South Devon is known as the English Riviera, and the Dartmouth Golf and Country Club with 27 holes of golf and accommodation is a fittingly beautiful course for such a wonderful part of England.
Dartmouth Golf and Country Club is a few miles inland from Dartmouth itself and the course is set in a valley, giving some dramatic backdrops and views on some of the holes.
There are 27 holes at Dartmoor Golf and Country Club, comprising an 18 hole Par 72 championship course and a shorter nine hole course. The shorter course is a more relaxing challenge but still has some spectacular holes such as the dramatic par 3 9th hole. The championship course is a tougher test with water featuring on 12 of the holes and the early holes on the championship course start off on one side of the valley. The 3rd hole is a great par 3 that requires a carry over water. Beware also of a steep drop off if you miss the green to the right.
They have left the best hole till last at the Dartmouth G&CC. The 18th is a dramatic par 3 that requires a carry over a lake in front of the green. The tee is set high above the green, cut into the hillside. The ground falls away from you giving you a spectacular view and a perfect finish to the championship course.
WHAT TO SEE AND DO
The views from the course provides a taste of the raw natural beauty of the region. A short drive north is Dartmoor National Park where Steven Spielberg filmed Warhorse under the secret code name “Project Exeter.” Those who have seen the Hollywood blockbuster may have been struck by the deep-red sunsets; no CGI for Speilberg – Devon really does produce some dramatic skies. Red sky at night, golfer’s delight at no rain in the morning.
Outside the National Park there are a string of pretty villages along the south coast to explore. Dartmouth is home to many good restaurants and ancient pubs, more more notably to the Royal Naval College which is the country’s only centre for Royal Naval officer training. To the south west lies Salcombe which was once a major port for the fruit trade. Today it’s well known for its Regatta held 5-11 August. The week is packed with events including fireworks on the Thursday evening. If you want to learn how to sail, Salcombe is the perfect destination. The town, which clings to a hill, overlooks an estuary which is in fact a ria, a landlocked salt water inlet with sandy beaches.
Above the town weaves the South West Coastal Path from which you can access hidden beaches. Across the ria lies the village of East Portlemouth. There is a little car and foot ferry which runs back and forth all day long to the other side.
Further west lies Hope Cove which has a cluster of thatched cottages, an old Lifeboat station and a gallery. A bit further up the coast you’ll find one of the best courses in the land. Thurlestone clings to the top of an exposed cliff and is definitely best tackled on a calm and clear day. The first twelve holes run along the headland offering sweeping views of the Atlantic and the imposing Art Deco hotel on Burgh Island. The hotel was built in 1929 by a wealthy industrialist, Archibald Nettlefold, who used it largely to entertain his friends. Noël Coward came for three days, and stayed for three weeks. Today you’ll need deep pockets to stay for any period of time.
Agatha Christie escaped to the Beach House on Burgh Island and wrote her two novels set on the island, The Sun and And Then There Were None. Wallis Simpson and Edward Windsor were also part of the 1930’s jet set who would drink cocktails all day long and watch the tides. Agatha Christie’s beach house is available to rent from £640 a night.
WHERE TO PLAY
Dartmouth Golf and Country Club - www.dgcc.co.uk
Thurlestone - www.thurlestonegolfclub.co.uk
WHERE TO STAY
Dartmouth Golf and Country Club – visit website for special offers