Designed by Herbert Fowler in the 1920s, Saunton East is a challenging links that has played host to a number of significant championships

Saunton Golf Club East Course Review

Green Fee Range: £50-£90

Medal Tee: Par 71 – 6,427 Yards

Visitor Times: From 09:30 every day.


Saunton Golf Club East Course Review

The more challenging of two wonderful links courses set in the glorious North Devon dunes, the East Course at Saunton was designed by Herbert Fowler. Flanked by tall dunes, it’s a wonderful place to play.

Golf has been played over this rugged links landscape just south of Croyde in Devon for nearly 120 years, with the highly regarded East course coming into existence in the 1920s via the design hand of Fowler, who also created the wonderful 36-hole layouts at Walton Heath and The Berkshire.

Related: Top 100 Courses UK and Ireland

The course has long attracted major amateur events, and some have suggested it could even be a worthy Open Championship test but for logistics issues.

There’s no doubt that there are few, if any, better 36-hole links complexes in the country, and while the West may get closer to the highest dunes, it’s the East that presents the sterner challenge, right from the off.

Play the 470-yard 1st off the whites into the breeze and par is going to be very hard to come by regardless of ability.

Saunton golf club east course review

But there are few tricks or gimmicks here, just a number of testing holes that demand accurate and occasionally long ball striking – in other words, a proper test of golf that has won the respect of many good players.

Even the shorter holes will test you. Tiddler, the aptly named par-3 5th, won’t roll over willingly should you err long of the green, while the seemingly innocuous par-4 10th not only presents challenges beyond its raised green, but also short of it in the form of two bunkers.

The demanding long par-4 14th needs little explanation beyond its name – Narrows! If you can play golf at Saunton East, you can probably play anywhere.

Course changes since previous ranking

Nothing significant

Proposed course changes

None planned

Golf Monthly Verdict

Top-class links with a particularly tough finish