The west course at Saunton was our morning round at the club and a great introduction to the sprawling links land here. The first hole is quite short but perfectly sculpted with a raised tee and green and much interest in between. The land is perfect for a links in that it meets most people’s television-inspired view of a links, with very few flat holes The par threes are almost as good as those on the East course with the 4th, 16th, and 18th, played from raised tees, all excellent. The long holes offer great variety although maybe not as much as the East course which is epic. However, I would echo the thoughts of others that the West is no addendum, it is fantastic in its own right. The par 4 7th could be played in any number of ways but picking the correct line to carry the stream and stop in the fairway while keeping the approach as short as possible is a tough task for the first timer, but is enticing and infuriating in equal measure. Those who think that a links course should be ‘fair’ will not regret playing here. The fairways are firm so some bounces may be unexpected but I struggle to remember a tricky blind shot and the greens are well kept on both courses at Saunton. There is always a choice of shots into the greens so you don’t have to hit towering approaches to score well. Stay out of the long rough though, especially when it is drying out from the early morning sea mist.
Date: June 15, 2012