Saunton Golf Club East Course

Herbert Fowler's acclaimed course at Saunton is a proper test with a unique rhythm of holes.

Saunton Golf Club East Course

Devon, England

Overview

Tom Doak feels the 5th and 13th are two of the toughest par 3's he has ever played.

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Independent Reviews of Saunton GC

Sean Arble's tour of The East Course can be found here


Golf Course Review

The Saunton Golf Club East Course is one of two links golf courses in the North Devon coast opposite Royal North Devon GC at Westward Ho! The West Course lies in the dunes nearer the coast and borders the more inland East Course. Between the two, the more inland East Course of Fowler vintage is considered the superior of the two.

Saunton Golf Club East Course Architectural History

Saunton Golf Club came into being officially in May 1897. Originally a 9 hole course, it was extended to 12 holes by 1906 and finally to 18 holes in 1908. 4 holes were rearranged in 1912. During WW1, the course was reduced to 12 holes.

WW1 significantly affected the links and by 1919, only 12 holes were in play. At that point, Herbert Fowler was hired to return the course to its former glory. Holes 3 through 16 use the basis of Fowler's 1919 design.

With the advent of WW2, much of the Saunton Golf Club East Course was levelled for military purposes. It wasn't until 1952 that the East Course was again being played after a CK Cotton restoration. The reestablishment of the links followed Fowler's design. Holes 3-5 and 7-16 can be directly linked to Fowler's routing and design.

How Much Herbert Fowler is left?

Many think Saunton is a 36 hole mecca of Herbert Fowler designed links similar to The Berkshire and Walton Heath. This is decidedly not the case. The East Course is what could be termed a CK Cotton 'Fowler restoration'.

The course is highly regarded in any event with only Rye, Sandwich, Royal Lytham and St Enodoc rated higher among English links in Tom Doak's Confidential Guide.

Ranked41/100in GB&I
A portrait of Herbert Fowler by Montague Cooper.Montague Cooper

Featured Architect: Herbert Fowler

Herbert Fowler was known for establishing natural-looking green sites and working backwards to the tee. Bernard Darwin described Herbert Fowler as “perhaps the most daring and original of all golfing architects..." Topography used to test with his courses following the contours of the land. Bunkers...

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The Putter Tailor - Made to Measure Putters and Wedges

At a glance

Architects

Consultant

  • MacKenzie & Ebert

Facilities

Collections

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Contact Details

Devon, EX33 1LG, England

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A portrait of Herbert Fowler by Montague Cooper.Montague Cooper

Featured Architect: Herbert Fowler

Herbert Fowler was known for establishing natural-looking green sites and working backwards to the tee. Bernard Darwin described Herbert Fowler as “perhaps the most daring and original of all golfing architects..." Topography used to test with his courses following the contours of the land. Bunkers...

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

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