Perranporth Golf Club is heading upwards in the Top 100 rankings. It's highly regarded by you and it's no surprise. Located in Poldark country, on North Cornwall's dramatic Atlantic coastline, this natural links course is sited on high ground, ensuring enchanting views across Perran Bay, where the sandy beach glistens and the aquamarine ocean sparkles.
In 1927, the great James Braid designed the Perranporth links and his layout has remained virtually unchanged ever since. J.Hamilton-Stutt (golf course consultant and architect) was impressed with Braid's Perranporth and he said that the course "is not only a rare and priceless heritage, but the inspiration on which all other golf courses ever built throughout the world are based".
If you don't like blind shots, steer clear of Perranporth. There are seven blind drives and numerous blind/semi-blind approach shots, causing a few challenges, especially when playing the links for the first time and when the ground is hard and fast. The Perranporth landscape is lunar, with a capital L. The holes wend their way relentlessly up and down the dunes. It's a tiring, fun and totally engaging experience.
The course measures a modest 6,252 yards from the back tees, with a par of 72. It is by no means long, but rest assured, Perranporth will challenge the very best golfers because every shot in the book will be required. If you suffer from a lack of balance, take your stabilisers; you will be presented with many varied sloping lies. A quick word about the greens - they are excellent, hard, undulating and fast. Many are sited on raised plateaux, calling for skilful approach shots.
Perranporth is a natural and honest golf course that you need to get to know to love. Play it more than once. It is probably the most underrated links course in the South West of England and should be taken alongside St Enodoc, Trevose and West Cornwall. The stunning views are worthy of the excellent value green fee alone. The welcome is warm and friendly too. What more can any serious golfer wish for?
"Do you like Marmite?" I was asked the question in the professional's shop before our debut round on the links at Perranporth which we were warned we would love or hate.
Indeed, on our week in Cornwall, almost every golfer we have encountered has warned us of the blind shots and the inevitability of losing several balls.
In the pro's shop, I was advised that I would amass no better than mid to late 20 Stableford points even if I was having a good day. Thus, I was rather chipper to have walked off the 18th with 35 and finish with the ball with which I started.
This was all the more surprising because the mist which rolled in during our second nine was so thick we could barely see the flag on the par 3 16th and had to take provisional balls off the 17th tee, even though it transpired we had hit straight down the middle.
From the opening shot on the 1st hole, down to a green framed by the backdrop of the seaside town which lends the links its name, Perranporth, is a delight.
Yes, there are many blind tee shots but straight play is rewarded and the slopes are not as dramatic as many seaside tracks we have played.
The hallmark of Perranporth is its scenery - particularly in the front nine when the beach comes into view on most of the holes.
I was a particular fan of the 2nd - a par five with two blind shots before a green on the cliff edge.
Then there are the many raised greens, including the dramatic ninth and startling 11th.
To be honest, I have played on truer greens. These were pretty slow and flatter than most courses we have played on our top 100 quest.
And this isn't a long course - I'm a moderate hitter and regularly found my way to greens in regulation.
But it is fun because it encapsulates the ups and downs of links golf. Do Ilke Marmite? Apparently, I do.
I have a huge soft spot for Perranporth. One of my first introductions to links golf and it’s still up there as one of the most dramatic and natural links courses I have come across.
It’s certainly not long and if you don’t like blind shots, you probably won’t be a fan of this place but, for me, there is such variety, such beauty and, when the wind blows, such a challenge that it really is a special place.
I don’t really get the criticism of people saying it is too easy or not much of a challenge. St Andrews is easy for the pros when the wind isn’t blowing but that doesn’t make it a poor course or one that isn’t interesting (just to clarify, I am not comparing Perranporth to St Andrews but it is the principle I am alluding to).
James Braid has used the wild sand dunes here brilliantly and despite the lack of bunkers (I don’t think these are necessarily needed), you need to be striking the ball well to score here.
The first hole is the easiest drive on the course but with the ground all running away from you and to the left (towards the greenside bunker) this is not an easy approach. The second hole has a blind drive and a blind second between the dunes but it’s great fun trying to see where your ball has ended up.
Hole 4 is a very demanding par 3 across the wasteland and long grass that needs a well-struck long iron to carry 190 yards or your ball will be running away towards the beach and the OB stakes.
Other highlights include the par 4 7th with a great blind drive over the dunes followed by a semi-blind approach into a sort of punchbowl green, 14 is a brilliant par 4 through the dunes to an elevated green and 16 is a stunning par 3 played downhill towards the town.
18 is the weakest hole on the course but when you’ve enjoyed 17 holes that are this dramatic and exciting, you can let that go.
Whilst some people have said more bunkers should be used, I don’t think this course should be treated like other traditional links courses. When half of the drives are blind, adding in punitive pot bunkers just doesn’t seem right. I enjoy this natural links course just as it is and I’m glad it’s finally been recognised in the Cornish rankings (2nd is about right).
Perranporth is the best surprise I've ever had on a golf course. The layout is mind-blowing, and I still struggle to understand how they put holes where they did.
The whole round greets you with views over Perranporth beach and the sea, as you're right on top of the cliff. The ground movement is crazy, so make sure you're prepared for a walk. Whilst it's a tough walk, it is well worth it. The craziest holes are early on, with 2 and 3 being on the side of a huge hill, which somehow works effortlessly. 4 is a brilliant par 3 and the closest you get to the beach. 5 is a great par 5 and 6 is a lovely short par 3. Hole 7 is a brilliant par 4 to a sort of punchbowl green. My favourite holes are 12-15, where you feel, like you're playing Cruden Bay.
If you love blind shots, then Perranporth is a must play. If you don't love blind shots, you still have to play here. Just open your mind, and enjoy the excitement of seeing where your ball has ended up on the other side of the hill. There is nothing quite like this place. Don't miss it.
Just the best conditioned course I’ve played in a long while! Apparently they recently appointed a new green keeper and he’s worth every penny! Friendly staff, very friendly members and so, so many memorable holes!
Can’t wait to return, hopefully very soon!
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.
I played Perranporth several years ago in May. I did not experience the burnout to the fairways that can happen at this course during the summer months. I actually did not know of the course but passed it on the highway around 5PM and stopped in to enquire about playing the next day. I was told to simply show up at 7AM and I could play. I showed up the next day just before 7AM as a single to be greeted by 16 golfers waiting to play with the first four nearly ready to hit. After asking the lead group whether I could go out, two of them said yes while the other two grumbled slightly. I promised them that they would not see me after I played the first hole.
As I teed off, it was drizzling and there was fog. I did two warm up swings, hit, and walked as fast as I could to my ball. Taking no time I hit a second shot that was badly struck and heard a jeer or two behind me. I put my third 45 feet from the flag and then proceeded to hole a putt for par that had a rooster tail of water coming up behind it all the way into the hole. The good news was that the group behind me would see the line of the ball left in the dew, that I had made the putt and I was not a hack. I walked over to the second tee, barely spied a guide post and took a swing aiming at the middle.
The fog stayed for nearly all of the front nine. Looking back given the wild nature of the course and the blind shots, I think that was a blessing even if I did miss some terrific views. The denseness resulted in me restricting my swing a bit. The fog lifted as I putted out on the seventh hole and I got to see the longer views from this cliffside golf course. I knew I had been walking up and down through dunes with holes twisting and turning, but I had no idea how heaving the land is as well as close to the cliffs I had played. There are some marvelous views here; not quite as beautiful as at St. Enodoc Church nor as dramatic as at Old Head but somewhere in between these two. I saw these views when I returned later in the evening to walk the front nine to see the holes I had missed in the morning due to the fog.
I was rushing around the course so fast, needlessly so as it turned out, that I did not record my score until my final putt. I had shot 76. As I walked in, I noticed the lead group approaching the ninth green. My round was done in two hours. For obvious reasons, Perranporth will always hold a special place in my heart for that day.
Based on that wonderful memory for me, I should have every reason to give Perranporth a high rating. As to the golf course, it is quirky and fun. One reviewer said it was quirkier than North Berwick West and I would agree since North Berwick is only “half-quirky” if I can use that description. As I review the course in my mind and think about the his routing on this top of the hill, I do not think James Braid could have produced a finer layout than what exists. Currently under 6300 yards from the back tees, this par 72 must have been an absolute brute until the late 1950’s. I can’t imagine playing this course at even 6000 yards with the technology available prior to then. This is a golf course that has been made much easier by improvements in both the ball and the clubs.
Yet we rate the golf course not for its views, nor one’s score, and not for being able to have a fast round of golf. We evaluate a course based on the its mixture of challenge, strategy, decision-making, defenses, green contours, variations of shots, playability, etc. On many of these criteria, Perranporth falls short of being a good course primarily due to lack of length. Being short does not mean a course is weak. Merion East from the member tees is less than the back tees of Perranporth, yet it is one of the finest golf courses in the world. Many other short yardage courses are very good such as the two at The Berkshire or Swinley Forest. Perranporth has a lower rating because it does not have adequate defense other than a very windy day. Nearly every course plays more difficult on a windy day so that is not a good enough reason to give it a higher rating. The bigger issue is that it does not have enough good holes as most are average and a few are poor such as the finishing hole. Too many of the holes require one to land the ball short of the green to run onto it. Although the greens are tilted generally in the direction of the slope of the land, there are few undulations on these smooth greens. Finally, it is woefully lacking in bunkers.
Perranporth presents challenges, primarily on the par 5’s, two of the par 3’s and a couple of the par 4’s. However, given the length of the other par 4’s, it is not a difficult golf course with many holes having opportunities for birdies. Six of the par 4’s are approximately 350 yards or less.
The first hole, a short par 4 has almost no challenge to it, with a fairway and green slanted right to left. There is a high mound right of the green and a single bunker front left of the green to consider. The green has a steep fall off to the left and behind but it really should not come into play.
The second is one of the better holes, an uphill dogleg left par 5 of medium length. The tee has a lovely view of the town and the beach which continues for the next several holes. You cannot miss to the left side of the fairway on the tee shot or you will fall steeply down the hill into the bramble and high grass. The fairway has some ripples and humps in it. For the shorter hitters, there are two blinds shots on this hole before arriving at an infinity-like green with a smaller mound fronting the right side of the green that can result in sending a ball in a different direction than intended. I did think the green needed bunkers on the left and behind as it has none. It is also an overly large green for the length of the hole as well as pretty flat.
A short par 4 follows but it plays slightly longer although the tee shot is downhill. The green, however, sits well above you. Again, the miss on the tee shot is to the right as the left side falls steeply down the side of the hill. The green which has a very steep fall off to the left and behind. It is a long, narrow green and slightly tilted back to front and right to left with a spine in the middle. It was another hole I felt would have been better with at least one large, deep bunker to the left of the green.
Four is a long uphill par 3 playing along the edge of the cliff. You cannot miss to the left as the ball will fall well down the hill likely through the out-of-bounds white stakes. There are two bunkers left well short of the green which has a mound fronting the left side. The green sits in a bowl and the shot should come in from the right. It’s a nice hole but more so for the view.
Five is a longer par 5 playing back towards the clubhouse requiring a tee shot hit between two hills. It is a generous sized fairway on the other side of those hills, slanted left to right. Off the right side short of the green is a small pond followed by a green with a false front. The green has no bunkers and is fairly flat nestled into the surrounding hills. It is another hole that could have used bunkers.
Six is a short, uphill par 3 with two bunkers front and left of the green. A miss short of the green will have the ball come pretty far back down the hill, potentially into one of those bunkers. It is an almost blind shot to the green such is the uphill nature of the hole.
Another short par 4 follows which requires another blind shot uphill over a tall hill. There are two markers to guide you. A ball that just clears the hill will end up in a ravine on the other side. For the shorter hitters, the approach shot is also blind with another marker to guide you. To this point, this is most undulated fairway all the way to the green with higher dunes continuing down the left side. There is a slight dip in front of the green which has no bunkers. The hole should have greenside bunkers. The green runs back to front but is simple to read.
The eight is a par 4 under 300 yards. From an elevated tee this downhill hole has a fairway bisected by a ridge line. If you play short you will then have a blind shot to the green but if you drive over the hill there is a valley of deep grass awaiting you on the other side. If you drive it over the ridge beyond the valley there is a sizeable mound that will kick balls to the left as the land is steeply sloped to the left. From the tee the green is slightly right of the path through the middle of the ridge. The green has one bunker on the left and the land falls off to the left. Once again the green is easy to read as it is sloped sharply to the left but smooth.
Nine is a short par 4 but steeply uphill about 60 yards before the green. There are no bunkers near the green. I felt this hole was far too easy despite the potential for a blind approach shot.
Ten is another short par 4 teeing off near the clubhouse. It is a generous fairway and another hole with no bunkers. The green has a slight second tier to it but is not much. This is a bad golf hole.
Eleven is a longer par 5 with another blind tee shot but to a fairly wide fairway. The green sits off to the right and is elevated on a hill with a fall off right. Again, there are no bunkers on this hole. This is an easy hole for longer hitters to get to the green in two, perhaps with as little as a seven iron.
Twelve is another short par 4 with a blind shot just to the right of the path. Clearing the hill there is adequate fairway that narrows as you approach the green sitting uphill with fall offs front and left. Missing the fairway with your tee shot should not be a problem to recover as long as you find your ball in the rough. The green has no bunkers and is sloped with the terrain. I liked the look of the hole due to the valleys and rises on the hole but it is lacking in adequate defense. There is a lovely view from the green of the town and coastline.
Thirteen is a short par 4 of less than 300 yards and requires another blind tee shot at the marker just to the right of the path on the hill. One can hit it just about anywhere off the tee and likely still make no worse than par on another raised green. Again, there are no bunkers on the hole and the green is similar to the previous hole as is the view.
On the fourteenth tee you turn back away from the sea and towards the clubhouse. This is the longest par 4 on the course but still not 400 yards. The tee shot has to go through two hills, much like the fifth hole. Another raised green awaits you with no bunkers. There are fall offs in front and to the right with the green tilted left to right. It’s an okay golf hole.
Yet another short par 4 with a somewhat blind tee is the fifteenth. There is a wide fairway here. There are three bunkers greenside but they are smaller in size. This hole is very easy.
Sixteen is the final par 3 moving back to the sea. It is fairly long as just over 210 yards. It has a good sized green but again no bunkers. The only real defense is the tall, wispy grass if you miss the green. It’s an average hole.
Turning back to the clubhouse away from the sea is the second longest par 4 at just under 400 yards. The member tee is 50 yards forward. From the tee it is the final blind shot. If you are a short hitter the rise in the land makes the approach shot a blind shot. There are no bunkers on the hole and this one clearly should have them as the green is pretty simple and has no real fall offs around it.
The final hole is a par 4 less than 300 yards and another blind tee shot at a marker post. You go over a road here before the raised green that is pretty flat. It is not a good finishing hole.
Perranporth is a prime example of the effect of technology on golf courses. Mr. Braid expertly laid out the routing for the course, yet technology has muted its defenses provided by the number of blind shots due to the changes in terrain. The course essentially has little defense today other than high wind. This does not mean that the course is not fun, but it is lacking in challenge and thinking.
I imagine if Mr. Braid were to come back and refresh the course, knowing nearby land could not be acquired and the length from the back tees would likely still be below 6300 yards, he might do some changes to strengthen the defenses. I would think he might add about 25-50 bunkers and convert two of the shorter par 4’s into par 3’s which would allow two other par 4’s to be lengthened. This would convert the overall par from 72 to 70. People might still score the same absolute but likely be 1-3 shots more over par due to the changes to the length. Adding the bunkers would likely add to their score. I think of things like this not because a golf course has to be difficult to be fun, but I do think it has to require some thought along the way besides aiming at marker posts. These changes would add to the defense and fun of the golf course as it has a wonderful gift of its location and terrain. But this are what-ifs. Adding the bunkers would increase the annual maintenance budget which might be a non-starter. For me, Perranporth is a golf course one would go to for the combination of the views and a lovely walk which means one will have fun, but it is not a golf course one should go to test one’s game.
Mark, I think your review and average rating for a course as dynamic as Perranporth is a little unjust. Like you, I review most courses after one round. This isn’t ideal as most courses deserve multiple plays before a review can be deemed fair and balanced, but that doesn’t mean a review on a one time experience has no merit. The one thing I do debate is the fact this is an easy course. Short undoubtedly, but I personally wouldn’t comment on its difficulty after a single round in still conditions. I’ve played Perranporth twice now and I’ve failed to play to my handicap on either occasion.
Firstly, I don’t see how you can discount wind on a links course, that’s what provides the defence for most links courses and indeed most links are scoreable if you play them on a still day. You mention on several occasions greens that fall steeply to one side. I’ve found myself on the wrong side of these areas and making better than double presents a real challenge If you’re in the wrong spot. Raised greens and fall offs on a windy day provide a genuine challenge. The angled fairways also mean that few iron shots are played from a level lie and a pulled drive can end up in some sticky positions amongst heavy rough in the midst of a dune. From my personal experience, if there were more courses as fun and interesting as Perranporth, then golf would find itself in a better place.
T P Dean,
Thank you for your comments and perspective.
A good friend of mine once ranked the 400+ golf courses he had played by "best" and "experience." For nearly every golf course, the ranking was approximately the same, but for a few courses it was significantly different. Perranporth would be one of those courses for me in that the experience significantly exceeded the quality of the golf course. I loved the views, the quirkiness of the terrain, the blind shots, and the variation of the walk. I also thought the greens were smooth.
However, in terms of the golf course I did not see the challenge. I did walk the front nine later and while that is different to playing it, I don't think I would have scored much differently on a second round.
Most of the courses I rank I do play at least twice, if not more. About 85% of the courses I have ranked or will rank I have played at least twice. I do not like to rank a course after one round unless I have taken the time to really study it.
As for wind at Perranporth I had a slight breeze, but definitely did not have any gusts exceeding 15 mph. I agree with your point that wind is a primary defense of links courses but if I were to compare Perranporth with other links courses that I have played on days of high winds, on a relative basis it would still result in the ranking I gave it.
I also wonder how easy the course would play when the fairways are dry and one would get more roll on the ball.
I looked closely at the definition I chose which is"an OK course with a couple of noteworthy holes and well maintained." Perhaps I could have gone with 3.5 but I did not feel it met the requirement of a "decent course" due to the overall weakness of too many of the holes. If two-three holes had been stronger, I would have gone to 3.5.
I missed some greens but did not find recovery to be very difficult due to the simplicity of the greens. Compared to many other links courses, the greens lack significant undulations in them as they are typically only titled but do not have tiers, humps, or double breaks.
I know mos people posting reviews rank it higher and I can understand it but I just cannot get there as I debated only between 3.5 and 3. I did not consider 4 as it is not a course I would try to play twice the same day which I typically do if I like it and tee times are available. Please note that I do recommend people play it if in the area as it is an unique experience.
"3 balls - An OK course with a couple of noteworthy holes and well maintained"
This doesn't really tally with your described experience ?
I can only imagine that being fog bound dulled your experience, with most people I'd be delighted at a 75 first time up and doubly blind.
St Mellion on the South coast has everything you feel PP is lacking; acres of sand and punishment everywhere, but where's the Fun in that ?
I'm always pleased to see people making it to places like PP which need our support and are an ideal example of how a golf course can be a steward of a beautiful untamed location.
Personally though I'd hate to see it made less natural.
Dan and T P,
You have convinced me that I need to go back at some point to Perranporth and play it with others to see how the course affects other’s games. Hopefully I will have a day with some wind.
As for adding bunkers I think it can be done while making them look natural such as the bunker to the left of the first green. The same applies for shaping the greens to add some more contours.
Please note I do and will recommend people play Perranporth if they are also playing the Church course at St. Enodoc. The course deserves to be played because it is fun and enjoyable.
I do not subscribe to a position that a difficult course is guaranteed to be a better course.
Thank you for your comments.
A friend of mine was a precocious youth team player at Perranporth around 25 years ago, and actually lobbied the committee to add 1 bunker per year over time in order to make it more of a “championship test”. He regularly tore the place apart and knew all the driving lines that others couldn’t see.
Not sure of their reasons but they ignored his advice. On balance I feel this was the correct decision. When the wind really blows fairway bunkers could make it all a bit random. and not everyone is playing off of a plus handicap. Perhaps you could make an argument for a few more greenside bunkers.
Not every course needs to conform to a strict design ideal and golf’s great strength is in the diversity of courses out there. By nature we compare but sometimes it’s good to just appreciate a course for what makes it special or interesting, and not focus on what it’s lacking.
Perranporth is fantastic and it’s great that Mark will try to make his way back there - especially as it’s a region with 5-6 other courses well worth visiting (or revisiting). Look us up when you’re in town!
Perranporth. What a roller coaster ride. Be sure to visit Perranporth wearing your best suit of armour and come prepared for the battle as this course is routed across some of the craziest links terrain you’ll have seen. The course is dotted with marker posts as blind shots are found at every turn. There are large climbs and steep drop-offs as you play across elevated duneland on the side of a hill surrounded by beautiful views of the nearby bay area.
I personally love the course, but if there were going to be criticisms, one could maybe suggest that the topography is on the cusp of being too severe for routing a golf course over, so this place won’t be to everyone’s tastes. Greens are set high on plateaus and on the side of hills as well as being sunken into dunes. Elephants and all sorts of other beasts are seemingly buried into fairways, and hardly a fair bounce exists out there, so do yourself a favour and leave the scorecard in your bag and just enjoy the ride.
I’ve spoken to many people who think this place is criminally underrated, and for me it competes with Silloth in being the best value round in the country. If your time in Cornwall is limited, then you’ll find Perranporth makes a far more unique experience than the more lauded Trevose, and it comes without any of the flash presentation that often blights the more tourist friendly courses. Believe me, just go.
I’ve just made a return visit to Perranporth today in sadly torrential conditions. The course still makes for an amazingly enjoyable round of golf and continues to be one of my favourite courses in England but the greens today were substandard and very bobbly. I hope this is just a temporary issue as I’d hate to see the reputation of the course decline due to poor putting surfaces.
With a 9 am start time Perranporth was a worthy second 18 on this particular lovely day. I’ll admit to having seen photos in advance and even having a bit of an idea what was to be expected. Happily Perranporth didn’t disappoint.
After a solid first par 4 first hole and standing on the tee box of the second I was happy to have the caddy book in hand. A first go around this course is a bit of an adventure. It’s full of Old School quirk and the second hole presents the first strong introduction. Playing steeply uphill a solid drive leaves a blind second shot played into or just over large fairway humps and bumps. The approach into the green seems to be blind from most angles depending on the distance you leave. The surface of this green is tough to see given its sunken nature.
The par 4 third plays down to the fairway leaving a crazy approach up the steep face of a hill to a smallish green with a hidden surface. Quite the tricky approach to judge given the steep uphill nature.
The course continues affording one adventurous shot after another, many of which are blind. The next par 5 for example has a blind second shot after which it drops steeply with the hugely undulating and rolling terrain. I would say this property borders the extreme in terms of an ideal golf landscape however Braid makes it work and that truly shows the brilliance he possessed. The back 9 continues steeply up the hill from the clubhouse with a semi-blind tee shot, then serves up several blind or semi blind shots in a row. A couple of which are really testing and straight drives are essential as are proper choices of clubs. Too far to either side can be trouble but so can too far along a straight line.
Most certainly this is a course to be played several times before you could really get used to it and know where to look for your ball. It’s not for everyone but it’s very charming and shows how creative golf used to be.
I’d highly recommend multiple visits to Perranporth but warn you to be prepared for a wild ride and keep an open mind, you can easy lose some balls out there but one thing is for sure, you won’t be bored and likely will have a wonderful time.
Shiver Me Timbers, this place is excellent!
The first hole might be a gentle downhill drive and mid iron to an infinity green site introducing a lovely view, but from then on it’s all hands on deck as you negotiate a stormy ride to all points of the compass through twisted swirling links terrain.
The par 5 second is an excellent challenge and links landlubbers will wonder what’s hit them. You may face your first blind shot on this hole, and it won’t be your last. For some golfers this is like walking the plank, but it’ll make others feel like a buccaneering version of Tom Daley.
The 3rd offers a magnificent crow’s nest view of the hole and ocean laid out before you. You then try to judge your second shot perfectly to the poop deck of a green high up above you. And so it goes on. Each hole feels different to the last and often isn’t revealed until you reach the next tee. And even then you might not see too much on your first shot. Anticipation is everything here. It’s not a long course and there’s only a handful of bunkers (8 or 9 I counted), but the land and wind alone will serve to scuttle your hopes of a bountiful score.
Following my round I conducted some further investigations (Google, “Perranporth”, I feel lucky, Enter) and discovered that in the ancient Celtic Cornish language, “Perran Porth” actually means “Batten down the hatches you scurvy seadog”. Not surprising at all.
At risk of visiting Davy Jones’s locker, my only criticism would be that the green surrounds don’t always match the quality of the green sites themselves, or the fairways, or the views on offer. There could also be an argument for 2-3 fairway bunkers throughout the 18 holes. Maybe.
These are minor gripes by a fussy old Scallywag though. By my standards, this is a booty-full golf course which avoids the green fee piracy of lesser coastal courses. It’s links like this that prove England truly rules the golfing waves: quality, variety, strength in depth, and accessibility are all encapsulated here. It is undoubtedly a vital member of this country’s incomparable golfing flotilla. The only thing missing at Perranporth is a Jolly Roger on every flagstick, for this is a swashbuckling adventure that every serious golfer should plunder before they too become shark bait
Perranporth- As part of an 11 course march thru SW England and around bend to play a couple Wales courses....This course was the one which impressed beyond expectations. The draw to the area was St Enodoc. The course which stood out was Perranporth. Perranporth is just unique. It rolls over a massive duneland atop the hillside overlooking the bay and village. The views are majestic and the course is similar. Having played with a walking tracking devise...the walk was near twice as hilly as St Enodoc which is referred to as Hilly....Ha..Many times you trust the line via the pole stabbed in the ground at the apex of the land. Even once on a long par 3 a pole is positioned. It is a busy club. It should be a priority for you if you haven't been. It captures all of the shots, not a level lie on the entire property. It is fun and special. I was aware it was under rated...I find it comical that everyone says that and yet the course doesn't climb the lists after receiving excellent reviews....Puzzling. This course is well deserving of a trip to play it...Just do it. You will fall in love.