What we say
Accuracy is essential otherwise you will be climbing and searching the many sand banks. A brilliantly designed links with a wide variety of holes. Can be fairly benign on a calm day but with a touch of wind a real challenge. Perfect springy seaside turf, wildlife all around, and a collection of classy long par 4s.
A shining star of the classy collection of Atlantic Links courses and arguably the best links venue in the south west. Indeed six-times major winner Sir Nick Faldo once declared: “I have no doubt that if the East Course were located on the coast of Lancashire or Kent, it would have hosted an Open by now.” Faldo has a point: the East is Saunton’s main attraction is both good and challenging enough to examine the best players so you had better turn up with your A game, specially if the wind is blowing.
While the newer West course - it opened in 1974 - the higher and more spectacularly rugged duneland towards the sea, the century old East has always been the Championship layout and serves up one treat after another. None more so than at the stroke index one 4th which demands your Sunday best drive to a fairway that narrows into a neck protected by four pot traps.
Saunton Golf Club has to be one of the biggest accumulations of linksland anywhere in the world with enough dunes to build 15 golf courses let alone two. Don't play the star-studded East without a warm-up because you start with a devilish 472-yard par-4 and things don't get much easier after that, with two more long par-4s in the next three holes.
Saunton Golf Club was formed in May 1897 and was originally a nine-hole golf course but was extended to 12 holes by 1906 and to 18 holes in 1908. A clubhouse was built in 1907 at a cost of £1,000 and can still be seen as a private house to the right of the East Course's 16th fairway.
In 1923 an exhibition match was arranged between Harry Vardon (who had won the Open six times and the US Open) and J.H.Taylor (five times Open Champion). Then in 1929 another exhibition match was arranged to celebrate the opening of a new Clubhouse, which the club uses today. It was between J.H.Taylor, James Braid and the up and-coming Henry Cotton! Saunton has another cracking links layout on its hands in the form of the 18 hole 6,403 yards par 71 West Golf Course.
Stay & Play: The four star Saunton Sands Hotel is close by.
- TG Rating
- Players Rating
- Address Saunton, , BRAUNTON
- Tel 01271 812436
- Website www.sauntongolf.co.uk
|Green Fees||1 May to 30 September: Full Rate Day 1: £90; Twilight 18 Holes: £45; April and October: Full Rate Day 1 £60; Twilight: £35; November to March 2014/15: Full Rate 18 Holes: £48|
|Course Length||6,427 yards (5,877 metres)|
- Course has: Bar
- Course has: Buggy Hire
- Course has: Driving Range
- Course does not have: Practice Green
- Course has: Pro Shop
- Course has: Restaurant
- Course has: Trolley Hire
- Course does not have: Dress Code
- Course has: Club Hire
- Course has: Handicap
Played in a Seniors Competition on Wednesday. Loved the course although greens not as good as one would expect from a links course. Not the most warm and welcoming club I have experienced. Seemed to be a trend of people doing other things and making a point of breaking off to attend to you - started in the Pro's shop through to the bar where the staff continued reading whilst we were waiting to be served. The only people to come out with any credit were the caterers who were friendly and attentive. The rest, including the office staff, seemed to view the whole event as an irritant. Really disappointed that such a prestigious club can destroy the thrill of playing an exceptional golf course with such an indifferent attitude. Quiet reflection of the scores also suggests that not all is as well adminstered as it could be when it comes to handicaps - the winning team scoring 50 points playing off a handicap of 24 beggars belief and that certainly helped to confirm the overall impression that we have of Saunton Sands.
A must play, East in the morning West in the afternoon. In the fine weather we had in mid-March 2009, we had the last laugh versus those making the pilgrimage to southern parts of overpriced euroland for their spring golf fix. In short-sleeved shirts, we wondered at the views, the perfect greens and well kempt bunkers and thought we'd gone to heaven. It doesn't get better than this!
a super course with a nice mix of holes - the 1st is a real tough nut but the short par 3 'tiddler' does ease the pain later in the round. we got on a summer twilight green fee which seemed good value but we were suprised about how poor the greens were
We booked to play Saunton and were initially disappointed that we were unable to play both courses over two days as the championship course (East) was having extensive work carried out on its irrigation system. However on arrival we were all extremly impressed. Saunton is a wonderful setting and from standing outside the clubhouse you look over the 18th green of the East course at the most picturesque piece of links land imagineable. We played the course off the white tees. The course itself is tough but fair with lots of elevated tees allowing to you see not only the hole but also the hazards and beautiful scenery. The course was in excellent condition with very quick and true greens.It is extremely well kept with natural bunkers well placed on each hole. The course has some superb holes. The 432 yard 14th is a real challenge, a long dog leg to the left which runs around a very large dune. I also enjoyed the 8th which again is a slightly elevated tee to a green 382 yards away that is two tiered. The course has 5 par 3's that are all challenging as well as 4 par 5's, two of which are easily reachable in two. On all the holes missing the fairway leads to trouble in the longer grass meaning a dropped shot more often than not. The green fee includes a meal voucher and the service and quality of both the food and beer in the clubhouse was very good. We thoroughly enjoyed the experience at Saunton and will return to play this and the East course next year.