Top 10 Golf Courses in Cornwall 2015
Cornwall Best in County rankings updated
With a population estimated at around the half a million mark, Cornwall is one of the least populated counties in England. Along with Brittany, Isle of Man, Scotland, Wales and Ireland, the region is recognised as a Celtic Nation, with a unique cultural identity reflecting its historical background.
Cornwall comprises the westernmost portion of England’s southwest peninsula and it’s a popular holiday destination, despite its relative remoteness from the rest of the country. Over five million tourists visit Cornwall every year, accounting for around a quarter of the area’s economic income.
Sailing, surfing and other water sports engage many of the visitors to the region but there’s also some great golf to be found here, especially along the spectacular seaside. With more than thirty clubs spread across the county, you’re never more than a short drive away from a course, wherever you might find yourself.
We maintain a Top 10 for Cornwall and, since we introduced our regional rankings in 2012, the top four positions in our chart have remained the same. That means the St Enodoc (Church) 18-hole layout at St Enodoc Golf Club retains the number 1 spot. The links currently enjoys a 5-ball average review score, which is quite remarkable for a course that has attracted more than forty posts.
The Trevose (Championship) links occupies the number 2 slot in our listings and this old Harry Colt track was recently described by Richard Smith, one of our regular American contributors, as “a nice breath of fresh air that gives you some room off the tee and numerous openings in front of the greens to play bump and run shots”.
The St Mellion (Nicklaus) 18-hole layout is at number 3 and this Jack Nicklaus course – the Golden Bear’s first European design when it opened in 1988 – is a tough test, no matter which tees are used. The St Mellion International resort underwent a multi-million pound redevelopment in 2008 and this resulted in the unveiling of the Kernow course, a shorter and more forgiving track that complements Jack’s layout perfectly.
At number 4, Perranporth is a James Braid creation and it’s reckoned to be the only links layout that the master architect ever designed from scratch. Situated on high ground, with wonderful views across Perran Bay, the course has few bunkers but it requires a number of blind shots to be played off the tee or approaching the green. The holes were re-sequenced in the 1980s but Braid’s work remains largely in place.
Two courses make upward moves in our revised Cornwall chart: Rising one spot to number 5, we have West Cornwall, where Top 100 Editor-in-Chief Keith Baxter recently played, describing it as “near to the top of my ‘quirky course’ list, which is the essence of seaside golf.” Also climbing two places to number seven, Newquay is a Harry Colt design which dates back to 1908, when the original course was expanded following an acquisition of land from the Treffy Estate.
There’s only one new entry in the new listings, with China Fleet making way for Lanhydrock Hotel and Golf Club’s course at number 10. Situated close to the town of Bodmin, the modern parkland facility at Lanhydrock is owned and operated by the Bond family, which created the Nicklaus course at St Mellion.
We’re grateful to all the clubs and professional golfers who assisted with our re-ranking process for this county. To view details of all the courses in our Cornwall Top 10 rankings click the link. If you have extensive experience of playing across the south west region of England and would like to contribute to our next re-ranking exercise then please email Editor-in-Chief Keith Baxter at [email protected].
11 September 2015 Respond to this article