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The layout starts with two peeling par 4 doglegs to the right. The first green resides amongst an attractive dune complex and it was as I approached this green that I realised this round was going to be just as enjoyable as my morning one had been.
The run that may make or break your round comes thru holes 6-8 where you will play 3 par 4's consecutively that measure over 400 yards from the blue tees. The 6th and 7th both ask strong questiosn of your stategic outlookand the 8th really poses some jeopardy around the green, particularly long of the surface.
The most enjoyable run of holes for me came from 10-14, where you traverse the ground furthest away from the clubhouse. These holes have both a serenity and quality that genuinely made me want to walk across and play them again. 14 is stroke index 1 and it is just a great golf hole, where strategy, club selection, distance control and bravery all come in to play.
The West has more variety in terms of the dispersion of par 3's and 5's across the scorecard than its older sibling. Personally, I prefer that mixture of holes and examination of all parts of your game from the tee. The 3/5/3 finish is a really fun end to the round and would provide much potential for drama in a matchplay scenario."
The course itself is brilliant fun. The first hole elevated tee box provides a great view out over the dunes and the fun to come. Most of the holes play in-between the dunes with menacing pot bunkers in play throughout.
As I sit back and reflect more than five months since our round, the first four holes all play fairly similarly from memory before you change direction on the very shot fifth.
Six and seven are flatter holes before you play back in to the dunes on 8, with a brilliant blind tee shot and a green with a very narrow entrance. This part of the course was my favourite, with holes nine and then particularly standing out, especially the elevated green on ten.
Eleven was the weakest hole on the course for me, playing alongside a ditch and twelve is again a flat, long par 4. It picks up again on the short par three thirteenth which is a brilliant green and fourteen to sixteen are excellent, testing par fours.
The rain and wind had started when we stepped onto seventeen making the 190 yard par 3 feel twice that length. The closing hole is a great dog-leg back up the hill to the lovely clubhouse.
A fantastic round and the greens were in excellent condition when we played it. For the green fee, a truly special experience for outstanding value."
Saunton isn’t the easiest place in the country to get to, but if you haven’t ticked it off your list, it’s a must for any golf fanatic.
From the moment you leave your car and make your way to the clubhouse entrance, you pass the 18th green of the East and look out over the undulating fescue covered dunes, it has you salivating for the round to come.
The East starts with an elevated tee box that offers views of the task that lies ahead. It’s a fantastic opening hole played over a decent carry onto a pristine green fairway. The course then meanders through the dunes, throwing you in all different directions. I’ve seen some critics say that the East has too many Par 4s (13 in total, including a stretch of 7), but they are all so much fun, testing and different, that it really doesn’t matter. There are doglegs rights and lefts, short and long, uphill and downhill approaches, blind drives and holes that are laid out in front of you. What more could you want?
Of the rest, the Par 3s are a real test! How you find the dance floor on the Par 3 122r 5th is anyone’s guess. Certainly our fourball wouldn’t be able to offer any suggestions here.
And the 208y Par 3 17th, when playing into the wind, is a strong wood for even the biggest hitters.
The course is immaculate throughout. The care and effort they put into not just the fairways, but the run off areas, paths, land around the creeks is just incredible and rarely seen at other courses. The greens ran true and were beautifully contoured throughout.
I can’t say good enough things about this wonderful course and if there’s a better 36 hole links venue in England, I’m all ears. I can’t wait to come back."
When you round the corner of the clubhouse and the grandeur of the course and dunes systems presents itself you are left in awe and you know you are in for a special day.
The course is very fair off the tee and the green complexes are superb. The greens on the day I visited were in excellent condition. The 13 par 4’s provide plenty of variety. Each has its own character and you never get the feeling of playing a repetitive hole. The par 3’s are as good a set as you will find on any links course.
In my opinion Saunton is a links you cannot miss. I will surely be back soon and plan to also play the West Course too."