Kenny’s top FORE! golf courses around North Devon
North Devon is home to the UK's most unique and challenging golf courses, all of which are within easy reach of our Devon holiday parks.
With the rain we experienced towards the start of the year and now the prolonged period of sunshine, the courses are in peak condition and ready to be taken to by keen golfers on holidays in Devon.
From the Championship greens at Saunton top the undulating fairways at Ilfracombe, here are my top FORE! (see what I did there?) golf courses around North Devon.
Saunton Golf Club
Set in the remote shadows of Braunton Burrows are the two Championship courses of Saunton Golf Club.
Despite the growth of new courses nationwide, Saunton's have remained competitive and rank well in Golf World's 'Top 100 Courses'. There is only one other club in the UK with two better 18 holes of links, St Andrews.
Since the early 1920s the East course has been the premier golf course in the West Country. Chosen to host a range of Championships, it was a 17 year old Sergio Garcia who won the British Boys' Championship here in 1997.
Sir Nick Faldo once said: "I've no doubt if the East Course were located on the coast of Lancashire or Kent it would have hosted an Open Championship by now."
The West course often plays second fiddle, but you'd be mistaken to think this is any less of a challenge. The course carries the same characteristics as the East and you'll need to hit the ball straight off the tee or risk finding some treacherous rough.
Ilfracombe Golf Club
Set on top of the rugged coastal cliffs, rarely can you experience 18 holes of golf with more breathtaking views, from Lundy Island to the Welsh Coast and Atlantic horizon.
Ilfracombe's micro-climate, along with skilled maintenance, keeps the fairways lush and greens true on this undulating course.
Each hole offers a different challenge for golfers of all abilities and when the sea breeze starts swirling, it's a true test for the best.
'A view of the sea from every tee'.
Royal North Devon Golf Club
Founded in 1864 and located on the Northam Burrows between Northam and Wesward Ho! is the oldest links in England, Royal North Devon Golf Club.
The club oozes a rich history and its importance in the game is clear from the golf museum to the honour boards featured in the corridors and around clubhouse.
Like Saunton, RND is placed in Golf World's 'Top 100 Courses' and it's widely regarded as the St Andrews of the South. The course is as tough as links come, with 6,650 yards of fast-paced and unforgiving golf you'll need to bring your A game to score well.
What better to time to play a round than during its 150th year?
Portmore Golf Park
Portmore Golf Park is located in the heart of North Devon, on the outskirts of Barnstaple.
It's shorter in comparison to Saunton and Royal North Devon, but a stern test nonetheless. The 18 hole Barum Course features some interesting risk /reward holes and keeping your ball on the short stuff is key, with a number of water hazards lurking close-by if you don't.
Portmore welcomes golfers of all abilities, so if the Barum course is too daunting, the 9 hole Landkey Par 3 gives you the chance to fine tune your short game. Alternatively you can get the driver out and take to the 23 bay golf range to try and reach the final flag.