We’re very lucky to enjoy such a fabulous house and business, but there are always downsides to everything.
One of the darkest moments possible is when, on a bracingly glorious winters’ day, a party of guests saunter down the stairs in their finest Pringle jumpers and FootJoys and head for a round of golf at one of the finest seaside courses in the UK – Royal Cromer, just a long par-five up the Overstrand Road.
It’s a moment for deep despair because, let’s be honest, who wouldn’t rather be strolling the fairways than being in the office (despite all its attractions)? A couple of our duty managers, perhaps, but that’s another story. I know that there’s a large proportion of the population who would gladly seize the chance of 18 holes with the sea air gently ruffling their woolly hats.
However when the gentle breeze kicks up into a North Sea howitzer and starts to beat down at a brisk 40mph from somewhere around the Arctic circle, Royal Cromer is, shall we say, slightly more of a challenge. The sixth, in particular, strikes fear into the heart of any Slicer, with the world’s largest bunker (East Beach) and a fairly major water hazard (North Sea) waiting patiently at the bottom of the 150ft cliff for any over-enthusiastic power fades. Many promising rounds have foundered at the sixth, never to recover, and it has been known for golfers with more money than sense to add an angrily-lobbed Taylor-Made to the growing collection of balls on the sand below.
Despite that, though, and whatever the conditions, RCGC is the perfect place for golf throughout the year but especially in winter. The salt air keeps off the frost that severely affects many inland courses, with the result that the course is nearly always open and temporary greens are only used in dire, last-resort necessity. The landscape and views are incredible, particularly from the top of Heart Attack Hill, and of course the 14th is the signature Lighthouse Hole, played by Jack Nicklaus as one of his top 18 holes in the UK (he visited all 18 in one day via helicopter).
And of course here at the Grove we are in the perfect place to look after you following a titanic tussle with Royal Cromer. We have hosted golf parties for many years, ranging from thirty-plus who take advantage of our exclusive house party rates, to a two-ball sharing a Orchard Room. We have a lovely relationship with the club who offer Grove guests a tempting discount on green fees and of course you can relax after your round in our indoor heated pool before indulging yourself in our two-rosette restaurant.
And vouchers are available here for winter and summer golf deals.
We even find that non-playing partners often come along too, and, while the golfers do battle, maybe pop into town or stroll along the beach. They always need to be careful for errant balls (and clubs!) coming off the sixth tee though!!!