GOLF at Sudbury, Suffolk, is served by Newton Green Golf Club, situated beside the A134 three miles east of the historic market town towards Colchester.
The area is on the edge of Constable Country, and near the tourist, picture postcard villages of Long Melford, Lavenham and Clare. Sudbury is famous for being the birthplace of Thomas Gainsborough.
In recent times Newton’s men, women and juniors have won numerous Suffolk titles, and the club’s carefully prepared, 18-hole course with smooth, fast running greens, offers a unique experience of heath and parkland golf.
Players can indulge in an atmospheric nine holes laid out more than a century ago by the legendary James Braid, blended with nine holes sculptured 22 years ago, and acknowledged as some of East Anglia’s best of the modern era.
Although golfers used the nearby Saracen’s Head pub as their headquarters for many years, a new club house was opened in 1981, and it has since been extended on a number of occasions, with full catering, bar and social facilities.
Outside events are catered for, and on the playing side special summer and winter offers are available to visiting golfers, as well as introductory rates for new members, including Davey Membership, which enables people to join who do not have the time for full membership.
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Newton is unique in having employed the person believed to have been the longest serving club professional in the world (see Arthur Davey feature elsewhere).
The little hut from which Davey operated has recently been recreated as a starter’s shelter on the first tee – another feature which contributes to an intriguing golf experience.
Club president Michael Oliver is the third generation of the family to hold the honour. The club’s long and distinguished history was marked by centenary celebrations in 2007 (see elsewhere) with numerous events, including a horse-drawn brake transporting period-costumed golfers from Sudbury to Newton – just as occurred in the early years. The full history of the club can be studied in a special book published for the centenary.
At Home days are staged for new members, and England Golf has congratulated the club on its mould-breaking policies devised to attract new members. Each summer a week-long golf festival is run for members.
Additionally, Newton is High Achiever GolfMark club, and Suffolk Golf says the club offers a template for how all others in the county should manage their junior sections.