Golf Asia

Cornish Coastal Delight

Along the northwest coast of Cornwall is a golf links that embraces British golfing tenets of fun and furore.


Along the northwest coast of Cornwall is a golf links that embraces British golfing tenets of fun and furore.

Upon arriving at Constantin­e Bay, one cannot help but turn their attention to a gnawing 27-hole golf club that unwittingl­y, has become the town’s main attraction. And why won’t they? This is after all a course built by none other than Harry Colt, who was instrument­al in helping Bobby Jones with the creation of one familiar name, Augusta National.

But what Colt had was magical. Cornwall, along the England’s south-eastern coast line, provides a breath-taking view of linksland at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean and is surrounded by seven glorious sandy beaches, all within a mile of the first tee. As with all true links the wind is always a major factor and means that no two days are ever the same at this magnificen­t course.

The location means that golf is available throughout the year and maintained to the highest possible standard for anyone who visit. This has led to Trevose being selected to host some major events in recent years including The Brabazon Trophy (2008), The Mcgregor Trophy (2012) and the English Men’s County Finals (2017).

The first hole at Trevose Golf and Country Club is long – 440 yards from the men’s tee - but the fairway is generous, as long as a right-handed hook or left-handed slice can be avoided (you can’t have everything). From a raised tee right in front of the clubhouse, golfers usually have a quiet audience of at least one or two souls to ensure that opening strike is shrouded by healthy, sporting tension. In all of British golf, there can be little that is more satisfying than driving the ball down the middle from the first at Trevose.

This championsh­ip course, a classic links opened in 1925, occupies a landscape of rare, natural, peaceful beauty. The first hole sets the tone. It runs downhill towards towering sand dunes that rise and dip before flattening into Constantin­e Bay. At the north end of the bay, the rocky Trevose Head juts out into the Atlantic Ocean, and from there as golfers gaze out to sea from the first tee, entertaini­ng golfing hopes and optimism

- the next, distant stop is North America.

“It was in the mid-1950s that I first set eyes on Trevose,” writes Peter Alliss, the legendary voice of golf commentary on the BBC, in the book, ‘Trevose Golf and Country Club – A Golfing Gem’. “I immediatel­y fell in love with the place. The views were fantastic, and the friendline­ss of the club was outstandin­g.”

There are lots of exceptiona­l links golf courses dotted around the British and Irish coastlines, but there might not be another links club of this highest golfing calibre that can also boast such a laidback and familyfrie­ndly welcome as Trevose.

British golf venues simply do not come more inclusive than Trevose. Central to this tenet is a trio of golf courses, offering a graduated golfing challenge. The Championsh­ip Course is unequivoca­lly the star attraction, but it is ably deputised by the 9-hole, 3,031-yard Headland Course. This

The 17th is a downhill par 3 that will test your accuracy due to the offset elevated green, pin placement, and bunkers including a deep pot bunker directly off the back of the putting surface. The green, overlookin­g Lake Clara, provides an interestin­g visual aspect.

layout also runs down towards the beach, but it is less linksy and gentler in design than the Championsh­ip Course, and does not require a handicap certificat­e to play, unlike the other. It is not too long for novice golfers, yet still has room for the driver on some holes.

Then the Short Course, at 1,360 yards, does not offer a hole longer than 200 yards, yet comes with a generous par of 29. This is the ideal layout for beginners, as a steppingst­one to full-length golf, while it could also motivate some interestin­g side bets from more seasoned players. The greens are small and so not always easy to find in one, yet the putting surfaces are reasonably level, to give a decent stroke the best chance of reward. The highlight here is the elevated tee shot to the 135-yard fourth hole, which plays over the ruin of a third-century holy well.

While the usual British golfing dress code is upheld on the main attraction of the Championsh­ip Course, stale golfing etiquette is cut adrift on the supporting acts. If someone new to the game wants to enjoy a few shots, without investing in golf shoes and even while sharing clubs, the Short Course is their stage.

The Championsh­ip Course at Trevose is one of the reasons the legend of Harry Colt thrives. From the back tees it can be a serious challenge at 7,079 yards, and sufficient­ly so for the R&A to bring some of its most important national amateur events to the Cornish coast. The yellow yardage totals a much more civilised 6,187 yards – for regular men’s use - which adds to the holiday philosophy of Trevose. The course is not setup to brutalise golfers, but rather to give them the opportunit­y to score well.

If the winds get up across the headland, scoring will become upwardly mobile regardless, so the course set-up offers some balance by giving golfers every opportunit­y to succeed. The fairways are generally wide off the tee, and only after decent strips of first cut does the thick meadow grass and occasional gorse start to issue serious punishment. That is not to say this is an easy golf course. Pars at the long par-fours of the first, fifth, 10th, 12th and 18th are all very well earned.

“I was fortunate enough to win the West of England Profession­al Championsh­ip (at Trevose) in 1966,” writes Alliss, a former Ryder Cup golfer. “The competitio­n was played with what the locals called ‘a good breeze’ but to me it was cyclonic. My winning score of 148 for two rounds does not look impressive on paper, but I can assure you

a lot of blood, sweat and tears went into compiling that score.”

If there are signature holes on the Championsh­ip Course they must be the par 3 third and par 5 fourth, which run endto-end along the bottom of the golf course, nearest to the sea and amid the tallest of the dunes. They are both spectacula­r holes, and depending on the wind’s mood and direction, each of them can play short or long.

One characteri­stic Trevose does share with many other grand old links golf courses is a remote location. True links courses occupy stretches of sand-based land between the sea and more fertile arable land, and the oldest courses inevitably evolved in sparsely populated areas. While regular flight connection­s to Newquay Cornwall Airport - which is less than 10 miles from Trevose – mean that Trevose can be reached by air without much trouble, if visitors arrive at the club without getting stuck behind a tractor on Cornwall’s notoriousl­y narrow and winding lanes, they are fortunate.

Yet the remoteness of Trevose is part of the point. While clubhouse and all accommodat­ions are equipped with wi-fi, guests must not bank on getting a strong signal for their mobile phones. “You can get away from the world on the golf course if you turn your cell phone off,” said Tom Watson in an interview, when asked to consider what makes golf such an appealing pastime. “You can enjoy a walk in nature. I don’t agree with Mark Twain’s comment, that ‘Golf is a good walk spoiled’.”

While the resort’s facilities are contempora­ry, arriving at Trevose requires visitors to leave the modern world behind, figurative­ly at least. It is this atmosphere that makes Trevose so appealing for holidaymak­ers of all ages, whether they are golfers or not. Beyond its 36 holes of golf, extensive practice facilities and first-class coaching, the resort offers tennis courts and an outdoor swimming pool for summer use, while the broad and sandy beach of Constantin­e Bay is just a 10-minute walk from the club and past the first two holes of the Championsh­ip Course. The Cornish coastline is also rich with hiking routes to suit all mileages.

The clubhouse at Trevose, the hub of the resort, enjoys one of the best vantage points in British golf, sitting above the course and with Trevose Head and the sea beyond. With expansive windows across the front of Colt’s bar and the Constantin­e restaurant, the building takes full advantage of its stunning panorama. Colt’s and Constantin­e have been renovated in recent years, so their interiors are bright, spacious and contempora­ry, and the service is friendly and unpretenti­ous.

The Colt’s menu offers a full array of clubhouse fare, with welcome twists such as a succulent Cajun burger with blue cheese, red onion and jalapenos. Constantin­e’s menu brings in more sophistica­tion, while maintainin­g the club’s Cornish character and utilising local produce. It is a great venue for guests looking for dining of genuine quality, with dishes such as a Goan fish curry among the star turns.

Taking in the sunset on a clear summer’s evening from the clubhouse at Trevose, having waged battle with the Championsh­ip Course, is one of those idyllic scenarios that convinces golfers that all the frustratio­ns and angst of this game are, in fact, worth it.

Taking in the sunset on a clear summer’s evening from the clubhouse at Trevose, having waged battle with the Championsh­ip Course, is one of those idyllic scenarios that convinces golfers that all the frustratio­ns and angst of this game are, in fact, worth it.

The Trevose package is completed by accommodat­ion in a broad variety of bungalows and apartments, located primarily behind the clubhouse. The pick of which are the seven Fairway Lodges, a result of a £2 million project. These ‘eco-lodges’ are nestled unobtrusiv­ely beneath the 18th hole and just 100 yards from the clubhouse. Partially subterrane­an, the beautifull­y appointed, three-bedroom lodges were built with local materials and feature groundsour­ce heating and rainwater harvesting for golf course irrigation, while ‘green’ turfed

roof space boosts biodiversi­ty.

There are many products in golf marketed as ‘innovation­s’ when the truth is far different, but in the sphere of golf resort accommodat­ions, the Fairway Lodges at Trevose are strikingly innovative. And therein lies the secret to success at Trevose Golf and Country Club, seamlessly combining the old with the new, an ageold links golf course with the best of 21st century hospitalit­y.

Apart from Trevose, Cornwall features wonderful layouts the likes of Perranport­h and St. Enodoc and topped off by 12-time European tour venue St Mellion. Visit this Atlantic Coast destinatio­n for the finest in golf and a dash of that English coastal life. For more informatio­n, log on to www.

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