To call this the 2nd course at Saunton seems to be doing the West a disservice. In fact I am surprised there are 40 places between the East and West in the current rankings. This is an excellent course in it’s own right, albeit very different to the East.
The West is shorter, due to having more Par 3s, the dunes are less prevalent and with the rough being less penal, the course felt a little more open. It also felt a lot less links-like than the East, certainly through the middle stretch. This is a course you can score well on if you plot your way round and find the right part of the fairway. A creek winds it’s way around the course and offers a variance of plays on a number of holes.
The opening three holes are fantastic, with the Par 4 2nd being one of the best across the 36 at Saunton. A narrow tee shot across a carry and doglegging right around a huge dune is not for the faint of heart. The closing stretch from the 13th to home are superb as they play back into the Dunes. The natural elevation here not only shapes 6 very different holes, but also offers some of the best vistas at Saunton. The tee box on the 16th must be one of the best in England. You can stand here for a few minutes and take in what a lovely part of the world this is.
I’m not normally a fan of Par 3 finishing holes, but here I’ll make an exception as it is a lovely one shot finish.
Throughout Saunton the conditions are fantastic with so much care and attention given to all areas, not just the greens and fairways. Huge credit must go to the green keepers.
There is only one hole I would change across the 36 here and that’s the short Par 3 9th, as it doesn’t seem in keeping with the rest of the quality on offer and in fact looks like a short hole you’d expect to see in somewhere like Portugal, but that is a tiny minor blip in what is otherwise a golfing haven.
As I’ve said in my Saunton (East) post, the members here are some lucky folk, as they have two cracking courses to choose from and it won’t be long until my return.
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Date: September 01, 2020