Best Golf Courses In The UK (South West)
July 23, 2018
Here at Jollybrolly, we are big golf fans, and we want to cater to fellow golfing addicts by starting a new series of the best golf courses in each part of the UK. First up, we are going to the south-west to start our journey. So, let’s see what this part of the country has to offer.
St Enodoc Golf Club
The course at St Enodoc Golf Club is located at the royal sailing town of Rock, it certainly is a quixotic and rather hilly course, set amidst towering sand dunes, it really is a thrilling golfing ride is akin to the big dipper and here in Cornwall you will find some of the best and most dramatic holes. The course is said to be streets ahead of other links courses in England and it’s one of those you really have to play to believe.
Saunton Golf Club
Devon’s well-loved course at Saunton is shielded from the Atlantic by the Braunton Burrows biosphere reserve, England's, largest sand dunes system. It’s perhaps the most demanding course in the Southwest region, with fourteen par fours, some of which stretch out beyond 400 yards. The club comes in two parts, the East and West, however, nobody will deny that Saunton has 36 of the finest seaside links hotels in England. The East course is considered to be Saunton best, but the West is pretty good too, which combines makes an outstanding venue for a golf day.
Burnham & Berrow Golf Club
The championship course at Burnham & Berrow is Somerset’s undisputed jewel which doesn’t receive anywhere near the love it deserves. A veritable who’s who of Golden Age architects have left their mark on this out-and-back links, which Darwin poetically describes as “rings round the Sandhills”. The holes around the turn are perhaps not as solid as the opening and closing holes but there is no denying whatsoever that Burnham & Berrow is peerless in the county of Somerset.
Opening back in 2005, Remedy Oak is one of the finest new courses to open in England recently. It features a wonderfully expansive site where there is an ideal mix of short, mid and long par fours, a couple reachable par five and one shot holes that vary in length from more than 200 yards to less than 150 yards. Many people in the know reckon Remedy Oak is one of the finest inland golf courses in Britain but few people had the chance to experience the course when it first opened. Thankfully the club now welcomes visitors and the word on the street is that the rather expensive green fee is worth every penny.
Parkstone Golf Club
Parkstone Golf Club is full of surprises, it’s one of England's unheralded heathland courses which consistently received very positive reviews. The main reason the course gets rated so high is that of the exciting terrain and the plethora of wonderful green sites. The undulating, twisting nature of this mature coastal property is a dream and encourages all sorts of daring shots; descending drives and approaches to elevated greens are two things that feature time and time again.
Staddon Heights Golf Club
Staddon Heights Golf Club is set magnificently atop high cliffs where there are majestic views to the northwest over the Sound to Drakes’ Island and the city of Plymouth beyond. To the south lies the English Channel and to the north and east lies Dartmoor, which completes a stunning 360-degree panorama. The course’s par 70 course measures a relatively modest 6,164 yards from the back tees where a gentle opening short par four lulls you into a false sense of security. At the western edge of the golf course is “The Wall”, one of the most unusual features to be encountered on a golf course. In reality, the wall simply defines the western boundary of the course but this course in Plymouth is the only course to have one.
The Dartmoor National Park is the largest, wildest and most beautiful area of open countryside in the south of England. The strong outward nine features the meandering trout-filled River Bovey, while the back nine takes on a more open moorland aspect. This course at Bovey Castle is charming and looks like something out of a fairytale and there have been many modifications to the course layout, but one of the most significant changes must be the excavation of the section of a huge hill, which once belonged to the 18th fairway. The hole is now much improved. The drive landing area on the par four has been softened and the blindness of the approach shot has been removed, bringing the stunning Abercromby green site into view.
Isle of Purbeck Golf Club
This golf club is positioned on a high heathland plateau from where the 360-degree panorama across the Solent and Poole Bay is just breathtaking. It is, however, a fairly hard course to classify but it’s more in the heathland mould than links and it’s certainly not parkland. The view from the elevated 5th tee is spellbinding and alone is worthy of the green fee.
This is the most northerly course which is listed in our South West Top 10. There is immense variety at Ross and although it has more short par fours than most courses of its quality, they have exceptional features. The 2nd, 10th, 14th and 17th are really severe two-shooters, Peter Townsend once describing the 10th drive as more suited to a firing range. To make up for four short par fours, there are only three par threes, varying in length from 128, 143 and 212 yards. The 6th and 8th are genuine three-shooters. Altogether this is probably the finest new inland course constructed in these islands since the 1939-45 was and is a must for the golf connoisseur.
The Yelverton golf course has flown under the radar for way too long and according to some it's a heathland golf of a high standard over a course similar to Walton Heath but without trees and some 600 feet above sea level. The course is situated on the edge of Dartmoor, the members would give you an argument if you claimed more stunning views were to be found anywhere else. Yelverton starts with a challenging long par three, which is set on the western side of the Plymouth to Tavistock main road and adjacent to the club’s impressive practice ground. Yelverton co-hosted the English Senior Men’s Open Amateur Championship in 2006 and additionally, it is home to the South West of England Open Winter Foursomes and it’s been said that this competition goes on regardless of the weather, which is a testament to the course’s year-round playability.