On the north Cornwall coast lies the olde worlde fishing village of Padstow and Rick Stein’s famous seafood restaurant. There’s plenty of action going on in this neck of the woods, including offshore shark fishing. And, there’s also plenty of excitement at Trevose Golf and Country Club, located a little further south, along the Atlantic coastline at Constantine Bay. With dramatic views across the golden sandy shore of Boobys Bay to the rugged coastline of Trevose Head, it’s sheer drama.
Founded in 1926, the great Harry Colt designed the Championship course at Trevose, and Sir Guy Campbell made minor revisions just before the Second World War. It’s an exhilarating windswept links where little else other than dune grasses survives in the bleakness.
Trevose is a stern test of golf, especially when the wind is up. There are four teeing areas to choose from, and the par 72 (73 for the ladies) links stretches out to a stern 7,172 yards from the back tees. The crumpled fairways are generous in width and the rough is kept short to keep up the speed of play and prevent too many lost balls.
Some regard Trevose as holiday golf, but the course is technically challenging and will test the very best golfers. The course record of 66 stands as a testament to its level of difficulty. Birdie opportunities are there for the taking on the three short par fives, but make the most of it because many of the par fours are aggressive and supremely challenging. Five of them stretch out over 400 yards.
The short holes are also memorable and exciting, especially the 3rd, measuring 166 yards and the 199-yard 11th, with its two-tiered plateau green. The photogenic par five 4th hole is renowned for its glorious greensite location, set hard against Boobys Bay, but many felt the hole failed to live up to its spectacular backdrop.
In 2016, as part of Mackenzie and Ebert’s masterplan, the 4th was overhauled with new tees, bunkers and a massive new undulating green. The club is clearly not content to rest on its laurels. Seven holes have already been extensively reworked. In 2018 work on the 14th, 15th and 16th completed, which included bunker modifications, extensive green surrounds work and the opening up of bare sand areas to rejuvenate habit and add interest to this trio of rather dull holes.
Some excellent facilities accompany the testing Championship course and there’s a very pleasant nine-hole course, designed by Peter Alliss, called the Headland. This shorter course is a nice warm-up ahead of Trevose's real Championship challenge.
The 3rd and 4th are the only holes that actually run along the shoreline. Three is a good one-shotter of 173 yards over a thickly grassed valley and with one bunker on the right edge of the green. The par five 4th doglegs left, following the coast and runs down to a green near the water’s edge, overlooking Booby’s Bay.
The 5th, index 2, is a very difficult par four of 466 yards. The hole runs away from the sea and doglegs left around the boundary. The par three 8th, where you play over a burn, is only 156 yards but anything hit even slightly right of the green will finish down a steep bank and if you are left then there are three bunkers awaiting.
The par five 13th runs along the boundary so anything hooked is out of bounds. Two short par fours are then followed by the demanding last three holes. Sixteen is a very long par three of 229 yards. The par four 17th has a cluster of three bunkers on the right then a burn not far short of the green. The 18th will also test your ability to reach the green in two as it is 478 yards and uphill all the way.
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.
Played this mid October and the course was in unbelievably good shape - great coverage on the fairways, super slick (and true) greens and immaculately turned out. Great test of true links golf with some classic Colt attributes.Also they completely break the mould in terms of what you would expect from traditional 'golf clubs' with its super friendly, warm and happy atmosphere (and staff). We stayed in one of their 5* eco lodges which was epic, as was Julian lloyd's onsite restaurant (no wonder he was a Rick Stein prodigy!).Will definitely be back and would recommend anyone who hasn't visited to add it to their bucket list!
Played Trevose as part of a South West tour and have to say it was the highlight for all concerned. The setting is quite unbelievable and the course was in sensational condition - impeccable fairways and greens to rival any that I've played in across the world (and I've played my share of the top courses!).The Championship Course is a tough but very fair test. Like any links course the difficulty often lies with the strength of the wind and Trevose is no different. Come wind or shine, sun or snow there's not a weak hole on the course and you're guaranteed the complete links experience. With a vista like none other in the UK and a fantastically warm welcome we've already penned in our next visit...which can't come soon enough! So if it's not been on your list then it should be.
This course makes you use every club in the bag, especially when the wind starts blowing. The 13th (par 5) is being redone and will be an incredible hole once the new green and tee complex is complete. Best course in Cornwall for sure (definitely #1 not #2) and a great test of links golf. The course is continually improving and always has new projects being completed. Big ups to the new Head Greenkeeper Jon Wood from St. Andrews, he's really making a difference here. .