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The Links Courses of South West England

The Links Courses of South West England

 

So, what is a “links course”? I sincerely hope that the majority of golfers reading this have a good understanding of what defines a links. Here is our own description –

A links course is first and foremost near the coast. The most important factor is that the soil is sand based, there will be a lack of trees and an abundance of rough. Sea-views are going to be common but due to the height of sand dunes & banks, not every course has them. Apart from the odd bit of course work, these sand-based courses drain well all year and offer great quality winter golf.

We haven’t gone down the rating route this time but hopefully the brief bit information we provide below helps you when choosing a location for your golf tour next year.

As always, our information is based on our personal experience and client feedback.

Pricing system (Based on high season green fee) –
£ = < £50
££ = £50 – £75
£££ = £75 – £100
££££ = £100 – £150
£££££ = £150+

Let’s start in North Somerset and work our way around the South West Coastline…

 

Weston-super-Mare Golf Club, Somerset

Par (White/Red) – 70/72
Length (White/Red) – 6245/5549

In a nutshell…an easier walking links, not too many changes in elevation during the round. The wind can be a nightmare, it swirls over the sand dunes and causes confusion. A small walk from the 4th green to the 5th tee has some of the best views on the course.

Feature Hole – 10th, Par 4. Has a great backdrop coming back towards the clubhouse, long hitters can reach if downwind.
Hardest Hole –15th, Par 4. Designed to play like the 17th at St Andrews. A card ruining hole! OOB down the right, yuck.
Easiest Hole – 8th, Par 5. Predominantly the wind plays off the left/down. Wide driving hole but the green is very undulating.
Price Range – ££

Popular Package – The Mid Somerset Golf Tour

Burnham & Berrow Golf Club (Championship Course), Somerset

Par (White/Red) – 71/74
Length (Green/White/Red) – 6988/6725/5768

In a nutshell…recently featured in our top 10 stay and play venues, Burnham is regularly hosting top amateur & professional events. Burnham have really focused on the experience that visitors receive from checking in at the professional shop to winding down in the clubhouse after the round.

Feature Hole – 9th, Par 3. Any of the par 3s really, but since the new tee on the 9th, the hole has become a great finish to the front 9.
Hardest Hole – 6th, Par 4. The new tee now brings the water into play, zero bail outs. Tough!
Easiest Hole – 16th, Par 4. Widest fairway, huge green. A nice breather before the tough 17th and 18th
Price Range – ££££

Popular Package – The 3 Night Somerset Special Tour

Burnham & Berrow Golf Club (Channel Course), Somerset

Par – 70
Length (White/Red) – 5852/5093

In a nutshell…9 greens, 18 tees. Arguably one of the best 9-hole circuits you will come across. Squeezed between the Championship Course and the beach, this little links is narrow with small greens. A real test of golf for all abilities.

Feature Hole – 8th/17th, Par 3. The best par 3 you will play, fact.
Hardest Hole – 2nd/11th, Par 4. Dog leg left, tough drive trouble left and right.
Easiest Hole – 1st/10th, Par 4. One of the wider tee shots, short second shot and a pretty flat green.
Price Range – £

Popular Package – The Burnham Golf Break

Minehead & West Somerset Golf Club, Somerset

Par – 72
Length (White/Red) – 6264/6213

In a nutshell…outstanding views, mostly on the back nine. No hole is like the last, which make this shorter links great fun. It is certainly unique which makes it a perfect candidate for Somerset County matches and competitions.

Feature Hole – 18th, Par 3. is certainly one to remember, long par 3 with the clubhouse behind.
Hardest Hole – 18th, Par 3. Again, a real tough finish, OOB all around the green.
Easiest Hole – 1st, Par 4. A simple start, driveable par 4. No real trouble here
Price Range – £

Popular Package – The Somerset Coastline Tour

Saunton Golf Club (East Course), Devon

Par (White/Red) – 71/74
Length (Blue/White/Red) – 6774/6444/5934

In a nutshell…1 of 2 incredible links courses at Saunton. The East Course is the longer, tighter and more punishing of the two. Regular host of top amateur and professional events. Fairways are key, you can’t hope to shoot a good score hitting it sideways here. Zero forgiveness! Yes, it is a tough course but, it is extremely enjoyable so you shouldn’t be put off.

Feature Hole – 17th, Par 3. Superb hole to look at but gives you no rest from what is a tough finishing stretch.
Hardest Hole – 14th, Par 4. Could have any hole here but the 14th is long and narrow with a real narrow green
Easiest Hole – 3rd, Par 4. A nice driving iron tee shot, leave a shortish shot in, not too much trouble to deal with.
Price Range – ££££

Popular Package – The North Devon Golf Break

Saunton Golf Club (West Course), Devon

Par – 71
Length (Blue/White/Red) – 6596/6200/5314

In a nutshell…The shorter, slightly friendlier of the two Saunton courses. Lots of positioning needed from the tee, greens like the East (small to medium) in size. As with most links, the wind direction can make this course just as tough as its older brother.

Feature Hole – 18th, Par 3. If you’re playing the East the next day, this long par 3 is tough and will give you a feel for things to come.
Hardest Hole – 14th, Par 4. Never know how much corner to take off, small green that plays on an angle if you bail out to the right from the tee
Easiest Hole – 3rd, Par 5. You’d be unlucky to find the stream on the left. A strong tee shot won’t leave too much in to the green.
Price Range – ££££

Popular Package – The Devon Atlantic Coastline Tour

Royal North Devon Golf Club, Devon

Par (White/Red) – 72/73
Length (Black/White/Red) – 7044/6682/5708

In a nutshell…the oldest golf club in England. An old school design with wide open tee shots and big greens, it makes for a very enjoyable round. I would advise opening your shoulders up and letting the driver have some fun. It is long from the back tees and positioning is key if you’re going to score well.

Feature Hole – 8th, Par 3. Love this hole, right out at the far side of the course. Long but fair! Rumours we could have the 7th, 8th and 9th remodelled, it will be a shame, but the plans look great!
Hardest Hole – 10th, Par 4. You go from wide open to a narrow tee shot through the buckthorn. Seen many rounds ruined through 10 & 11.
Easiest Hole – 4th, Par 4. If you can carry it 200 yards you are fine.
Price Range – £££

Popular Package – The North Devon Golf Break

Bude & North Cornwall Golf Club, Cornwall

Par – 71
Length (White/Red) – 6063/5347

In a nutshell…Smack bang in the middle of town. Similar in a way to courses like Minehead, Weston-s-M and Newquay. Although shorter in length than some of its colleagues, strategic bunkers and hollows make it a tough test for all abilities.

Feature Hole – 4th, Par 3. Really nice short shot guarded well by a “U” shape of bunkers.
Hardest Hole – 6th, Par 4. Crosses the 18th. OOB all the way along the right side
Easiest Hole – 10th, Par 3. Not a long hole, will certainly yield birdies.
Price Range – £

Popular Package – The North Cornwall Taster Tour

St Enodoc Golf Club, Cornwall

Par (White/Red) – 69/73
Length (Blue/White/Red) – 6557/6299/5718

In a nutshell…The famous St Enodoc Church Course, featuring in the WORLD top 100 courses! Stunning view across to Padstow. A solid test of golf from the back pegs but the fairways are reasonably sized which gives every golfer a chance.

Feature Hole – 6th, Par 4. Always gets the most attention due to the oversized “Himalaya” bunker that stands tall at the end of the fairway. Blind second shot makes this a very hard green to hit.
Hardest Hole – 10th, Par 5. Without a doubt the toughest. Forced to play short off the tee and then a long second shot is required.
Easiest Hole – 7th, Par 4. Elevated tee which allows you to see the hole stretched ahead of you. Bunkers are the only defence for this hole.
Price Range – £££

Popular Package – The Polzeath Rock Tour

Trevose Golf & Country Club, Cornwall

Par (White/Red) – 71/75
Length (Blue/White/Red) – 7079/6415/5819

In a nutshell…As seen in the recent stay & play blog where it came number 1. The course plays host to the European Seniors Tour Legend Links Championship which is returning next year. Straight from the first tee you are faced with a gorgeous view across the course and out to the Atlantic.

Feature Hole – 4th, Par 5. Fairway sweeping from right to left. The green was renovated a few years ago and has been a brilliant improvement.
Hardest Hole – 11th, Par 3. Not a green you want to miss! But it’s going through a face lift so this might change!
Easiest Hole – 6th, Par 4. A good drive will get you close to or even on the green.
Price Range – £££

Popular Package –  The Perfect 1 Night, 2 Round Tour

Newquay Golf Club, Cornwall

Par (White/Red) – 69/73
Length (White/Red) – 6141/5364

In a nutshell…Another one of those central town links. Firstly, you will notice the views out to the Atlantic, they can’t really be missed. The golf course doesn’t cover much ground, but they have done extremely well to design a brilliant links course within what is always a busy town.

Feature Hole – 8th, Par 5. Plays parallel to the beach at the lowest point of the course.
Hardest Hole – 2nd, Par 3. If it is a breezy day, you may not have enough club to reach! Horribly small green.
Easiest Hole – 3rd, Par 4. Perfect timing after the hard 2nd. Not much trouble off the tee here and reachable for the long hitters
Price Range – £

Popular Package – The Newquay Golf Tour

Perranporth Golf Club, Cornwall

Par – 72
Length (White/Red) – 6296/5302

In a nutshell…Buy a course planner! Many blind shots which include maker posts. These posts aren’t always in the correct position due to the wind direction. Another links that featured in the top stay & plays. Lodges are nestled between the 7th and 8th.

Feature Hole – 2nd, Par 5. A double dogleg requiring two marker posts.
Hardest Hole – 7th, Par 4. From the back tee, it can be tough to get the line right. Challenging green awaits.
Easiest Hole – 1st, Par 4. A reasonable start. In the summer your drive can run a long way down leaving a short shot in.
Price Range – £

Popular Package – The Great Western Links Tour

West Cornwall Golf Club, Cornwall

Par (White/Red) – 69/72
Length (White/Red) – 5850/5307

In a nutshell… Arguably the best views on the North Coast of Cornwall. Keep your driver in your bag as some positional shots take real accuracy. Save the big stick for the back 9 where the course opens out and becomes more scoreable.

Feature Hole – 10th, Par 4. A blind tee shot and heavily protected two-tier green. Runs along the coastal railway and has spectacular views.
Hardest Hole – 9th, Par 4. Long uphill dog leg with a heavily protected small green which you don’t want to miss right, can ruin anyone’s front 9.
Easiest Hole – 13th, Par 4. It is often drivable and is a great opportunity to get one back against the course.
Price Range – £

Popular Package – The 59 Package

Mullion Golf Club, Cornwall

Par (White/Red) – 70/72
Length (White/Red) – 6053/5422

In a nutshell… Britain’s most southerly course is hard to get to, but with views to numb the pain of any double-bogey – it’s well worth the journey. The cliff top course has a stunning aesthetic that sits on top of South Western Cornish coastline which overlooks Mounts Bay. In the wind – be prepared as it can be a real test for all abilities.

Feature Hole – 10th, Par 4. A well place tee shot on the fairway will leave you a downhill second shot, towards the beach, which must avoid the dreaded ravine to the right of the green which can make even the best golfers look silly.
Hardest Hole – 7th, Par 4. A long hole at the bottom of the golf course with trouble left and right off the tee. A long club is required into a well-protected hourglass shaped green.
Easiest Hole – 16th, Par 3. On paper this short par 3 is the easiest hole and generally only requires a wedge but heavily protected with bunkers you better not miss the green!
Price Range – £

Popular Package – The South Cornwall Stopover Tour

Thurlestone Golf Club, Devon

Par (White/Red) – 70/73
Length (White/Red) – 6268/5538

In a nutshell… One of the South West’s premiere golf courses and a must play if visiting East Devon. A Harry Colt design, this cliff top links offers, year-round play, beautiful views and is perfect addition to a Devon golf tour. Peter Alliss has previously drawn comparisons between Thurlestone and Pebble Beach. Losing a ball off the side of the clifftop is a genuine possibility on more than one occasion during the round!

Feature Hole – 3rd, Par 3. Beautifully constructed short hole. Play out to the headland with the danger of the rugged cliffs on your left.
Hardest Hole – 10th, Par 4. Imposing and tight into a long, narrow green and often the wind!
Easiest Hole – 1st, Par 4. From the tee it looks tight but have faith that there is more room right than you think. A clear chance for an opening birdie.
Price Range – ££

Popular Package – The Dartmoor Golf Tour

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