A unique old-school links where you get a sense of the game's history

Royal North Devon Golf Club Course Review

Green Fee Range: £70

Medal Tee: Par 72 – 6,682 Yards

Visitor Times: Sunday to Friday after 9:30, Saturday after 14:00

Website: www.royalnorthdevongolfclub.co.uk

Royal North Devon Golf Club Course Review

The links at Westward Ho! in Devon is steeped in history, so its recent battles with coastal erosion have understandably been headlines news. Sharing the fairways with sheep and horses evokes a tangible link to the game’s roots.

Founded in 1864, Royal North Devon (RND) is the oldest course in England.

Covered in sea rushes and grazed upon by sheep and wild horses, it can take a couple of rounds to begin to understand the subtleties of this great links.

Although RND appears to be flat there are many undulations and run-offs to deceive and perplex. It’s often difficult to see where you’re trying to go from the tee and, on a number of occasions, the only option is to trust your swing and commit.

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Royal North Devon Golf Club Course Review

This is epitomised by the tee shot on the 4th hole, ‘Cape’. Here you have to make a long carry over a huge sleepered bunker, and failure to do so could mean a ruined scorecard.

In general, there’s plenty of space off the tee, but things tighten up on the 10th and 11th holes where you really have to find a precise drive.

The greens are firm and true and they feature a number of difficult slopes and collection areas. It’s not surprising that members at RND tend to have good short games.

The clubhouse is evidence of the club’s rich history. Packed with golfing memorabilia, there are few better places to enjoy a post-round tipple.

Course changes since previous ranking

None

Proposed course changes

Changes to holes 7-9 due to coastal erosion

Golf Monthly Verdict

A unique blend of pure, classic links and more unusual reed-lined holes.