SauntonGMT’s inaugural trip in 2000 was to Killarney, where 8 of us were celebrating a 50th birthday. Since then eight of us have gone away every May for a golf tour. For our 10th trip we decided to go further afield than usual and plumped for Como. It was a great golf break and we especially enjoyed Villa d’Este. We then went to South West France the following year and this year we decided to go back to our roots and do a UK golf tour. North Devon had not been covered by anyone so that’s where we headed.

I had always fancied Burnham & Berrow so we stopped off there en route. We usually play four courses so we chose Saunton because it has two highly regarded courses and the fourth just had to be the oldest club in England: Royal North Devon. Looking at the map Barnstaple was an ideal base between Saunton & Royal North Devon…with our general plan in place all we needed was to get someone to do the hard work!

Golf Breaks do not cover the courses we wanted to play so after a look online I found YGT. I enquired through the website and as quick as a flash I had a response and the tour was sorted.

We all arrived at Burnham & Berrow on Wednesday 11th May to blue skies and a classic looking links course. We were not disappointed either as it was exactly that in every way. The front nine ran down the coast and the back nine took us back to the clubhouse. The course was in magnificent condition and we were sad to leave. Knowing what was awaiting us further south did soften the blow though! After a quick tipple in the friendly bar we headed west for Barnstaple.

Burnham & Berrow GC

From the road the Barnstaple Hotel looked a bit “Motel-ish” but we needn’t have worried as the rooms, bar and leisure areas were excellent. A great pool and relaxation area were most welcome after a day on the course and we made the most of these. Breakfast was great and the chef even cooked our eggs to order, which was a nice touch.

Royal North DevonThe Saunton courses were first class as were the facilities and it is easy to see why they are so highly ranked. They are a tough test, which require lots of imagination and shot making ability. We caught Saunton on a good day and there was only a gentle breeze. I would imagine the course would be even more testing when the wind gets up and hopefully I will get the chance to play at Saunton again someday.

Royal North Devon oozes tradition and despite hearing mixed reviews I was looking forward to the challenge. The first 2 holes were a bit like a sheep field and I was a bit worried, but it soon turned into the classic old links. Some holes were a bit open but there were many shots that had to be carefully thought out. By the end I found it to be a good experience with the tees, fairways, & greens in good order. I would imagine this is one of those marmite courses where you will either love it or hate it. I loved it though!

Our overall our Devon Golf Tour was a great success and I would have no problems recommending the courses, hotels or indeed Your Golf Travel to anyone who might be heading that way in the future.