It had been too long since my last visit to Thurlestone, I enjoyed even it even more playing course in high summer. The front 9 runs along the spectacular south Devon coastline before heading inland and uphill before returning to the club house towards the sea again, the UK’s Pebble Beach tag is well earned.
The back nine is very much secondary in quality and architecture, only the last 3 holes meet the high standard going out but the holes are still fun, just a few too many pedestrian side by side holes for my liking. For me it’s the par 3’s which standout as the best holes, especially going out, all have their own character and are orientated in different directions so there’s the need to take the wind into account on every hole.
Some might describe this as ‘holiday golf’ but I think it’s a tougher challenge, the fairways are generous but when I played very firm so it wasn’t too difficult to see balls to run out and the rough can really cost you, especially if you’re too wayward you’d end up in waist high rough and a lost ball. The courses main defence is the wind and the green complexes which harbour a lot of deep bunkers and drop offs, the greens don’t have too much slope and medium pace so you’ll normally be able to 2 putt without problem.
I had a pleasure of playing with a couple of members who were great company and generous with their insights into playing the course. If you’re in the South West it’s certainly worth seeking it out, I think it deserves to be higher in the Devon rankings but still behind the classic links of the north coast.
Date: July 23, 2020