The very best of Cornwall golf
Cornwall is best known as the UK’s premier holiday destination. You have very likely, at some point in your life, undertaken the trip down the M5 to visit this county, usually with a packed car of bodyboards and family.
Fewer people know of Cornwall as a premier UK golfing destination, and it is our job as the South West Golf Travel Specialists to inform and inspire you. Cornwall was the first county that we chose to operate in, and for good reason, it boasts a variety of incredible links and parkland courses, nestled between Cornwall’s rolling hills, or on top of its dramatic coastlines. The quality of golf on offer means there is no shortage of courses you should add to your bucket list, did you know for example that Cornwall is home to a WORLD TOP 100 golf course? That’s a course that ranks very close to TPC Sawgrass…
So pack up the car with golf clubs and polo shirts, leave the bodyboards (and perhaps the family*) at home and let Golf South West inspire you to book an unforgettable Cornwall golf break.
This is our guide to the top 10, must-play courses in Cornwall.
*Golf South West excepts no responsibility for domestic disagreements emanating from this article
10. China Fleet Golf Club – Saltash
China Fleet Golf Club is the first Cornish golf course you encounter after crossing the Tamar bridge from Plymouth. Set in 180 acres of exquisite countryside, on the cusp of Devon and Cornwall, China Fleet Golf Club is one of the South West’s leading country clubs. The resort offers a host of facilities including a 4* hotel, bar and restaurant, leisure facilities and practice areas. The course itself is a superb 18-hole Parkland course designed by Dr Martin Grant Hawtree, and offers stunning views over the nearby Tamar river. The course provides a challenging but enjoyable experience and follows the classic design of four par threes, four par fives and the remaining 10 holes being par fours.
9. Point at Polzeath Golf Club – Polzeath
The Point at Polzeath is now a must visit course for anyone embarking on a golf break in Cornwall, recently revamped due to a multi million pound investment, this stunning course is set in 230 acres of parkland surroundings, nestled between Pentire Point and Trevose Head and boasts stunning views of the Camel River and the Atlantic Ocean. The course now runs 6300 yards and is a joy to play for golfers of all standards and was awarded the Cornwall Golf Mark Club for 2015. Improvements to the course include new tees, especially forward tees, the addition and removal of several bunkers and a brand new driving range with covered bays. This well maintained course is playable all year round, and winds brought in from the Atlantic make play varied throughout the year.
8. Newquay Golf Club – Newquay
Newquay Golf Club is a 6141 yard, par 69 links course designed by the legendary Harry Colt, and offers a scenic and challenging round of golf, with views of the Atlantic Ocean from almost every hole. Improved considerably in recent years, the course is cleverly laid out and offers a fairly gentle test when the winds are kind, but can be a far tougher test if gusts are brought in by the Atlantic. While the front nine is easy going and should not require too many golf balls, the back nine offers a strong and challenging finish that will hurt the score of anyone who underestimates it. Many difficult bunkers are dotted throughout the course and are best avoided, if you do find yourself in the sand then you will need a deft touch to save a good score. This course offers fantastic value for money with some of the best views available in the south west.
7. Carlyon Bay Golf Club – St Austell
The course at Carlyon Bay is a stunning 6500 yard championship course that is considered to be one of the best kept in Cornwall, and boasts stunning cliff top views, rolling fairways, manicured greens and well maintained hazards. Due to it’s clifftop location the course offers a unique blend of parkland and links style golf that will test all aspects of your golf game, especially when the southerly wind blows in from the English Channel. The resort at Carlyon Bay also boast a 4* hotel and state of the art spa, making this one of the finest golf hotels in Cornwall, and the perfect location for a reinvigorating weekend getaway.
6. West Cornwall Golf Club – Hayle
If you decide to embark on a Cornish golf break that takes you into the deepest parts of the county, then West Cornwall Golf Club is a must visit course. The oldest course in Cornwall is masterfully build around the sand dunes of Porth Kidney and offers stunning panoramic views from almost every hole. The course runs 5850 yards, following the banks of the River Hayle and the cliff tops that sit above St Ives Bay. Due to it’s quite exposed cliff top location, the course can change significantly depending on the wind, offering a different golfing experience each visit. When you combine this varied play with it’s beautiful location, it makes for an unforgettable golfing experience that makes Cornwall’s most westerly course a real gem to play.
5. Mullion Golf Club – Mullion
Located in the deepest parts of southern Cornwall, just a few miles away from the British mainlands most southerly point, Mullion Golf Club offers up a challenging 6000 yard course that provides golfers with the finest in links golf. The course is surrounded by dramatic landscapes and rugged cliffs, so although this course may lack in length, it certainly makes up for it with its unique breathtaking setting. Mullion, like West Cornwall, is one of those hidden gems tucked away in one of the countries hardest to reach spots, but if you decided to make the trek into the deep south, then the addition of this course is a must for any golf break. You will find that the course is in fantastic playing condition all year round and boasts clifftop views over Mounts Bay, Gunwalloe Church and the many nearby beaches. Like many of the links courses in Cornwall, the exposed nature of this course’ clifftop position mean that the wind can play a significant factor in how the course plays, and accuracy is at a premium. With it’s dramatic landscapes and challenging holes, Mullion Golf Club has all the ingredients for a fantastic golfing experience.
4. Perranporth Golf Club – Perranporth
This is one of our favourite courses in the south west. This James Braid designed course is located atop the rugged cliffs above the beaches of Perranporth. A wonderfully constructed links course that consistently ranks inside the top 100 courses in the UK and is definitely one of the must visit golfing destinations in the South West. Thanks to the surrounding landscape, this wonderful links course is full of natural contours, creating a unique experience on every hole. Throughout the course there are no less than 16 marker posts, meaning a course planner for your first visit is definitely advisable. On top of the varied and challenging golf on offer, the course is perfectly located to offer you panoramic views of the surrounding Cornish countryside, the rugged coastline and the Atlantic Ocean. This 6296 yard, par 72 with its undulating fairways, lightning fast greens and picturesque backdrops, provide an exciting challenge for beginners and experienced players alike. If you are heading anyway near Padstow, Newquay or Truro during your time in Cornwall, you simply must take a trip over to Perranporth Golf Club.
3. St Mellion International Resort (Nicklaus) – Saltash
St Mellion International Resort is a 12 time European tour venue that designer Jack Nicklaus described as one of the finest golf courses in all of Europe. In 2010, St Mellion underwent a £20 million refurbishment across both the golf course and the hotel, creating one of the premier stay and play venues in the UK. The resort sits at the gateway to Cornwall, just a short drive from the ocean city of Plymouth. The course has been immaculately finished, with noticeable definition between the different cuts of rough, sculpted fairways, lightning fast greens and a number of elevated tees that give fantastic views of the holes and the rest of the course. There are no easy holes at St Mellion and water and bunker hazards are scattered around every hole, making accuracy key for posting a good score. St Mellion was Nicklaus’ first venture into European course design and this stunning course boasts all the characteristics of a designer who pays attention to detail in every aspect of it’s design. The result is an outstanding golfing experience. St Mellion International is also one of the finest golf hotel resorts in the South West, making it perfect for a stay and play break.
2. Trevose Golf Club (Championship) – Padstow
Trevose Golf Club is considered to be one of the finest Links courses in all of the UK. Another course designed by the legendary Harry Colt of Augusta National, Pine Valley, Sunningdale, Royal Portrush and Muirfield fame, this course has become one of the most popular golfing destinations in the South West, and has to be a must visit if you are planning a Cornwall golf break.The course at Trevose provides breathtaking links golf right on the edge of the Atlantic coastline. As with all true links courses the wind is always a major factor and means that no two days are ever the same at this magnificent course. The location helps the course to be playable 12 months of the year and it’s condition is maintained to the highest standard, leading this course to be selected to host many major events in recent years, including The Brabazon Trophy (2008), The McGregor Trophy (2012) and the English Men’s County Finals (2017).
Away from the Championship course, Trevose offers a different challenge in the way of the Headland course. Measuring just over 3000 yards the headland course provides a thrilling 9 holes of golf including a truly unique view awaiting you upon your arrival at the 5th green! The final piece of the jigsaw at Trevose is The Short Course set around the Chapel of St Constantine’s. This par 3/4 course will allow the less experienced golfer to enjoy the delights of Trevose without fighting around the 7000+ yard Championship course. The Short Course is also regularly used by experienced players looking to hone their short game before the main event.
1. St Enodoc Golf Club (Church) – Rock
St Enodoc is the #1 ranked course in Cornwall, #11 in England and #89 in the world. This course demonstrates a links course of perfection, situated on the north Cornwall coast it boasts spectacular views of the River Camel and outwards into the Atlantic Ocean. The fact you are reading this means you may be interested in a golf break including Cornwall’s golf jewel. Each hole at St Enodoc feels unique due to the undulating terrain and tight fairways. Courage, accuracy and concentration is a must if players want to make a good score. The latter can, however, prove a little tricky as you look out across the stunning Camel Estuary at Padstow and the Atlantic Ocean from your perfectly manicured location. Based in Rock, St Enodoc Golf Club is easily accessible from Padstow, Newquay, Bude, Truro, Bodmin, Saltash & Launceston. If you want to play the best of the best during your stay in Cornwall, then it is a must that you make this course an addition to your Cornwall golf break.
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