only two-balls are allowed, keeps the speed of play up, with most rounds being completed in three hours. This should mean that you have enough time to visit the excellently stocked Pro Shop and discover the friendly welcome at the traditional clubhouse, serving wines, cask ales and a good selection of home-cooked food.
Royal West Norfolk Golf Club (or 'Brancaster', as it is often referred to) was founded in 1892, and the course laid out by Mr Holcombe Ingleby. There has been little alteration to Ingleby's design, and many of the original holes are still played today.
The Club is unusual in that its royal status was conferred at the outset, with the Prince of Wales, later to become King Edward VII, accepted the invitation to become the Club's Patron. Four Members of the Royal Family have captained the Club over the years, the Duke of Gloucester, the Duke of Windsor and two Dukes of Kent.
The Clubhouse is not accessible by car when the tide is high, and both the 8th and 9th holes are affected by the tides (see times for 2018). Walking across the beach to get from the clubhouse on to the course immediately gives one a pleasurable and relaxed feeling of anticipation.
At 6,457 yards and par 71, the course is not particularly long, but, situated as it is right on the North Norfolk coast, it is often subjected to very windy conditions. The outward 9 measures 3,409 yards, as against the 3,048 yards coming home, but the prevailing wind can make the inward 9 very hard. It is a fine example of a links course, predominantly going out inland and coming back along the coast.