Golf Courses in Devon

Golf Courses In Devon (ver 3)
16th Tee on West Course at Saunton G.C.


Devon is the only English county to have two completely separate coastlines. While it has long been a popular holiday destination it is also home to some excellent golf.

The links in the north of the county are rated among the best in the UK. The East and West at Saunton Golf Club and Royal North Devon G.C. at Westward Ho! – the oldest course in England still at its original location.

In the South, East Devon is probably the best course but Teignmouth and Exeter are also nice courses to play.

If you’re looking for something a little more modern then maybe Woodbury Park would be worth a look.

Over the years I’ve managed to play many of the courses in Devon but I haven’t done a review of them on this site as I’ve only recently started to take photographs.

view from Ilfracombe G.C.
Stunning views from Ilfracombe G.C.

Courses Reviewed

Here are the courses that I’ve done a full review of so far:

The East Course at Saunton Golf Club. The longer and older of the two courses at Saunton. On the rare occasion you play the course without wind it will still present a good challenge but play it on a windy day and you’re likely to feel some pain!

The West Course at Saunton Golf Club. The younger and slightly shorter sibling to the East will present no less of a challenge on a windy day.

Royal North Devon Golf Club. A historic venue that harks back to a bygone era and a course that should be on everyone’s must-play list.

Ilfracombe Golf Club. A pleasant clifftop golf course with stunning views and some quirky holes. A stout pair of legs are required for the climb though!

Tiverton Golf Club. A James Braid design but not one that got my juices flowing, to be honest.

Libbaton Golf Club. A relatively new course with several interesting holes such as the par-3 7th over water.

Downes Crediton Golf Club. A pleasant parkland course with a number of memorable holes for different reasons. Excellent value for those with a county card.

Great Torrington Golf Club. An enjoyable nine-hole club in reasonable nick with lovely views of the surrounding countryside.

Fingle Glen Hotel & Golf Club. Some interesting holes but the condition lets it down.

Dartmouth Golf and Country Club. Bit pricey I feel at peak rate but a good test of golf overall.

Ashbury Hotel – Oakwood Course. Quite hilly but reasonable value for money golf.

Portmore Golf Park – Barum Course. Another hilly Devon course! I found the front 9 more enjoyable than the back, and the greens’ condition wasn’t great when I played.

Mortehoe & Woolacombe. Potentially a pleasant 9-holer but the condition is pretty poor I’m afraid.

Bovey Castle. A pretty parkland course in great nick.

Tavistock Golf Club. A bit of a throwback to how golf used to be. Played across the edge of Dartmoor on land shared with sheep and ponies. The greens were pretty good and the views were spectacular.

Dainton Park Golf Club. I played this for the first time not that long after it opened. Looking at the website it appears to have matured quite a bit. On playing it again I found it OK but nothing to really write home about.

Axe Cliff Golf Club. As the name suggests a clifftop course. The wind was so strong the first time played I think I aimed over the cliffs on a couple of holes and allowed the wind to bring the ball back into play!

Holsworthy Golf Club. Reasonable members course. Not going to set your pulse racing but decent enough. Greens were in pretty good nick.

Courses Played

I’ve played the following courses during visits to Devon in the past and will no doubt be revisiting so I can get some photos to add to a written review.

East Devon Golf Club. If your idea of great golf is wonderful views while playing on free-draining turf then East Devon should be on your list of courses to play. It is one of the nicest courses I’ve played.

Royal North Devon Golf Course flyover

Teignmouth Golf Club. An Alistair Mackenzie design near Torquay with wonderful views due to its setting 800 feet above sea level. I played in an open competition and seem to recall not doing particularly well!

Torquay Golf Club. A mature parkland golf course in the heart of the English Riviera. I recall it being in excellent condition. My enjoyment would have increased as I managed to qualify for the knockout stage of the competition.

Warren Golf Club. The only true links course on the south Devon coast. It sits within the bounds of the Dawlish Warren National Nature Reserve. A slightly quirky course and somewhat of a throwback to the sort of golf that was played years ago.

Exeter Golf Club. A mature parkland course which was in great condition when I played it. Looking at their website it seems four new holes have been added since I played there so maybe this should be high up on the list for a replay.

Churston Golf Club. If memory servers Ray Reardon was the club president. Played in an open here some years ago. The course is a mature (130 years!) parkland layout looking out over Torbay.

Woodbury Park Hotel. Once owned by a certain Nigel Mansell. I don’t recall being that wowed by it when I played. They also seem to charge single players double green fees!

Sidmouth Golf Club. Can’t really remember too much about this one I’m afraid.

Highbullen Hotel. Not greatly impressed I’m afraid. The condition was pretty poor and some parts of the course were a bit uninteresting.

Okehampton Golf Club. Some nice holes but another course to test the calf muscles!

One of Okehamptons sloping fairways
One of Okehampton’s sloping fairways

Courses I Haven’t Played Yet

Finally, the ones I haven’t got round to playing yet:

Ashbury Golf Club (3 courses to play), Bigbury Golf Club, Boringdon Park Golf Club, Elfordleigh Golf Club, Exminster Golf Club, Honiton Golf Club, Ivybridge Golf Club, Staddon Heights Golf Club, Stover Golf Club, Teign Valley Golf Club, Thurlestone Golf Club, Welbeck Manor Golf Club, Wrangaton Golf Club, Yelverton Golf Club. There are also a few courses not affiliated with the county union that I haven’t included.

Frequently Asked Questions [FAQ]

How many golf courses are there in Devon?

There are 41 golf clubs affiliated to the county union plus 3 artisan sections.

There are 39 18-hole courses, 13 9-hole and 5 par-3 courses.

Several Devon courses feature in Top 100 lists including Saunton East, Saunton West, Royal North Devon and East Devon.

What are the best golf courses in Devon?

The consensus of opinion seems to have Saunton (East) as the best with Royal North Devon, Saunton (West) and East Devon making up the top 4.

I haven’t quite played all the courses in Devon but of the ones I have played recently, I enjoyed Bovey Castle (almost all the first 12 holes are good while most of the last 6 are slightly disappointing.

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