“If you are a good golfer at Perranporth, you will be a great golfer anywhere else” remarked a member to us, prior to our round. It’s a sentence I hear a lot about certain courses, but at Perranporth, we were about to find out why…
I’d heard amazing things about the course both in design, vistas, and its rugged playing style, but had also been briefed about its blind tee shots, undulating fairways and most of all, (if you catch it on the wrong day), the weather can bring even the most accomplished links player to their knees.
We arrived to light rain, and a steady off shore breeze and were surprised to find the clubhouse closed (9.45am on a Sunday morning). We managed to barter our way into the bar area to seek refuge from the rain prior to our round, but no service was available which was unfortunate.
And so we assembled on the first tee in what was now a stronger wind (gusting 35 MPH) and heavy rain. The first tee doesn’t give you any clues as to what is to lie ahead as it’s a nice downhill opening hole and a good chance for a birdie to kickstart the round, but then the course bares it teeth from the 2nd hole which for me is one of the main signature holes of the course. 510 Yards uphill dogleg left Par 5 that plays every single one of its 510 yards, even when wind assisted. You tee off into a steep slope with a marker post taunting you, you then navigate through a spectacular undulating fairway to a beautifully framed green complex with the ocean looming behind like a blue sightscreen. Other notable holes are the Par 5 11th hole with an amazing benched green that requires you to adjust club selection to get it up on top and the two short Par 4s of 12 & 13 offer differing strategies of attack.
If you have scored well on the opening 15 holes, then be prepared for a tough 3 holes to close out your round, as the 209 yard Par 3, 392 Yard Par 4 and 289 Yard Par 4 18th all go in different directions, so the wind will play a huge factor on these closing holes. The 18th being a very quirky risk/reward par 4 which asks that one final question of what will have been a tough days golf!
The other noteable aspect of the course is the sheer number of blind shots you are asked to play. On some holes you are required to hit two blind shots before the green is visible and this will certainly grind some mid/higher handicappers down. It is a feature of this course and one that will divide opinion.
There is no doubt that Perranporth is very good and challenging course, in fact you would be hard pushed to find a more stern examination of your golf game on a blustery day on the coast, but it is a course that I would imagine you would enjoy a lot more the 2nd time around, as at least that way you’d have an idea what lies beyond those many MANY marker posts. Be prepared for a wild ride!
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Date: July 23, 2021