Holiday golf it might be, and for a low handicap golfer, Bude is there for the taking, but this is the epitome of fun, enjoyable golf.
Bumpy links ground? Check.
Sneaky hollows? Check.
Pot bunkers? Check.
Marker posts and blind drives? More than you could ever hope for.
Bude may be rough and wild and most of the course can be played with a drive and a wedge but boy, is this place a hoot. The first five holes play on the other side of the road from the clubhouse across supreme bumpy links turf - the 3rd hole playing to a raised green that’s routed alongside the boundary edge being the pick of the bunch. The course also borders the fronts of colourful terraced houses through this section reminding me of playing at Elie in Scotland. Unless you’re in the market for some post-round supermarket shopping, the Sainsburys that neighbours the course is a bit of a visual blight on the opening holes but the course is too much fun to let such details get in the way.
On the other side of the road, we have the remaining 13 holes that traverse back and forth over lovely linksland. This stretch also starts with a couple of beauties. The raised greens on the 6th and a similar but more extreme greensite again on the 7th are both charming and a challenge to make sure you get the right number with your yardage or you’ll end up with a bugger of a chip back up to the flag. I also loved the numbered marker posts that paved the way for the many blind shots, adding a real sense of character to the course.
After teeing off beside the school on nine, the terrain takes on a parkland setting which admittedly always feels a little out of character on a links, but this quickly sweeps back to the fun links ground at 11. The holes thereafter from 11 through to 18 then scissor back and forth parallel to one another up and back down the dunes. The rise and fall of the land means that there’s hardly a level lie to be had and the green complexes through this section are a real smorgasbord of delights. Not all of them may be welcomed by the modern golfer as some of the flags were near impossible to access, but this is a course that stands firm with its architectural principles that hark back to its original design 100 years ago; but a couple of dell-like greens, 14 being the best example, should give any keen golf enthusiast worth their salt a reason to make the trip.
Date: July 21, 2020