Bovey Castle Golf Course

Rare chance to play one of the Golden Age's best.

Bovey Castle Golf Course

Devon, England

Overview

The stream on the first 8 holes wreaks havoc and adds strategic value.

Bovey Castle Golf Course Tour

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Bovey Castle Videos

The hotel's promo video isn't heavy on golf content but you can see it here


Golf Course Review

Bovey Castle Golf Course situated on the edge of the Dartmoor National Park and was once known as Manor House. The Manor House was built by British architect Detmar Jellings Blow for the son of the stationary magnate W.H. Smith, Frederick Smith in 1907.

The Great Western Railway purchased the property in 1929 and converted the mansion to a hotel to compete with the likes of Turnberry and Gleneagles. It was reported that the nearest golf course was 2 miles away but the land of the estate would lend itself to the laying our of the golf course. (Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - 09 April 1929) Three weeks later it was reported that the planning application included a provision for a golf course.

On April 16, 1930, the newspaper reported that the golf course had been designed by JF Abercromby and built by Franks Harris Bros Ltd. The course opened for play on the 8th of June, 1930. It measured 5,600 yards upon opening and had 6 one-shot holes. During the Second World War, the golf course lay dormant for 5 years. It was reopened for play on August 1, 1946.

Ownership was transferred to the British Transport Commission 1948. In the early 1950s, the 4th hole was made into a Par 5. The previous tee would have been in an area not covered in trees to the left of the present green site.

In the 1960s, Henry Cotton made alterations to the course. Changes were made to the Par 3 3rd, the present Par 3 9th was removed, and the 18th was turned into a Par 4 from a closing Par 3.

In 2003, the property was purchased by Peter de Savary, who at one time, also owned Skibo Castle. It was during this time that Donald Steel was brought in to make changes, in particular the island third green. The resort has since changed hands in 2006 and again in 2014.

At present, the majority of the investment seems to be in the hotel and estate rather than the golf course but the potential, much like The Addington, is palpable.

Changes to Bovey Castle by Donald Steel

3 - Tees added and new island green built.
4 - Tees and fairway bunker added.
8 - Green moved to left. Original green sat on current 9 Hole tees.
9 -  Aber's original par 3 9th returned by Steel.
10 - Steel combined the 9th and 10th into the current 10th.
11 - Pond added.
12 - Tees added. Left greenside bunker added.
13 - Left fairway bunker added.
14 - Made from Par 3 to Par 4.
16 - Two fairway bunkers moved and one added. Greenside bunker added.
17 - Front greenside bunker moved.
18 - Two fairway bunkers added. Greenside bunker added.

JF Abercromby's original holes include 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 11, 15 & 17.

Thin End Of The Wedge - A Life in Golf, Donald SteelEvalu18

Featured Architect: Donald Steel

"I am a firm believer you should leave good enough alone if possible." - Donald Steel Green complexes should be able to accept the ground game. Subtlety. When bunkers are used they come into play.

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The Putter Tailor - Made to Measure Putters and Wedges

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Contact Details

Devon, TQ13 8RE, England

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Thin End Of The Wedge - A Life in Golf, Donald SteelEvalu18

Featured Architect: Donald Steel

"I am a firm believer you should leave good enough alone if possible." - Donald Steel Green complexes should be able to accept the ground game. Subtlety. When bunkers are used they come into play.

View Profile
The Putter Tailor - Made to Measure Putters and Wedges

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