Perranporth was easily my favourite when we toured Cornwall's links courses some years ago and I might have given it six balls in a flush of excitement had I written the review the same day. I have since played many great courses and this website has firmed up its criteria.
Unlike some other reviewers on this site I do not think it is meaningful to separate the "experience" from the architecture as such, as long as we as reviewers see past what we know or think to be temporary variations in weather, conditioning, our own scoring etc.
The views are one part which enhances a course just as consistently great conditioning and attention to detail would, both fsctors perhaps not as important to me as they once were, but a round at Royal County Down, Turnberry, Kingsbarns, Pennard or Perranporth would just not be the same in thick mist, without wind or with tatty greens full of dew, sorry. It is also likely that the less stellar aspects of these courses would come to the fore in a way they normally wouldn't.
Personally, I also happen to think that waiting around for five-six hours on the course is particularly unenjoyable, however fantastic the course architecture. Others may be less worried by that prospect. No doubt they are better at entertaining themselves than I am! If I get the clear impression this ultra-slow play is the normal state of affairs on week-ends I try to visit during the week or tee off at non-peak hours. If impossible to avoid, I would even consider not (re)visiting, but here we are all different.
Finally, I think the fact that a course appears easy (to me) on the day has nothing to do with how it rate it. I have had two of my best scores ever during windless days at North Berwick West and do not think any less of that course as a result.
In the spirit of full disclosure I should point out that we did play Perranporth in May and enjoyed clear weather and with dry, fast-rolling fairways so the course appeared anything but easy to us. After lunch, we had another go and discovered that we had made a couple of rookie mistakes in the morning and should have done better than we did. But, alas, the wind was stronger in the afternoon and we were sadly not. Next time....
My conclusion at the time, which has not changed, was that Perranporth is worth the journey to Cornwall on its own, but I appreciate that given the distance involved for most people it is likely to be part of some kind of tour. In that case, do allow for two rounds rather than trying to squeeze another round in somewhere else.
If your taste is anywhere close to mine, you will not regret it.
Date: December 19, 2019