True, you’ll find most of the very best golfing attractions in the popular seaside holiday destinations of Devon and Cornwall but overall the south west offers a lot more – especially when it comes to value for money.
The Atlantic Links courses are top quality throughout the year and you can experience two of the best – Trevose and St Enodoc – for £120 this winter – and that includes an overnight stay at Trevose G&CC. Add another tenner to that price and you can enjoy historic Royal North Devon, the oldest links in the country, and nearby Saunton East plus overnight accommodation at a three-star Barnstaple hotel. Visit atlantic-links.co.uk/breaks/winter-specials
Cornwall’s other coastal treats include ancient West Cornwall – it’s the county’s oldest course – and Perranporth, a rollercoaster of a James Braid layout dramatically perched on the cliffs. Both belong to 2-FORE!-1 – West Cornwall in winter only – while you can encounter Perranporth in a Winter Foursomes event on Oct 19 for £50 per pair. It’s a short drive from Newquay GC – a flat, easy-walking links – which you can try out in a Pairs Open on Nov 6 (£20 per pair).
Meanwhile, inland challenges don’t come any tougher or more intimidating than the mighty Nicklaus course at St Mellion. It may surprise you to know that Devon’s Manor House is the country’s biggest golfing venue: in total, it offers 99 holes of golf plotted on a 600-acre complex nestling in the foothills of Dartmoor National Park. All guests receive free golf and four-night November breaks are available from £175pp. Other highlights include Somerset’s Worlebury, which spectacularly sits 200ft above sea level, while Thurlestone is somewhat unheralded... even if it is regarded as ‘Devon’s Pebble Beach’!
The Ryder Cup may be done and dusted but if you’re keen to put your matchplay skills – and nerve – to the test, then Bristol duo The Kendleshire and The Players Club will duly oblige. They both feature plenty of risk-reward holes with the former even boasting a Sawgrass island-green lookalike.