Our last blog provided a top 10 list of must play venues in the South West. The problem is, with so much quality across Devon, Cornwall and Somerset, 10 just isn’t enough!
What about all the great courses that were not on that list? Courses you don’t hear about often or host big events.
Well we’ve gone ahead and selected out top 10 hidden gems of the West Country.
Now we know that your opinions may be different to ours, so here is how we’ve make our decisions:
- Personal experiences
- Value for money
- Our clients reviews
Have we missed your favourite course? Make your case in the comments.
So… In no particular order, here is our list of the South West’s “hidden” gems.
Dartmouth Golf & Country Club
Dartmouth Golf & Country Club has become of the South West’s premiere golfing destinations in recent years. As a resort it is equipped to handle a variety of groups from a couple’s weekend getaways to large golfing societies and everything in between.
The Championship course at Dartmouth is quite a challenge and presented in fantastic condition year round. The course undulates through the natural terrain of the south Devon countryside, offering fantastic views of the local area.
The complex itself offers leisure facilities, restaurant, golfers bar, family/group lodges, hotel rooms and even an additional 9 hole short course. It is also ideally located for the coastal town of Dartmouth and can provide an ideal golf tour base for surrounding courses including Thurlestone, Churston and Elfordleigh.
Carlyon Bay Golf Resort
Carlyon Bay is one of the few venues in the UK that perfectly combines hotel luxury with a fantastic and unique golf course.
The golf course at Carlyon Bay is a recent edition to the famous Cornish festival and it is easy to see why. The mix of links and parkland across the 18 holes is a rare attribute and works perfectly in providing a unique experience to golfers.
As with many Cornish coastal venues the views on offer are breathtaking as you look over St Austell Bay and out to the Atlantic Ocean beyond.
Exeter Golf Club
Exeter Golf Course challenges all levels of golfer. For your long hitting, low handicappers the tight trees and clever dog legs force you to play less from the tee bringing into play strategically placed bunkers, leaving longer approaches.
Now the approach is where it’s made more difficult for the shorter hitters. Small greens leave hardly any room for error!
The general condition of the course is fantastic. Smooth greens and fairways with tidy semi rough. A smart parkland course and a must play if in the Exeter area.
The clubhouse looks like your dream home, fit for weddings and functions alike.
Mendip Spring Golf Club
Arguably the most underrated golf course in Somerset! I’ve been lucky enough to play this course on many occasions and I’ll do my best to substantiate my claim.
Mendip Spring is an easy walking course that finds character in an excellent layout and design. All the par 3’s vary in length and offer a differing challenge to players. Four par 5’s and 1 or 2 short par 4’s mean there are able birdie opportunities across the par 71, 6412 year course, and when have birdies failed to make a round enjoyable!
The 11th hole is arguably one of the best in the West. Take on two (or three) daunting shots around some great looking water hazards and trying to find a green tucked away on the right hand side of a right dogleg. See the video below!
When off the course you can stay in the newly refurbished accommodation. The bar and restaurant area has a brilliant atmosphere and even better food!
Mullion Golf Club
Honestly, It was hard to focus on the golf while being surrounded by those fabulous views. The most notable being the famous St Michael’s Mount!
Not too far north of the most southerly point in the UK.
Mullion Golf Club offers a great condition course suitable for every ability of golfer (as long as the wind stays calm).
Only 6053 yards, par 70, I believe this course has a great balance between tough and accessible golf holes.
Newquay Golf Club
Newquay Golf Club is one of those hidden gems that is somewhat under the radar due to nearby links of Trevose and St Enodoc. For many years the course played host to the famous Cornish Festival Golf Event alongside the two aforementioned golfing giants St Enodoc & Trevose.
With views across the famous Fistral Beach and out across the Atlantic Ocean, Newquay stays consistent with the Cornish style of fantastic courses accompanied by stunning vistas.
A modest 6141 yards from the blue tees, par 69, Newquay is playable all year on great greens and fast draining fairways. Newquay is often a favourite in the mid season of March, April or October due to its favourable rates and year round excellent condition.
Personal favoured hole is the par 4 12th. An opening tee shot leaves a mid length approach over a row of fairway bunkers into an elevated green, all in the shadow of the surrounding apartments, hotels and the Atlantic Ocean backdrop.
For the golfer that likes a social drink or two after their round, there isn’t many places better than the town of Newquay! Golf South West offer lots of accommodation options near this famous Cornish coastline with 4 hotels in the town, Perranporth Golf Club accommodation 10 miles south and Trevose’s lodges 20 minutes North.
Woodbury Park Golf Club
The Devon countryside has always been a fan favourite when it comes to golf courses. Woodbury Park is a brilliant combination of a hotel, golf course, spa, and corporate facilities.
Woodbury Park is used as a qualifying course for PGA members and was made famous by its association with World championship racing driver Nigel Mansell.
Woodbury is a two course, 27 hole venue. The oaks course is the 18 hole stretching over 6568 yards, par 72. The Acorns course is a short, nicely contoured 9 hole with 18 tees. Reaching only 4609 yards, par 65.
When it comes to a stay and play golf breaks, Woodbury Park’s Hotel is a 4 Star gem. Offering luxury rooms or even self-catering lodges. They are even open on Christmas!
If you are looking for a great value, high quality golfing get away in 2018, you could do far worse than Woodbury Park.
West Cornwall Golf Club
The oldest course in Kernow!
Stretching out at only 5850 yards, Par 69, but length is not this course’s defence! Challenging, blind tee shots and a whipping cross wind cause problems at all sides of the course at West Cornwall.
Views across the Hayle Estuary, St Ives Bay and the Atlantic Ocean are a pure delight. This course will test you throughout, especially with the mid-long irons. This is a not a course to pull out the big gun on every hole!
West Cornwall Golf Club offers great value for money year round including favourable society rates.
Perhaps a golf break to St Ives will be on the cards for your group in 2018?
Churston Golf Club
Seaside views from a very tidy parkland course.
Churston is a tight, tree lined course set on the south east Devon coast. Having played this course in February I assure you that condition is very good year round. Not many parkland courses can make this claim!
Again, not the longest course in the World at 6270 yards, par 70, however, lots of elevation changes and side slopes keeps the low handicapper humble. The course sss is 1 above par, not what you would normally expect from a course of this length. However factor in the small greens and typical high winds, 36 points round here is quite the achievement.
Think about teaming this course with Dartmouth and Thurlestone for a fantastic south Devon golf tour.
Bude & North Cornwall Golf Club
Recently voted 75th in a list of Britain’s best golf courses under £100.
Much like Newquay Golf Club, Bude Golf Club is situated in the heart of the town making it a favourite with golf break parties.
The early holes take you right out to the beach and the 4th, an extremely well protected par 3, turns you back towards the clubhouse.
Golf has been played here since 1891 and was in the early days for exclusive use of the officer class, with an exception only made for a Mr Harry Vardon in 1905. On his final visit in 1909 Vardon when on to post a course record 65, beating the previous record of 69… also held by him!
The course designer needs a good pat on the back. They’ve managed to do a brilliant job making an enjoyable course with very little space to do so. The skilled golfer will be tested with tight lights, uneven fairways and quick greens.
Bude is certainly one of those courses which falls into the “under-rated” category. However with an ideal setting, great layout and warm welcome on offer, Bude should be considered as part of a North Cornwall tour or perhaps a first or final day stopover course during a trip south.