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East Devon Golf Club

East Devon: A unique heathland course with spectacular Jurassic Coast views

With help from Harry Colt, Herbert Fowler and James Braid, East Devon Golf Club has become a southern gem, with stunning views over the Jurassic Coast.

 

East Devon Golf Club finds itself on a clifftop between Exmouth and Budleigh Salterton, set in the East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It really doesn’t get much airtime outside the local area, but this place is the real deal.

Peter Alliss regarded the view from the 16th tee here as one of the best views in golf, but East Devon certainly doesn’t rely on its looks alone.

It’s a heathland for the most part, measuring 6344 yards and rising to 450 feet at its highest point, with a touch of moorland and one hole, the 7th, which seems to be on a completely different piece of land and is parkland in nature.

All you need to know about East Devon Golf Club

History

Golf has been played in Budleigh Salterton since 1894, with the original Budleigh Salterton Golf Club being a 9-hole course situated on the east bank of the River Otter.

Although benefiting from commanding views (like those of the current course) there were problems with the location, notably the lack of a full 18 holes and difficult access.

East Devon Golf Club as we know it today opened in 1902, but the current course was largely created in the 1920’s.

Harry Colt, with notable contributions from Herbert Fowler and James Braid, is responsible for the design of this classy layout. At times, you could be in Surrey or Berkshire.

Not just for the look of the holes but also the impeccable conditioning with wonderfully firm fairways and greens.

What makes East Devon Golf Club special

The natural heathland of East Devon is rarer than rain forest.

In 2020 the club, in partnership with Clinton Devon Estates who own the land, embarked on a programme of restoration to return much of the land to that which Colt would have seen. This will allow the heather and other native plants to flourish.

It is not uncommon to see deer crossing the fairways or grazing behind a green and buzzards and peregrine falcons flying overhead. As well as the beautiful heather there is also an array of wild flowers including orchids displaying at different times of the year.

We should also offer a tip of the hat to the greens staff here – this is one of the best conditioned courses we have played across England’s south.

East Devon is a cracker and it should enter the wider conversation more frequently when discussing great heathland golf.

Where is it?

East Devon Golf Club is around four miles east of Exmouth on the East Devon Jurassic Coast, near the picturesque town of Budleigh Salterton.

Get in touch

For more information about the club and course, visit East Devon’s website or call them on 01395 443370.

Have you ever played at East Devon? What did you think of the course? Let us know with a post on X/Twitter!

Matt Coles

Matt Coles

Mention a European country, and Matt will tell you which resorts make the National Club Golfer Top 100s: European Resorts list. He might even throw in who designed the golf course and how many rooms the hotel has got at each one…

Matt got into the game of golf from a young age, following his old man to the local golf club. He fell for the sport, and now can’t seem to go a day without thinking about how to improve his game (Thanks Dad!). Matt has been a member of Howley Hall GC in Leeds since 2020, and is just about managing to maintain a single-figure handicap. He likes to remind people that he once broke 75, but won’t tell people that it was on a shortened course during the winter.

He moved to Leeds after graduating from the University of Central Lancashire with a First Class Honours degree in Sports Journalism. Matt joined NCG after almost five years travelling the world with the Professional Squash Association, working on events in all four corners of the globe.

Matt currently plays a Cobra King LTDx driver and RadSpeed 3-wood. TaylorMade monopolise the rest of his bag, with a SIM UDI, M5 irons and both Milled Grind and HI-TOE wedges, along with a Monza Redline putter. He uses a Vice Pro Plus golf ball, because he’s a bit different…

Away from golf, Matt is a Manchester United fan, and a keen runner, having ran the Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon (his first and possibly last), in May 2023.

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