One of England's leading resorts is perfect for groups, with two high-class courses – including one by Jack Nicklaus – and a large 4-star hotel
With a course by Jack Nicklaus and a terrific No.2 allied to a modern hotel, it is easy to see why St Mellion is regarded as one of the top 20 resorts in Britain and Ireland.
The St Mellion back story
St Mellion is one of the best-known resorts in England by virtue of its strong European Tour pedigree.
It has two fine courses set in 450 acres set in peaceful Cornish countryside and a large modern hotel with lots of non-golf facilities. As a result, it was ranked 14th in our inaugural Top 100 Resorts in Britain and Ireland list.
It is located inland, 15 minutes from Plymouth on Devon’s south coast bordering with Cornwall.
The Nicklaus course
Often with leading resorts, the hotel can slightly overshadow the golf offering, but that is not the case here; the Nicklaus course is undoubtedly the headline attraction.
It opened for play in 1988 and was the first European course personally designed by Jack Nicklaus who said when it opened: “I knew it was going to be good but not this good.”
His course instantly began its strong association with the European Tour by hosting the B&H International Open and always attracted a strong field – illustrated by winners including Bernhard Langer and Seve Ballesteros.
It was always noted as one of the year’s toughest tests for even elite players and that remains the case today, even though it can be made playable for higher handicappers by playing off the 6,200-yard tees.
Water hazards, large bunkers and rough punish waywardness – not least on the stellar closing hole or on St Mellion’s ‘Amen Corner’ from the 10th to the 12th.
The Kernow course
This was the resort’s first course when it opened as the Old in 1976 and within three years it had also hosted the B&H. It also later staged the Tournament Players Championship, but despite this championship calibre its wide fairways and more friendly greens make it a more forgiving course than the Nicklaus.
It was renovated in 2008 and is one of the leading second courses in England – it’s not impossible visitors might leave with it as their No.1 here.
It’s worth noting that both courses are within a minute’s walk of the hotel, for this is an extremely well-planned resort.
The main accommodation is in the large four-star hotel but there are also self-catering options in detached cottages.
Expect smart, neat en-suite rooms with excellent showers, heated mirrors and Elemis toiletries.
Families are easily accommodated via adjoining rooms or with a rollaway bed.
There are two dining options, in a more informal bar area or the main restaurant.
Off the course
St Mellion backs up its golf courses in comprehensive style with tennis courts, billiard table, a large indoor swimming pool, sauna and a very well-equipped fitness centre.
Outwith the resort you can explore picturesque Devon, Dartmoor and Bodmin Moor, pretty Cornish villages such as Rock plus Padstow’s beaches, as well as the Eden Project and the Lost Gardens of Heligan.
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