There are probably very few if any courses, other than Royal West Norfolk Golf Club, that need consultation with the tidal charts when planning a game of golf. But the last kilometer or so of the journey to Royal West Norfolk is across a tidal plain that floods at high tide. Consequently, depending on the time of day, you either can’t actually get to the course, or, alternatively, you can’t leave! The sojourn at the 19th hole can certainly be extended depending on the whims of King Neptune.
Initially I was skeptical of just how deep the water might be across the access road, but in the interests of being able to return to my accommodation for breakfast on the first morning I parked the car and walked across the levee bank to the course, as high tide was at about 8.00am. There was no water in sight and I really questioned why I was doing this the hard way.
For a couple of hours I was engrossed in my work and didn’t even look across at the tidal plain. Once I had finished I turned and was astonished to see an ocean of water on the flats that didn’t exist when I arrived earlier that morning. I arrived back at the levee bank and the access road, to find the water was about two feet deep across the thoroughfare and there was no way of driving along the road. I thanked my lucky stars I had listened to the advice about leaving my car on the other side.
That evening I returned and at about the time of high tide I was waiting very nervously for the light to be right on the 4th hole, an intimidating par 3 with an imposing sleeper wall guarding the green. I was torn between waiting for the sun to come out from behind the clouds so I could take my photograph, or hightailing it out of there so I could be back at the hotel before midnight. The sun crept out for a short time. I hurriedly took the shot, then nervously rushed back to the car and managed to escape before the waters cut off access.
Perhaps the message to be learned is that it is usually a good idea to listen to the advice of the locals. It worked for me at Royal West Norfolk.