Royal North Devon

Royal North Devon

Royal North Devon Golf Club

Royal North Devon Golf Club | NCG Top 100s: GB&I Golf Courses

Royal North Devon is based in Westward Ho! in the south west of England. The club was founded in 1864, and therefore is the oldest golf course in the country.

The golf course is as tough as any of the UK’s more famous links layouts and is a must-play on a trip to the south west of England.

Visit Royal North Devon's website here.
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A Brief History of Royal North Devon

1864 saw the founding of Royal North Devon, making it the first ever golf club in England.

The course has barely changed over its history, with only some tees being added to lengthen the course in line with technological advancements.

The great JH Taylor grew up just down the road from Royal North Devon, and it was his home course for a number of years. He started off as a caddie there, before then going on to become one of the best golfers of his generation.

He won the Open Championship on five occasions and was a part of the great triumvirate of golf at that time, alongside James Braid and Harry Vardon. Taylor became President of Royal North Devon in 1957.

Not only is Taylor one of the club's favourite sons, but the honours board has some incredible names on it. The likes of Herbert Fowler, Horace Hutchinson and Harold Hilton have all been victorious at Royal North Devon.

Royal North Devon Golf Club Review | NCG Top 100s: GB&I Golf Courses

Following the introduction of the three new holes, Royal North Devon plays at more than 7,000 yards from the Championship Black tees. The course remains a par 72 lay-out and is one of the most challenging golf courses in southern England.

The course begins with a 521-yard par-5, in which the longer hitters can reach in two shots. It features a lengthy carry off the tee, and a ditch all down the right hand side. 2 and a 3 are both tough par-4s, measuring at more than 420 yards apiece. 4 features a menacing cross bunker which can be as deep as 15 feet, The longer hitters can easily carry that bunker with their drive, and it can then provide a birdie opportunity.

The 5th is the first par-3 on the course, and it is one of the showpiece holes at Royal North Devon. Eight pot bunkers guard the green at all angles, and as you play to an elevated green, club selection is crucial. After the par-4 6th, you come to the new trio of holes that have been designed and built within the last decade. 7 is the second par-5 on the course, and at 553 yards, it is usually a three-shotter. Three bunkers are in the fairway, with another two guarding the green. 8 is a 193 yard par-3 with the closing hole on the front side playing into the prevailing wind. 478 yards, but playing more like 500 with the wind, it is a slight dog-leg left and a par is a great score.

The back nine begins with three lengthy par-4s, all of which provide different tests to get the second half of Royal North Devon underway. 13 is a gettable par-5, measuring in at just 475 yards. Reachable in two, it is very much a birdie chance, if not eagle. 14 is the longest par-3 on the property, at 207 yards from the tips. An accurate approach is required before you get into the closing stretch.

That final run of holes begins with the par-4 15th and at 431 yards, it is a tough test. 16 is then the final par-3 at Royal North Devon and is just 160 yards. 17 is the longest hole on the course, measuring in at 554 yards. The final par-5, it is a three-shot hole, with a road and ditch in front of the green, meaning a high, lofted shot is required for your approach. The final hole has a ditch all down the right side, which then runs in front of the green as well. A tough finale at Royal North Devon.

Where is Royal North Devon Golf Club located?

The Royal North Devon Golf Club is situated on the southwest coast of England, just outside the towns of Westward Ho! and Bideford.

The nearest international airport is Bristol Airport. That is around 90 miles from Royal North Devon, and approximately a two-hour drive. London Heathrow Airport will provide the most international flights in the southern part of England, with Heathrow sitting just under 200 miles from Royal North Devon.

What are the green fees at Royal North Devon Golf Club?

A round at Royal North Devon Golf Club throughout the week in the summer months will cost you £100. That includes Sundays as well as weekdays. A round on a Saturday is slightly more expensive, at £120.

Visit Royal North Devon's website here.
Go back to the NCG Top 100s Homepage.