We arrived in Bude to find this beautiful spot bathed in sunshine, a good omen hopefully for our West Country Golf Tour. First stop was the historic Royal North Devon. We were really fortunate to find just a light breeze, although it seemed to me to be into us most of the holes. Royal North Devon is a doyen of links golf courses and a mix of clever bunkering, challenging tee shots and tricky greens give the golfer a thorough workout. We had a gentle start today with one from three counting in our team competition. After a very event front nine, the trio of Wanda, Charlie and Nigel moved into overdrive on the back nine and took the days honours on 39 points. A look around the museum filled with amazing memorabilia from their history stretching back to 1864.
Day two found us playing at Bowood Golf Course just outside Camelford. This was a very different test with really interesting and challenging slopes. Thankfully the greens were reasonably flat, once we had negotiated our way there. We had a nice welcome and it was fun for me as the Pro there was a similar vintage to myself. Always good to talk about players and golf from the 70’s and 80’s as if it were yesterday! In the day’s team competition the quartet of Charlie, Wanda, Tricia and Tony G amassed a very respectable 78points to win the day. Best birdie of the day belonged to Tony G with a brilliant Gap Wedge over a tree to 5 feet, then sinking the putt with aplomb. A super day rounded off by watching England reach the last eight in the World Cup.
On Wednesday we had a lie in before a few minutes drive to our local course of Bude. The first cloudy day of the trip, however the temperature was still in the 20’s so no hardship there. This was a really interesting links, with several blind shots from some of the tees and some into the greens. I always enjoy courses with these shots as the sense of anticipation of how your ball has fared as you climb over the hill is second to none. It is matched however with the disappointment when it has found a bunker or thick rough and both outcomes tend to even themselves out, but let’s face it not always on the same day! We opted for Waltzing Matilda today and have to say that the 64 points of Patrick, Tony and Rita was first class, given our lack of knowledge of the course, so well done them! A good day rounded off with a sing song after dinner with a local group that raises money for the terrific RNLI.
Thursday saw us at Perranporth for our round at this interesting and challenging golf course. This cliff top venue has superb views out to sea and had the other phenomenon of a sea fret which came into play. Luckily we could still see enough to play and when it cleared the weather was glorious. There are quite a few “leap of faith” shots or blind shots as they are commonly referred to. I felt as a group we got them right in the main. although all had some that veered off course. We had one out of three scoring today and the winners were Nigel, Tony P and Wanda/ Each group had a buggy each today which with all of the inclines was very handy.
Our last day was at the highly rated East Course at Saunton. This is a first class links test with imaginative holes and great putting surfaces. A very light breeze greeted us and we couldn’t have asked for a better golfing day to finish our trip. With an exceptional 44 points, Les, Tony G and Rita won the day with points to spare. They all contributed well to the team score and Tony P finished in style with a Seve like up and down from 40 yards out of the thick rough on the 18th.
We had lunch in the club house which overlooks the final green and said our farewells. This was a fun trip, blessed with brilliant weather and company. Definitely looking forward to returning here in the not too distant future.
Look forward to seeing you all again.
All the best