Florida-style adventure golf course could be added to hotel near Woodbridge

The Congo Rapids Adventure Golf centre at Easton, Norwich.

The Congo Rapids Adventure Golf centre at Easton, Norwich. - Credit: Archant Norfolk

A jungle-themed adventure golf course could be open before summer at a Suffolk leisure resort.

Proposals have been made for an 18-hole ‘Congo Rapids Lost World’ course at Ufford Park Hotel, in Melton, near Woodbridge.

The application is being put forward by the developers of Congo Rapids Adventure Golf at Bawburgh Golf Club, just outside Norwich.

Moore Adventure Ltd wants to position the course on a 0.4-acre grassed area currently containing part of an informal golf practice area, disused driving range bay and storage unit.

When complete, it could open all week for up to 13 hours a day, between 9am and 10pm, depending on the season.

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LED floodlights would illuminate the course and walkways after dark, with lighting columns measuring three to four-and-a-half metres each generating power equivalent to a 150w metal halide lamp bulb.

The applicant claims the course will generate an increase in tourism, providing extra incentive for families to choose the hotel as a destination, while encouraging children and adults to develop a broader interest in golf.

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They say the new facility will “encourage budding young golfers and families to seed their interest in golf and move on to enjoy other facilities.

“The facility will also be used as a leisure amenity by other age groups.”

A quarter of the designated site area will be planted or landscaped, with a smaller area comprising water features, and the remainder covered by artificial turf to give the appearance of manicured grass.

The maximum height of any of the ‘fixed’ course features will be 2.8 metres.

The course boundary will run five to six metres from the current western boundary hedge of the hotel. It will be surrounded by green metallic ‘pro-mesh’ fencing.

Tarnia Robertson, managing director of Ufford Park Hotel, Golf and Spa, said the course would “increase tourism footfall, as well as provide a valuable and affordable activity to local families”.

She added: “We are very excited at the prospect of opening such a fabulous new family attraction within our grounds, and we are hopeful of a positive outcome from the planning application.”

The application has received four public objections from two households largely concerned with possible noise and light pollution.

If the application is successful, the course will be open in advance of the school summer holidays.

Adventure golf has risen in popularity over the last few years, with courses being added to the Celtic Manor Resort in South Wales, which hosted the 2010 Ryder Cup, and to Abbey Hill Golf Centre in Milton Keynes.

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