Thurlestone

Thurlestone

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Course Information

Situated in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Thurlestone offers a mix of links and clifftop terrain

Expect quintessential Devon scenery and a clifftop course running along the stunning coastline of Bigbury Bay with breathtaking views from Thurlestone Rock in the east to Burgh Island in the west.

Harry Colt routed the course along the coastline of Bigbury Bay and from the clifftop holes you take in expansive views of Thurlestone Rock to the east and the Avon Estuary and Burgh Island in the opposite direction.

Ideal ‘holiday golf’ and the very essence of relaxed fun, at various points you are enjoying views of rocky seascapes above the coves where smugglers used to operate.

Of course it is affected by the wind but unlike some clifftop courses, these fairways are sufficiently generous to give all of us plenty of margin for error.

Highlights on the back nine include the 16th, with its temptation to cut off the corner of this sharp dog-leg and get close to the green rather than aim for the marker post and try to find the well-protected target from there.

The back-to-back holes at 11 and 12 are also notable. First, a solid drive is required to get you to the top of the hill, from which you get a good sight of the green…as well as Bantham Beach and Burgh Island.

It’s a tough long hole, albeit the prevailing wind is likely to be behind you, giving long hitters the chance to get home in two. For the rest of us, the third is key, finding the right section of a green slopes that steeply from back to front.

On the front half, the 144-yard 6th requires a sweet strike to find its target or you will be playing your second from sand. In addition to a birdie putt, your reward is a terrific vista.

The journey down to Thurlestone, on the south Devon coast, is a dramatic one. On the way, the scenery changes several times as you move from moorland towards the coast.

Thurlestone is something of an outpost, finding itself halfway between Plymouth and Torquay. Getting here involves the kind of journey I associate with Ireland. It’s all windy little roads and hedgerows. Just when you think you can’t go any further, it opens up into a village. And then off you go again.

It quickly establishes itself as being entirely open, and defended by an alliance of wind and contours.

With most of the holes on the same broad stretch of land, an absence of trees, lots of natural green sites and, to its great credit, little in the way of long grass, there are any number of ways Thurlestone could have been configured.

Curiously, the opening hole is in a paddock all of its own while the 18th finishes, unsatisfactorily, well away from and out of sight of the clubhouse. What’s more, the last runs parallel to the seventh on what is the narrowest part of the course and which is lined by expensive property.

It feels like there must be a solution that tackles all of the above but it’s too much for us to work out. All we know is, Thurlestone is an outpost more than worth visiting. Chris Bertram

NCG Top 100 Fun Golf Courses in GB & Ireland

Information

Harry Colt

01548 560405

Thurlestone , Kingsbridge , Devon , TQ7 3NZ