As golfers across Britain begin to get excited by the first signs of spring, so their imaginations turn to the first away-days of the year. For many, this means chasing the sun and the extra half-an-hour of daylight to the south coast, home to some of Britain’s most exquisite rounds of golf.
Before booking your trip take a look at our roundup of some of the best courses across the region.
Saunton Golf Club, Devon
With 8 of their par 4’s stretching over 400 yards, Saunton Golf Club is a beautiful, yet challenging round. Set on the immaculate coastline of North Devonshire it is also home to the UK’s first ever Biosphere reserve, which makes for a unique round.
Initially laid out in 1897, the course has barely changed since its conception with many holes burrowing between the sand dunes, adding a feeling of silent seclusion to its long list of charms.
As one of the oldest clubs in west Sussex, and the county’s only links course, Littlehampton is an absolute delight to behold. Views across the harbour and the English Channel make for a blissful setting, whilst the heathland rough and sea breeze challenges both tee shots and approach. Catch a good dose of weather and experience the south coast of England at its most enticing.
With its luscious backdrop of Perran Bay and Atlantic-shoreline, Perranporth is a relatively short course. However, what the course lacks in length it makes up for in the complexity of its blind spots and fast ground – it’s certainly not a course for the faint hearted.
Perranporth has some of the best greens around, many of them raised, which calls for meticulous approach shots to land them. This is quickly becoming one of the region’s most popular summer haunts.
Chart Hills, Kent
An American style course complete with buggy-tracked contours and ‘anaconda’ bunkers, there is something of the PGA Tour-epic about Chart Hills. Set within large plains of water the course was Nick Faldo’s first European design job, and along with American course designer Steve Symers they have created a first for the region. Long downhill approaches, curving greens and island tees all add up to a challenging but highly memorable day out at Chart Hills.
West Sussex, Sussex
Fashioned amongst the Sussex clay, this wonderful inland course was initially designed for two ball golf (although four-ball is an option). The layouts are often quirky as is the scorecard – beginning with a short par 5, there is an immediate birdie opportunity for those sharp enough off the mark. This is followed up by 3 tricky yet highly enjoyable Par 3’s, all within the front 9. The ultimate in love/hate golf.
Royal Cinque Ports, England
Despite the best efforts of the Germans, Royal Cinque has stood for nearly 130 years; prestige and reputation surround this wonderful golf club which has hosted The British Open twice. Contrary to their counterparts at Chart Hills this is old-fashioned English golf at its best, staying true to its natural surrounding and always looking to test a golfer’s will and creativity. Be sure to pay a visit to the clubhouse and its decadent trophy room during your time at Royal Cinque.
Goodwood Downs, Sussex
Set amongst the grounds of the illustrious Goodwood Estate, this is an immaculate 72-hole course club with a world class-academy and clubhouse to match. World Number 5 Justin Rose recently became the Club’s official touring professional and said of the course; “Goodwood is a wonderful environment in which to play golf, the setting is inspirational”.
Isle of Purbeck, Dorset
Founded in 1892 and once owned by famous children’s author Enid Blyton, the view from the 5th is usually the first point of discussion at Isle of Purbeck, which offers seaside golf at its most exquisite. Glance south to the Isle of Wight or east across Poole Bay and Bournemouth – this is just one of the many breathtaking 360°panoramic views on offer at the heathland course.
As well as these fantastic courses there are a whole host of other options on the south coast. There is a range of different priced rounds on offer, and due to the beautiful and varied scenery it is always an exciting place to visit with something new to see.
Scott Beaman is a Content Writer for Golf Care, the UK’s largest provider of specialist golf insurance.