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?
A yardage of 6272 is quite respectable for a hilly course with the longest hole, the 561-yard 11th, appropriately named ‘Formidable’. You won’t have played any course with names as good as Perranporth’s first two holes – ‘Yn Nans’ (Downhill) and ‘Whym Wham’ (This way and That).
Spectacular views out to sea and across the sandy inlet abound from all parts of the course and a number of greens are alarmingly close to the cliffs and dunes running along the shore line. It is hard to concentrate on your putting when you look up from the 4th and 12th green, in particular.
Index 1 is the 14th (‘Braid’s Finest’) which is a super par four reminiscent of holes at Ballybunion or Lahinch. A dune protects the left of the green and anywhere right is straight down the cliff. When Perranporth dries out in the summer season, your ball control and short game will be fully tested.
This review is an edited extract from Another Journey through the Links, which has been reproduced with David Worley’s kind permission. The author has exclusively rated for us every English course featured in his book. Another Journey through the Links is available for Australian buyers via www.golfbooks.com.au and through Amazon for buyers from other countries.