Royal North Devon Golf Club

Royal North Devon Golf Club, Westward Ho!, South West, England, EX39 1HD

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15 reviews of Royal North Devon Golf Club

I played here on 10/04/2015 on a very calm and warm day and i loved every minute of it. the front nine is more interesting than the back with holes 4 to 8 running along the coast being the most scenic as well as the most challenging. having birdied the first i thought it would be my day but the course bit back especially on the 12th where i hit my ball slightly left and never saw it again, however i went round in 82 blows which played exactly to my handicap. a great day and i shall return

Posted by James Milligan on 13/04/2015
4
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  • Green conditions4
  • Clubhouse4
  • Course challenge4
  • Staff service4
  • Value for money4

Had a fantastic round of golf here yesterday. The place is steeped in history as England's oldest golf course, but it didn't seem to have any of the stuffiness that sometimes accompanies age.
I've read that the first few holes are a bit bland, but there's no way I'd complain after a birdy on the 1st.
I thought RND was fantastic and it lulled me into a false sense of security as I went through 9 holes 5 under my handicap. Then it bit me. I struggled through the next 4 holes before rallying. Those holes cost me 6 golf balls.
I absolutely loved it despite my travails and will definitely be back when I'm next in the area.

Posted by Iain McGlade on 16/09/2014
5
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  • Green conditions5
  • Clubhouse5
  • Course challenge5
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  • Value for money4

I have just returned from a Devon golf tour during which I played two rounds at Royal North Devon. I had previously played RND on a seriously grey, dreary, wet day with howling winds and to be honest I wasn't expecting much from the course.

What a difference a bit of sunshine makes though! The course was 10 times as good as I recalled...probably due to the fact that I couldn't see much of it due to the weather last time out!

The course starts off with a couple of bland but challenging holes when played into the wind. From the 3rd tee onwards the course really gets interesting and is a superb, if a little quirky, test of links golf.

Mind boggling undulations, devilish pot bunkers and thick, punishing seaside rushes are common features but they can be avoided once you have an understanding of which side of particular holes you simply cannot afford to miss on.

The greens are of a decent standard but fail to live up to more modern links courses...forgivable considering this is the oldest golf course in the country!

The best stretch on the course starts at the 4th and ends at the 7th but the rest of the course is a delight to play as well. A little gander at some of the memorabilia in the clubhouse gives you a good idea of the considerable history of the club and if all else fails; sharing a golf course with flocks of sheep and the odd horse is a unique experience in itself!

Certainly worth a visit during a golf tour of the South West of England.

Posted by Robert Gittings on 25/04/2012
4
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  • Green conditions4
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  • Course challenge5
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  • Green conditions4
  • Clubhouse3
  • Course challenge5
  • Staff service3
  • Value for money5

Played here February , 2011 (£25 after 1.30 ).

Not right in the top bracket of links courses i've played but worth playing for all it's history etc.

Generally the course plays over a fairly flat expanse of land.The most enjoyable & best stretch of holes are 3 - 8 which run along the coastline to the farthest point of the course ( you hardly get to see the beach/sea due to a wide scree bank ,which is a shame).

The course then turns back in towards the clubhouse & the holes have more of a commonland feel .They also start playing through rushes .Sometimes you hit off over the rushes to hidden fairways & i didn't like this section of the course as much

From the 9th ,when the course turned back in ,we then were playing into the wind & with hole lengths of 493,423,442,437,555 &414 yds on the back 9 it started to fell a bit like a war of attrition with decent drives & fairway woods not reaching greens .There were no short ,strategic par 4's & i felt that it needed a couple(on the back 9) to break the sense of it feeling like one long hole after another & battering you into submission.
Also,of the par 3's ,i felt only the 5th was a standout one.

There is tape around the greens but it didn't detract & the horses were on one hole only.

Club was very welcoming & clubhouse food/snacks etc. priced a bit on the high side.

Greens were v.good & quick for the time of year.

Overall there's a natural feel & there is a sense of the past & uniqueness here .It's not the best links i've played but it is a good golfing experience .

Kevin B.

Posted by Kevin B. on 07/03/2011
4
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  • Green conditions4
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This was one of the highlight courses on my trip to the southwest coast. This is a lovely area, with the course stretching out to the edge of the sea, and views of the big hill on the other side. A lovely setting indeed. Unfortunately bad weather, pretty windy and lots of rain. That said, the course was still playable and the weather added a fun challenge to it.
The clubhouse inside was comfortable, they have a little museum or history area, lunch food was good, bartender friendly. I joined a snooker game between my rounds. The pro was not too interested in me for whatever reason, but that should not be considered in the overall experience.
From the clubhouse and first tee on a slight hill, you can see all the way out over the links. The course has loads of room off the tee on most of the holes, but the straight line is the one giving the best chance on the approach shots. There are two somewhat blind tee shots around the turn and these are good fun and challenge. If you stray too far on a few of the holes near the turn, there is plenty of gorse bush to lose your ball. Conditions are average - but I wouldn't downgrade for that - I never consider conditions for links courses unless they are really bad - these are ok.
A couple holes stand out - I think # 3 or 4 the drive must carry an absolutely gigantic bunker, with a huge wooded face - about 20 feet high or so and probably 80 yds wide. A solid 180 yd drive will probably be enough, but its still a visually intimidating and fun hole. A group of par 4s in the front nine has a bush boundary on the left, separating the course from the beach - these are challenging - plenty of room on the right but the approach angle is bad from that side. Several difficult to see bunkers in the fairways adds to the challenge as well. Also enjoyed the 17th par 5 - long, and also a good stiff and straight away par 4 18th back up towards the clubhouse.
Most unique is the livestock on the course. There are sheep everywhere - and they go to the bathroom all over the place. Not a problem in the game, just something unique that adds to the fun. There is also a herd of wild horses too - i saw them all stampede away from me - I've never seen that and I couldn't get out my camera fast enough.
Overall - I wish I could play here all the time - great setting, lots of history, fun and playable course.

Posted by alan peschansky on 16/05/2010
5
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I thought the course was in really good condition especially for december !! friendly members, the greens were true and there were some really nice views across the bay . a must play

Posted by Tim Ashman on 23/12/2008
4
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As I've been a member for some 44 years I'm going to sound a tad biased. This is a place to spend the rest of your golfing days, I would defy any rational being to not have RND at or near the top of their list. Granted it has some apparently easy holes but the course needs to be seen as a whole entity that has survived the ravages of time and technology. Best to think of it as an outpost of Scotland in that those of us lucky enough to have been born within a couple of thwacks with a driver seemed to spend most of our summers out on the links rather than playing that damn fool cricket game! Try playing all year round on the same high quality greens elsewhere and you'll need to move to the Iberian Peninsula. If you've not played it yet do so, I have a 600 mile round trip and don't begrudge a single inch of the journey the moment I step on to the first tee.

Posted by Mervyn Slade on 13/10/2008
4
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Played RND in May of 2007, I echo the warm welcome described by others. I was asked by pro shop staff "Do you know that this is a golf course unlike almost any other?" I replied that I was well aware of its nature and that was why I was there. With the assistance of a very friendly gentleman as a caddie I enjoyed playing the oldest links course in England, and reveled in its historic and somewhat idiosyncratic nature. Knowing the history of the course, it does feel like a step back in time, and that alone is worth the fee. Don't miss it if you get the chance.

Posted by Dennis Langrell on 17/06/2008
4
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Totally idiosyncratic like no other. Ridiculously wide open in places, chlaustrophobically tight in the famous Sea Rushes holes around the turn. There's also a huge sleeper-faced bunker that's almost 100 yards wide, and animals grazing freely across the course. The par 3s are absolutely brilliant (the 5th is probably the best uphill par 3 I've played) and the jewels in the layout.
This is the oldest course in England and anyone who likes links golf or, more importantly, has any kind of appreciation for the history of our wonderful game must play here.
7.75/10
'Young P' (h/c 9)

Posted by 'Young P' on 27/10/2007
3
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Very warm welcome upon arrival in the Pro Shop on a sunny morning in August 07. First two holes are straight and boring, but from the 3rd onwards this is a gem of a course. Its certainly not in the same class as Saunton across the bay, but in terms of enjoyment I think its excellent. The holes that follow the coastline are the best as the land has bumps and hollows that are perfect for links style golf. Its certainly not the hardest links course I have played or the prettiest, even though the views across Westward Ho are lovely. But I thoroughly enjoyed my round and would return.

Posted by Richard Davies on 09/08/2007
3
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I ve played this course twice now and love it. Its got the lot Sheep horsers lovely views roads and the odd walker or too. But i have to say this is the most friendliest of course i a visited the members are just great. Staff at the shop are warm friendly very helpful and the food after a round is well worth stopping for. I m making it my annual trip each year. My advice if you play golf and your in Deven give it a go you will love it. Its a very good test of golfing skills.

Posted by TREVOR PEPPER on 02/01/2007
5
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Had a most enjoyable game with my 2 son-in-laws whilst on holiday and found it to be everything I remembered about it some 25 yrs. ago. A real test of golf in the finest links style with fairway undulations reminiscent of Royal St. Georges, Sandwich although this is not quite in that league. Strange arrangement with all the greens roped off as this must be all common grazing land, but hardly noticed either the small inconvenience of the ropes and the sheep and horses wandering around. Superb golf museum in the clubhouse and warm friendly welcome from the the pro shop to the bar staff. Definetely worth a visit.

Posted by Roger White on 02/10/2006
5
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A most unusual round of golf as on the opening and finishing 2 holes there are sheep in aboundance, and horses too!
This only adds to the charm of this excellent golf course. An examination from tee too green, set in beautiful surroundings. Greens are fast, true and an excellent test.
Members are welcoming, as is the greating you receive in the pro shop.
Check out the memorabilia they have in the club house. They used to shoot 78 with these clubs!
A must play for visitors in the area.
I just thought I would write and let you know about Haven Pastures. I played some 2 years ago as many of you have and was a bit disappointed but could see that things were happening.
Sure has happended, the course is great and they have now changed the way of play which is exciting. Yes it is challenging but thats what golf is all about, if i wanted it easy there is plenty of courses around for that.
I am now a proud member of the course and its great. They have competitions going throughout the whole of the week and week ends. So what ever day if i want to join in i can. Which is great as i never no what days i can go and play.
They are all a real friendly bunch and very helpful. So if your reading this come for yourself.
Mr T. Bird

Posted by A Golfer on 21/09/2006
5
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Overall Rating 5
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  • Clubhouse4
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What a treat this Royal course is. A beautiful setting in a bay surrounded by the pituresque buildings of Westwood Ho! A great links test with a variety of unusual challenges, from the towering sleepered bunker to the moguls of 'the Alps'.
There is even one par 5 where as you tee off horses canter down the hill to their drinking trough.
As a visitor my welcome was warm and I found the members great company.
Worth every penny and more.

Posted by David Wilshin on 26/03/2005
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Green Fees œ28 per Round œ34 per Day - Weekdays \r\n œ30 per Round œ36 per Day - Weekends & Bank Hols\r\n\r\nSecretary - Mr Robert Fowler - 01237 473817\r\n\r\nProfessional - Iain Higgins - 01237 477598 (Bookings)\r\n\r\n\r\nH.R.H.Duke of York to be President of the Club in 2000.

Posted by Mrs E Baker on 11/02/1998
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Course information

Number of holes 18
Year opened -
Designer -
Style Links

Tee information

Tees Yards Par SSS
Competition
Men's 6644 72
Ladies'

Green Fees

Summer/High season

Weekday round£36
Weekday day-
Weekend round£42
Weekend day-

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Weekday day-
Weekend round-
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