12 days SW England

juliette91juliette91 Members Posts: 1,449 ✭✭

Renting a car at Heathrow and have about 12 days of golf available. I see many interesting courses, I'm not interested in playing the "great" and crowded with tourists courses because they're "great". Just enjoy courses that are fun to play in places I'd like to stay a night or two. Any routing itineraries you can recommend? best to all

Comments

  • duffer987duffer987 Don't feed the Choo. Canadian in CaliforniaMembers Posts: 9,015 ✭✭

    You could do worse than head dead South and start your trip at West Sussex GC (Pulborough) although then you might not find a course that's more fun after that. Petworth and the South Downs provide non-golf options and there are other heathland courses nearby.
    Head over through the New Forest to Christchurch or Poole and you have Broadstone, Parkstone, Ferndown, Isle of Purbeck, then pop over to Dartmoor or Exmoor for pubs and moorland hiking, while making your way to the coast to play some of the class links courses there. Easy drive back up to Heathrow when you're done. Really identify some villages/towns/AOBs you'd like to visit for non-golf stuff and then use top100golfcourses as a gazeteer to see what's in the area and have fun. If you're a single or twosome you can play it by ear and ring up a day or two in advance or just stop in and see about getting out on the day, helps for mitigating against bad weather.

    Thread I wrote up from a couple years back: https://forums.golfwrx.com/discussion/1304076/england-wales-golf-trip-review and one from last year: https://forums.golfwrx.com/discussion/comment/18160486#Comment_18160486

  • milesgiles1milesgiles1 Members Posts: 4

    Can you be a little more specific in where and when you are going? Does SW mean Devon and Cornwall or include Dorset, Wiltshere etc? Depending on when you are going you might find the extreme SW surprisingly quiet..

  • El GringoEl Gringo Members Posts: 70 ✭✭
    edited Apr 20, 2019 7:56am #4

    It doesn't make much sense to me to head for the West Country with 12 days and not play St Enodoc.
    I would suggest something like the following:
    1. Burnham & Berrow Champ and /or Channel
    2. Westward Ho!...could stay at Clovelly
    3. Bude & N Cornwall
    4. St Enodoc (its very easy to spend a few days in this area as a base)
    5. Perranporth
    6. West Cornwall
    7. Yelverton
    8. East Devon
    9. Warren
    10. Leckford Old
    11. Woking
    12. New Zealand
    Ciao

    Post edited by El Gringo on
    El Gringo's GB&I Golf Course Tours

    http://www.google.co...2499999965&z=11
  • juliette91juliette91 Members Posts: 1,449 ✭✭

    Thank you El Gringo and Duffer 987--and milesgiles 1 even though I didn't answer you because I don't know where we're going. I will use your information and fashion a sweet tour. Fwiw I've played in Ireland and Scotland more than a few times and find myself always avoiding the courses that are most discussed and usually make that Irish tour starting in Connemara and heading clockwise back to Dublin. The most memorable round of travel golf I've ever had was in Ireland. After being stuck behind 3 foursomes of my fellow countrymen taking 5.5 hours to play Tralee and smoking their second hand smoke cigars for 18 holes on a still wind day (sorry cigar smokers, that day really got to me) we nixed our next "important" golf course off our tour and just drove around. Found a signpost with a golf flag and an arrow down a road. Followed it to an empty space and a shack on an unusually warm and unusually windy day. Put 5 euros in the honor box and played the 9 hole track twice from different tees. The tee boxes were cut like the greens, the fairways about 1/2 inch higher and the rough-well, there wasn't much as the sheep all around had their full. I loved that day golfing and am always tuned in to the next golf flag arrow sign on a country road.

  • milesgilesmilesgiles milesgiles Members Posts: 305 ✭✭

    ^agreed

    It goes to experience against expectation.. an unknown course can wildly exceed your expectation in the way a big name course can’t hope to.
    That said, o don’t know the southwest well but am in Cornwall next month for 6 courses I haven’t played, 4 of which are relatively unknown, will report back..

  • El GringoEl Gringo Members Posts: 70 ✭✭
    edited Apr 22, 2019 2:47pm #7

    @juliette91 said:
    Found a signpost with a golf flag and an arrow down a road. Followed it to an empty space and a shack on an unusually warm and unusually windy day. Put 5 euros in the honor box and played the 9 hole track twice from different tees. The tee boxes were cut like the greens, the fairways about 1/2 inch higher and the rough-well, there wasn't much as the sheep all around had their full. I loved that day golfing and am always tuned in to the next golf flag arrow sign on a country road.

    Well, if you are serious about playing the the West Country lesser lights, try the itinerary below:

    1. Painswick...not a bad village to stay
    2. Cleeve Hill
    3. Minchinhampton Old...there is a good pub with rooms next to the course...otherwise the village of Amberley has a few options
    4. Burnham Channel...9 holes
    5. Bude & N Cornwall
    6. Perranporth
    7. West Cornwall...you could stay in Padstow for 5-7
    8. Yelverton
    9. East Devon
    10. Warren
    11. Leckford Old...9 holes
    12. New Zealand

    Though I have to say that once you see the dunes across the estuary from Padstow...you will be itching to play St Enodoc.

    Ciao

    El Gringo's GB&I Golf Course Tours

    http://www.google.co...2499999965&z=11
  • juliette91juliette91 Members Posts: 1,449 ✭✭

    Thank you both, some wise words, so true that perhaps my disappointing experience at Tralee boosted up the no name pasture track I ended up loving. Same big idea could hold true for other courses I do not know, St.Ednoc surely being one of them. So likely I'll do a combination of options you all have so generously taken the time to think through and present. Again, thank you. Very interested to hear your take on local Cornwall courses you haven't previously played. We won't be there until May 11 so perhaps milesgiles you'll have some opinions you can convey before then.

  • juliette91juliette91 Members Posts: 1,449 ✭✭

    El Gringo, taking your course suggestions, can you give me an idea of a driving route to take in say 7 of them (leaving London on May 11, plane departs to usa on May 24. Thanks!!

  • juliette91juliette91 Members Posts: 1,449 ✭✭

    El G, forgot to post the courses you suggested (that I was inquiring about routing in my last post--)

    1. Burnham & Berrow Champ and /or Channel
    2. Westward Ho!...could stay at Clovelly
    3. Bude & N Cornwall
    4. St Enodoc (its very easy to spend a few days in this area as a base)
    5. Perranporth
    6. West Cornwall
    7. Yelverton
    8. East Devon
    9. Warren
    10. Leckford Old
    11. Woking
    12. New Zealand
  • juliette91juliette91 Members Posts: 1,449 ✭✭

    milesgiles 1, I didn't know how to respond to your initial post but now I do. Our time is quite limited and we like to find home bases for a few days rather than hopscotch around SW England to check off playing at various courses.

    So we'll drive from London to Cornwall, maybe 5-51/2 hours, and find a place to stay while we play Bude, Perranporth, Mullion and St. Ednoc. Nothing is set, we don't book far in advance (maybe a day or two or three), so the courses could easily change. Not sure there is a home base to centrally get to all those courses given the coastline shape but we'll find something. We'd arrive May 11 and golf May 12,13,14,15, then start wending our way north. We'd then have the 17,18,19,20,21,22 before we had to be back into London Heathrow on the 23rd eve for the 24th flight.

    Do you think the courses I've chosen (thanks to you all) are ok? would you add or subtract from the Cornwall choices? Heading northward is there another centrally located place we could play 3 or 4 of the other suggested courses?

    Thanks much, J

  • duffer987duffer987 Don't feed the Choo. Canadian in CaliforniaMembers Posts: 9,015 ✭✭

    ^If you're looking to avoid tourists on and off the course, Clovelly fits into neat to visit but wouldn't stay, as that is one of the more touristy spots along the coast.
    Bideford makes a good base for the start.
    TBH I'm not keen on Southwest Cornwall, but if you were playing down there should likely stay down there a night or two.
    Moving over to Yelverton, would give you a chance to stay somewhere in Dartmoor National Park, which is cool.
    Back up to London, Godalming is a nicer than most town, surrounded by loads of the Surrey heathland courses for the last couple nights.

  • milesgilesmilesgiles milesgiles Members Posts: 305 ✭✭

    As it happens I’m not there til sat the 18th so don’t have a lot to contribute.. Enodoc is obviously a ‘name’ course but I’m with a large group many of whom swear it’s their uk favourite so..many of them also absolutely loathe Perranporth as there are so many blind shots lol.
    If you are linksy orientated like myself you will find a bit of a gap on the map between north Devon and South Wales. Burnham is about it. Far more golf along the south coast and less miles to get back to London. Dawlish is very cute, Teignmouth spectacular, Meyrick in Bournemouth was always in great condition and none should be expensive.. but I’d follow gringo’s suggestions he has played a lot more that way than I have

  • BB28403BB28403 Members Posts: 3,683 ✭✭

    If you see Mark crossfield, Get up dan, lockey Army, or Rory the 7. I’d love a hat with their autographs! :), on a Mizuno hat though. No Titleist ... lol.
    Have fun!!!
    And how the heck are you in England for 12 days??!!

  • North ButteNorth Butte Members Posts: 9,912 ✭✭

    @BB28403 said:
    And how the heck are you in England for 12 days??!!

    It's easy, anyone can do it!

    Fly into Heathrow on a Thursday morning and hire a car. Fly out two weeks later on the Wednesday. Head southwest, play golf every day. All it costs is money...or plastic.

    “1lb beefstak, with
    1pt bitter beer
    every 6 hours.
    1 ten-mile walk every morning.
    1 bed at 11 sharp every night.
    And don't stuff your head with things you don't understand.” 
  • juliette91juliette91 Members Posts: 1,449 ✭✭

    Winging it wasn't such a good idea after all. It's a very popular time and region so I have to carefully plan the route and book ahead. I'm so intrigued by the "off the beaten path" courses El Gringo suggested. Those are the kinds of courses I actually like to play when golf traveling, but I'm a bit torn because the more expensive and better rated courses on your list are in places I'd likely rather visit. So I've got the golf I want to play in the places I'm not as keen on. Anyway, it's a first world problem and I'm lucky to have this "problem."

  • juliette91juliette91 Members Posts: 1,449 ✭✭

    I take that back. We're just coming off a 9 day hike in the Cotswolds before this golf portion and one of the cool places I think we're going to stay at is Painswick. What I could see is that any of these golf courses El Gringo recommended--that are anywhere close to the Cotswolds--are going to be booked up. I was kinda shocked at how expensive and how tight the availability of accommodations anywhere near the Cotswolds. Now I know better.

  • juliette91juliette91 Members Posts: 1,449 ✭✭

    Since we're just coming off the Cotswolds I think we'll follow your initial routing advice El Gringo but we'll stop short of the Surrey courses as the price point is out of our range. So we'll likely end with the Warren Club and then drive to Heathrow. What about Trevose or Saunton? Both would be the high end for us but have read what seems like very good reviews?

  • duffer987duffer987 Don't feed the Choo. Canadian in CaliforniaMembers Posts: 9,015 ✭✭
    edited Apr 23, 2019 5:10am #19

    Accommodations are always going to be more difficult to find than tee times for a foursome or less. While you may want to wing the golf depending on weather or what you want to do when you wake up in the morning, definitely sorting out a couple bases would go a long way to easing the nightly stay question.

    With regards to the golf, I get wanting to play some "off the beaten path" courses, but really English and Welsh golf is nothing like Ireland or Scotland (if that's what you are trying to avoid) once you get away from the Rota courses - it's almost off the path by default in relation to the North American traveling golfer. Except for Birkdale and Royal St. Georges I've never seen a mini-coach or bus in the car park and I've never played with someone who isn't from the UK, whether they be visitors on the day or members. I've actually joined up with members and guests at lots of these top whatever English and Welsh courses, had a great time and enjoyed a few pints in the clubhouse afterwards. I don't think the golfing experience would have been more "authentic" elsewhere.

    Those courses EG mentions will be fun and interesting, he's hardly leading you astray based on your initial remit - I'm particularly keen to get to Leckford Estate at some point - and you'll enjoy yourself, but for golfers crossing an ocean who are decent sticks and really interested in seeing what fantastic options are on offer, should try and mix in a few of those courses higher up the charts. Of course we're all different and YMMV :)

  • El GringoEl Gringo Members Posts: 70 ✭✭
    edited Apr 24, 2019 10:29am #20

    @juliette91 said:
    Since we're just coming off the Cotswolds I think we'll follow your initial routing advice El Gringo but we'll stop short of the Surrey courses as the price point is out of our range. So we'll likely end with the Warren Club and then drive to Heathrow. What about Trevose or Saunton? Both would be the high end for us but have read what seems like very good reviews?

    I suggest a game around Heathrow because it gets you close to the airport which imo is always best to do if at all possible. You don't want unnecessary windshield time trying to catch a plane at Heathrow. The fact there are so many great courses near Heathrow makes it an easy chore! Given that, I would highly recommend Woking if you are a 2ball (I don't actually know how many you are) or even numbers.

    Sure, you can play the Sauntons...I am a fan of the East. It also makes it easier to stay in one place for a few days especially if you add on Westward Ho!. If you choose to play these three courses, then that likely eliminates the East Devon, Warren, Leckford Old (love this course) and Yelverton leg of the trip with considerable added green fee costs....BUT it does save some driving as you can cruise back up the M5/4 without having to deal with the dubious non-motorway east/west road system in England. That said...you have to go where the courses are.

    The easiest place to hang around for a while is Padstow/Rock/Perranporth. There is West Cornwall, Perranporth, St Enodoc and Bude all within striking distance. You have left it late for digs, but you could always check with Perranporth...they have new lodges and caravans which look good right on the course which shouldn't be overly expensive. In fact, the club likely has a deal which includes golf and some food. If there ever was a course worth seeing more than once Perranporth is it! A warning, the course is isolated from town and requires a car/taxi. Padstow is more interesting, but far more expensive. Anyway, you could spend a week in one place and play some very interesting courses.

    You have to decide on a few things:
    1. Budget
    2. Windshield time
    3. How many places to stay
    4. The must see courses

    Ciao

    Post edited by El Gringo on
    El Gringo's GB&I Golf Course Tours

    http://www.google.co...2499999965&z=11
  • juliette91juliette91 Members Posts: 1,449 ✭✭

    Thank you Duffer, I get it. Would never have known about this difference between English and Scottish/Irish courses and the big names of each. That insight alone has already heightened my interest , and will stay committed to El G's rota. best to you and will write about Leckford Old if we get on. I wrote to the Secretary there as the website didn't list fees. Here, if fees or prices aren't listed it usually means you can't afford it if you have to ask.

  • juliette91juliette91 Members Posts: 1,449 ✭✭

    El G, thank you for detailing things so clearly. Since we're staying at an airport hotel the night before our departing flight the windshield time you're describing isn't as much a factor. I'll plan out our rota tonight and try to book accommodations. Best for us to book with the idea of making a healthy number of courses and be in those places in the event we can play so many days, so with that in mind I'll find accommodations in places that we might like to visit if we're not golfing. That said, we're not the read a book all day and lie around on the beach type people, we're very active and hiking is a good alternative even if we're hiking for 9 days in the Cotswolds (our plan there is not to break any land speed records.)

  • juliette91juliette91 Members Posts: 1,449 ✭✭
    edited Apr 24, 2019 2:26am #23

    I like your comment about "decent sticks" Duffer. Here I'm around a 3.0 but I think "decent sticks" in the UK and the Republic have a different meaning. For example, my 3 here usually has me scoring like a 6-8 handicapper in the UK, so I think the handicaps here are bloated compared to Europe in general. Could be the courses, nerves, the unfamiliarity, but in the end I think it's the golfers! Our problem is that our two ball handicap differential is about 20 so choosing "challenging" courses is itself challenging.

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