Seacroft Golf Club

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Overview

Frank Pennink reveals the land was reclaimed from the marsh by building a series of mounds. The result is free draining links land with a great many undulations.

Seacroft Golf Club Reviews

Sean Arble's review can be found here


Golf Course Review

Seacroft Golf Club is a links golf course on the Lincolnshire coast of England. The course is located south of Skegness and north of the Gibraltar Point National Nature Reserve. There are North Sea views over The Wash punctuated by the Lincs Offshore Wind Farm turbines. Boston and Lincoln are nearby with Woodhall Spa being the perfect second 18 if you want 36 in a day. Sat back from the sandy beach with marshlands in between, Seacroft Golf Club is a rare, out and back, traditional links in a golf-starved region of the country.

The links itself is laid out over two prominent ridges. The links lie inland from the seaside and at its nearest point, the 16th green, the beach is still more than 600 yards away. To the South and East lie saltmarshes, marshes, lagoons, and tidal creeks. What one sees from the road is not a sign of what is to come... The first ridge obscures the view of the links from the road and the second ridge obscures the view of the sea and The Wash until the grand reveal on the 13th tee.

Seacroft Golf Club Architectural History

The club was founded in 1895 when The Vine Hotel doubled as the clubhouse. On April 24, 1895, the first tee shot was struck on the 9 hole links known as the Skegness Golf Club. The prolific Victorian golf course architect, Tom Dunn was responsible for the design. By 1900, the club was playing over 18 holes which had been laid out by Willie Fernie. In 1923, additional land became available with holes 12 to 16 being adjusted and improved by Sir Guy Campbell. Alister MacKenzie visited the links and proposed changes but appears that not much, if anything at all, was implemented...

A Grand Tour in a Single Round

The course is a solid set of old-school links holes. As I was taking in the round, I was surprised by the similarities to so many iconic links in the British Isles.

  • The course lies draped over and between two prominent ridges. There are obvious parallels to both Rye and Hunstanton simply due to topography.
  • The 3rd hole, named Punchbowl, features a blind shot over a massive crater across a dune ridge to a volcano green. It is the little brother of the 6th hole at Royal Cinque Ports.
  • The 8th hole, named Sand Pit, is the 6th hole at St Enodoc in miniature. Play near the road for a view of the green and to allow a for the ground game. Left leaves a blind approach over a dune. The classic strategy is more than a little like the Himalaya bunker...
  • The 9th has elements of numerous holes at Minchinhampton Old and Royal West Norfolk cleverly using parallel fairways to add strategic intrigue.

Some of the recent bunker works feature dune-sy blowouts, Muirfield-like revetments in the fairway, and hybrids like Castle Stuart.

The Tale of Seacroft's Scorecard

The current course can be stretched out to 6835 yards when played off the Black Championship Tees. The Whites still challenge at 6492 yards and Yellow Tees don't provide much more relief at just over 6200 yards. The round opens with three consecutive par 4's. A one-shot hole is then followed by four more two-shot holes. The first par 5 is found on the 9th hole. The 10th is a Par 3, the 11th a Par 5, the 12th a Par 3, the 13th a Par 5 followed by the 14th which is a Par 3. The round closes with a string of four more two-shot holes.

Recent Improvements to SGC

Clyde Johnson of Cunning Golf Design has commissioned a 5-year master plan to refine all 18 holes. In 2018/19 work was undertaken on holes 7, 8, and 10. Winter 2019/20 holes 6, 9 & 11 were addressed. Winter 2020/21 saw holes 3, 4, 14, and 16 improved further. Perhaps the most dramatic is the restoration of the punchbowl on the 16th!

It will be interesting to see what happens next for the club. Green complexes could be enhanced by short grass and runoffs implemented. Turf quality could be much improved by the introduction of irrigation - sparingly used of course. There are subtle changes that have made a big difference and there is more 'easy' fruit to pick is approved and the investment found.

Don't Let its Location Dissuade You

To be very frank, I wasn't expecting much from Seacroft. It followed a majestic day at Woodhall Spa which is one of the finest layouts in the world of golf. A tough act to follow, I decided to make the 45-minute journey as I wasn't expecting to be in the area any time again except to play Harry Colt &  SV Hotchkin's masterpiece. This was a glaring error on my part. Perhaps it was the fact the links are found in Lincolnshire, not a county known for links golf or golf in any form for that manner. Perhaps I was jaded by the fact it is a former seaside destination that has an undeserved reputation - now best known as Skeg-Vegas. Perhaps I expected an industrial wasteland commonly associated with the eastern coast of England - rightly or wrongly. Whatever the case, I am still a bit upset with myself as I pride myself on going off-piste and being pleasantly surprised at what I find...

Seacroft Golf Club Accolades

  • Golf Monthly recently named Seacroft Golf Club the best golf course in Britain and Ireland for under £60. The £60 allows play on the day and drops to almost half that price for early afternoon to twilight.
  • Golf World named Seacroft the 46th best golf course in England in 2021.
  • National Club Golfer included the 13th hole as part of the Top 100 Great British Holes in 2017.

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