Golf in North Devon
While North Devon might be more famous for surfing and the coastline, its sport heritage is rooted in golf. Golf is an extremely popular sport in North Devon and with the region’s connection to Old Tom Morris is a haven for fans of the sport.
Golfing history in North Devon
The names Tom Morris and James Braid immediately makes any golfer think of St Andrews and Scotland, yet North Devon is the home to the only course that Old Tom Morris designed and built in England. The Royal North Devon Golf Course in Westward Ho! is over 150 years old and has the oldest links in the country. This among other things is why golf is so entangled with the communities of North Devon, not just because of the fun that can be had but also because it is a firm part of the history and heritage of the county. The Royal North Devon Golf Course carries a huge historical and cultural importance and fans of the sport will love discovering more about the heritage of the course at the Golf Museum which can be found in the club house.
Some of the best courses in the country
The Royal North Devon Golf Club is one of Golf World’s Top 100 Courses in the World that golfers must play on and is widely regarded as the St Andrews of the South. The course is as tough as any of the UK’s more famous links layouts and being oldest golf course in England, is well worth a visit.
North Devon is also home to Saunton Golf Club, which was established in 1897. Not only is this one of the South West’s premier courses offering some of the most complex and challenging rounds but the course has connections to another famous name in Golf, Tommy Dunn. Tommy Dunn, son of Willie Dunn, was one of the first gold designers to build parkland courses and he was instrumental in the development of the course in Saunton which is now used for championships. Herbert Fowler, another big name in the business, created the east course in 1920 which has become an integral part of the Amateur Championships since its development.
This course at Braunton Burrows has played host to a number of incredible golfers and both the west and east courses have complex greens that demand precision.
While these are two of the more well-known sites in North Devon, they are far from being your only options. There are a number of fantastic golf courses available all over the county, with notable courses being in Ilfracombe, Mortehoe and Umberleigh. Playing golf in this region is affordable, enjoyable and offers enough of a challenge to keep golfers of all abilities on their toes.
Many of the hotels in this region have their own golf courses within their grounds and offer golfing breaks, as well as the opportunity to arrange a few rounds with a neighbouring course. For those of you looking for a slightly less challenging course with the chance to take advantage of accommodation and other facilities, take a look at Highbullen Golf and Country Club, Ilfracombe Golf Club and Portmore Golf and Country Club.
Other nearby clubs who offer affordable games include Libbaton Golf Club, Chumleigh Golf Club, Great Torrington and Mortehoe and Woolacombe Golf Club.