Much damage was done during World War II as this area was used as a training ground prior to the D-day landings. The damage was so great that the East course did not reopen for play until January 1952.
You can’t get a much tougher start than a 478-yard par four. The 2nd hole is not much longer and it is a par five with several fairway bunkers that need to be avoided. Then follow two more par fours over 400 yards.
From the 6th to the 12th is a succession of seven par fours but they are all quite varied and I did not for one moment feel any sense of monotony. At this stage, there has been just the one par three, the little 5th, known as ‘Tiddler’.
The 17th is a very tough par three of 207 yards with three bunkers and plenty of rough-clad mounds. The 18th is a glorious finishing hole, gently uphill and with a slight dogleg right and then a fairly long second shot to a lovely green framed by the clubhouse behind.
Considering there are only two par fives, both relatively short, Saunton (East) is a formidable 6779 yards from the blue and 6427 yards from the white tees. This really is a top class course with plenty of challenges but all set out in a fair manner.
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.
Date: May 18, 2015