In this article, I will attempt to summarise Devon's diverse golfing experiences into four categories, in the hope that at least one of these will cater to your specific golfing preference.
If you're a links golf aficionado, although limited, Devon does not hold any punches. The region boasts some of the best links courses in the world, with challenging holes, ever-changing coastal winds, and buckets of history.
Royal North Devon Golf Club, located on the historic North West Coast, is the oldest links course in England and a must-visit destination for golfers. Established in 1864, this championship course offers an incredible challenge for even the most experienced golfers. The course features stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean, the town of Westward Ho! and the beautiful surrounding area, making for an unforgettable golfing experience.
Saunton Golf Club, just across the estuary, is another world-renowned links course that golfers should not miss. The club has two championship courses, the East Course and the West Course, both of which offer great views of the dunes and surrounding area. The courses have hosted numerous international golf events over the years and are sure to leave a lasting impression on any golfer.
Devon's wild and windswept moorland and heathland courses offer a unique and memorable golfing experience. Yelverton Golf Club, perched on the edge of Dartmoor National Park, is a prime example. A quirky start with a par three followed by crossing a main road. The rest of this challenging course features old mine workings, plenty of strategically placed bunkers, and stunning views of the surrounding Dartmoor.
Golfers seeking a heathland-style course should check out Teignmouth Golf Club, located high above the picturesque seaside town of Teignmouth. This course features gorse, mature trees, bunkers, and well-draining heathland terrain, providing a challenging round of golf that's suitable for players of all levels. On a clear day, you are afforded breathtaking 360 views of Dartmoor, the Teign estuary and the sea.
Another excellent option is the East Devon Golf Club, located in the charming coastal town of Budleigh Salterton. This heathland course features fast-running fairways, well-manicured greens and plenty of heather. All three of these courses offer a unique and unforgettable golfing experience that showcases the rugged beauty that Devon has to offer.
If you're looking for a classic golfing experience, Devon's parkland courses won't disappoint, starting with Exeter Golf and Country Club. Located in the suburbs of the city, offers a challenging course that's suitable for players of all levels. With its grand Georgian clubhouse and almost 100 years of history, you will find your time well spent amongst the mature trees, well-manicured greens, and the odd water hazard to keep you on your toes.
Travelling towards the south, the Churston Golf Club, which is situated slightly north of Brixham and intricately crafted by the renowned Harry Colt, provides an exciting golfing experience. Beginning within the village, the course takes you on a thrilling journey, winding its way over a railway line, past opulent residences and ultimately reaching Churston Cove atop the cliffs. The greens have been meticulously designed, while the bunkers are strategically placed to create a challenging experience for golfers, offering glimpses of the beautiful Torbay.
A highly recommended alternative can be found in Bovey Castle Golf Club, which is situated in the Dartmoor National Park. The golf course and the stunning hotel are situated within a picturesque parkland estate, providing an exclusive and luxurious ambience. The first nine holes of the course meander alongside and above the River Bovey. The remaining nine holes present a more undulating course that is also thoroughly enjoyable to play.
For those seeking a complete golfing getaway, Devon has several resorts that offer golf as part of their amenities. These resorts feature a range of courses, from links to parkland, as well as luxurious accommodations, dining, and leisure facilities.
The Woodbury Park Golf Club in East Devon is one such resort, offering a picturesque but hilly, Oaks parkland course. Huge USGA greens, no two holes are the same and you are entertained the whole way round. The resort also boasts extensive practice facilities, including a driving range, putting greens, and chipping areas, as well as a luxurious spa and fitness centre.
The Dartmouth Golf and Country Club, located in the beautiful South Hams region of Devon, features two challenging courses, the Championship Course and the Dartmouth Course, both of which offer stunning views of the surrounding countryside. The resort also offers luxurious accommodation, a spa, a fitness center, and a range of dining options.
Another popular resort is the The Manor House hotel & Ashbury Hotel, located on the edge of northern edge of the Dartmoor National Park. This resort features four 18 hole golf courses, ranging from parkland to heathland, an 18 hole par 3 plus 9 hole academy course, as well as accommodation, a spa, indoor and outdoor sports facilities, and a range of dining options.
Devon is a golfing paradise, offering stunning courses that cater to all levels of golfers. Whether you're seeking a challenging round of links golf, a peaceful game on a parkland course, or a complete golfing getaway at a resort, Devon has something for everyone. So pack your clubs, head to Devon, and experience the scenic hills and craggy coastlines that make this region a golfing dream.
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