Review for Royal North Devon

Reviewer Score:


Your first impression might leave you feeling disappointed as you survey the flat, rather featureless, opening and closing holes. This may even lead to bemusement when you also notice the sheep around the burn in front of the 18th green and the horses nearby.

The 1st, 2nd and 18th holes, together with the 17th green, lie on the flat land on the clubhouse side of the narrow road that provides access to the beach for the public. All of these holes have a burn running alongside or across or both.

From the 4th to the 16th holes, Westward Ho! reveals its true self, with crumpled fairways, penal bunkers and the dreaded tall and spikey sea rushes occupying large areas of the middle of the course.

The par four 4th is over the famous ‘Cape’ bunker, stretching across the whole fairway and supported by railway sleepers. This is a blind drive and you will need to carry about 180 yards to be sure of clearing the hazard.

If you still need to be convinced that this is not a mundane outing then wait until you survey the 10th hole. I did say hole, not fairway, because all you can see from the tee is the invasion of the sea rushes. Your drive can be right of the marker post but left is very dangerous.

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 and through Amazon for buyers from other countries.

Date: May 17, 2015

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