While you may think of bodyboards and buckets and spades on a holiday to Cornwall, many choose the Duchy for its fabulous golf courses. Swapping beach paraphernalia for golf clubs and gloves, did you know that Cornwall is home to a Top 100 Golf Courses in the world? Here’s looking at you St Enodoc.
Research led by Sports Marketing Surveys has shown that 5.3 million on-course adult golfers – the second-highest number since monitoring began over 30 years ago – enjoyed playing on full length courses (nine or 18 holes) in Great Britain and Ireland back in 2021. And the popular sport shows no sign of waning, as the report also demonstrated that golf participation in Great Britain in 2021 was nearly double the figure from four years earlier.
Whether you know your eagle from your birdie, or are new to the sport, we’re sure you’ll fall in love with golfing in Cornwall. Given the coastal location, you’re sure to admire the views if nothing else. Here we round up our favourite courses to have on your radar.
When it comes to golfing in Cornwall, St Enodoc is the crème de la crème. Historically, writer Sir John Betjeman, who is buried in the churchyard of St Enodoc’s church, around which run five holes of St Enodoc’s ‘Church Course’, was once a member. St Enodoc inspired him to write his poem Seaside Golf.
St Enodoc Golf Club is on the north coast, overlooking the Camel Estuary with Padstow on the far side, and the Atlantic to the north. The location is on the high sand dunes, making it an idea spot not only for golf but for sea views too. The golf club has two of the finest links golf courses in the county.
Bude is most famous for its beautiful beaches and epic surf, but it also has a stunning golf course. Close to the town and the beaches, Bude & North Cornwall Golf Club is a challenging links golf course in Cornwall.
Expertly maintained, the 18-hole course overlooks the sea and has been a popular choice for over 130 years. Playable all-year round, the drainage systems are excellent, making it one of Cornwall’s strongest golf courses. It offers players of all abilities a rare opportunity to experience an old-style links with many blind shots and fast undulating greens.
The location of Newquay’s Golf Links could be seen as one of the finest in the world, along the whole length of the wonderful stretch of sand at popular surfing spot Fistral Beach, alongside stunning views across the Headland.
A beautiful, yet challenging 18-hole course, it’s renowned for having some of the best greens in Cornwall, and is well protected by some well-placed pot bunkers. Built in 1890 it’s a landmark of natural beauty, and a rewarding course for a spot of golf.
Gwel an Mor’s ‘Famous Nine’ nine-hole course, opened in 2017 and the design is inspired by some of finest holes from the world’s best courses.
The largest all-weather greens course in the UK, the par 3 course is challenging but its unique design is captivating for everyone from professional golfers to those just starting out.
Beautifully maintained and with stunning views out to the sea, the Famous Nine is certainly worth a visit while holidaying in Cornwall. Unlike most golf courses, you don’t need to prebook the Famous Nine Golf Course, making it a great option for casual golfers.
Lelant, St Ives
The oldest existing course in Cornwall, West Cornwall Golf Club was founded in 1889, and overlooks both St Ives Bay and Hayle Estuary, making it a rather picturesque course for an 18-hole round. the views are superb. The railway track runs alongside the course and the links land gives perfect golfing all year round.
Not far from holiday hot spot, St Ives, this is a true links style golf course with undulating banks and dunes, and the fantastic drainage system ensures that can be played all-year round. Golfers will have the added challenge of Cornish breeze, with the wind coming off the coast but we think you’ll agree it’s worth it for the scenery.
A popular golfing destination in the South West, Trevose Golf Club is considered to be one of the finest links courses in all of the UK. Right on the edge of the Atlantic coastline, just four miles from pretty Padstow, golfers can enjoy a longer round of 18 holes at the Championship course, nine thrilling holes at its Headland course or take on the Short Course set around the Chapel of St Constantine’s. The Short Course is a par 3/4 course designed for less experienced golfers or experienced players looking to hone their short game before the main event.
Whichever course you decide on, Trevose is a stunning golf course and the location helps the course to be playable throughout the year and its condition is maintained to the highest standard.
Falmouth has plenty to offer visitors and Falmouth Golf Club is no exception. With a combination of links and parkland style golf, golfers can expect a mature and beautifully maintained golf course, overlooking the south coast including Falmouth Bay, with stunning views over to Pendennis Castle and St Mawes.
The 18-hole golf course offers a good challenge, with its pretty tree-lined holes alongside panoramic sea views. A well-drained course, it’s kept in excellent condition all through the year.