Best Golf Courses In Cornwall

Along with some scenic but less well-known treasures, the best golf courses in Cornwall feature a pair of Top 100 favourites

Best Golf Courses in Cornwall - Trevose
A typically mystical Cornish view over the excellent par-5 fourth hole at Trevose
(Image credit: James Lovett)

Best Golf Courses In Cornwall

Cornwall is renowned for its rugged, peaceful, natural beauty, and this is very much reflected in the setting of its 30-or-so golf clubs. It is home to a pair of Golf Monthly Top 100 courses of the UK&I, St Enodoc and Trevose, as well as the excellent and testing championship course at St Mellion. Much of the golf is understandably dotted along its beautiful coastline, and there is exceptional value to be found at some of the less well-known beauties.

St Enodoc

St Enodoc - Hole 15

Looking back from behind the short fifteenth at St Enodoc

(Image credit: Kevin Murray)
  • Location Rock
  • Founded 1890
  • Architect James Braid
  • GF Round £125 Mon-Fri, £135 Sun
  • Par 69, 6,557 yards
  • Contact St Enodoc Golf Club (opens in new tab)

Splendour, splendour everywhere is how John Betjemen ended his ‘Seaside Golf’ poem, and these words can just as easily be applied to this excellent links on Cornwall’s chiselled northern coast just 50 miles from Land’s End. The former Poet Laureate is buried at the far end of the course in the churchyard beside the 10th green, and the Himalaya bunker on the right of the superb par-4 6th is one of the most photographed in golf. This is undoubtedly one of the most varied and one-of-a-kind courses in the Top 100 and a spectacular place to play.

Read full St Enodoc Golf Club course review

Trevose

Trevose - Hole 3

The opening short hole at Trevose, the third, in the setting sun

(Image credit: James Lovett)
  • Location Constantine Bay
  • Founded 1925
  • Architect Harry Colt, Mackenzie & Ebert
  • GF Round £90 Sun to Thu, £105 Fri & Sat - discounts for residents
  • Par 72, 6,526 yards
  • Contact Trevose Golf Club (opens in new tab)

Beneficiary of a substantial upgrade over recent years, primarily to the bunkering, Trevose is one of our most remote Top 100 courses, and all the better for that. The Championship course is one of the best golf courses in England. It is an excellent test of golf that also provides tremendous coastal views, and the remodelled 4th is now a sublime par 5 that will live long in the memory. For golf of this quality, not to mention the all-round holiday and visitor experience, Trevose offers outstanding value for money and is a very compelling draw at any time of the year. This really is a complete golfing destination.

Read full Trevose Golf Club course review

St Mellion

St Mellion - Hole 11

Looking back from behind the green at St Mellion’s thrilling downhill par-3 eleventh

(Image credit: Andy Hiseman)
  • Location Saltash
  • Founded 1988
  • Architect Jack Nicklaus
  • GF £90 Mon-Thu, £100 Fri-Sun, discounts from 14:00
  • Par 72, 6,561 yards
  • Contact St Mellion Golf Club (opens in new tab)

One of the most impressive aspects of the two excellent courses at St Mellion is how very different they are from one another. The less well-known and shorter Kernow was completely revised a decade or so ago, and although it is slightly more forgiving, it is still a very enjoyable test. The Nicklaus Course on the other hand, is in a different league and is in the Next 100 Courses of the UK&I. It is one of the best-looking and most challenging tests of golf in the area. Dense woodland, some wow-factor bunkering and various water features make both length and accuracy vital.

Read full St Mellion Golf Club course review

Bowood Park

Bowood Park - Hole 12

The pretty but dangerous signature 385-yard par-4 twelfth at Bowood Park

(Image credit: Bowood Park Golf Club)
  • Location Camelford
  • Founded 1992
  • Architect Brian Huggett, Bob Knott and Eddie Connaughton
  • GF Round £45 all week
  • Par 72, 6,692 yards
  • Contact Bowood Park Golf Club (opens in new tab)

Many of the less well-known hotel courses in the UK&I are perhaps a little formulaic and samey, but this beautifully-located design has more than enough undulations and character to keep you interested. As you would expect in Cornwall, just the setting is enough to warrant the relatively modest green fee, and the hotel makes a great base for golfing groups and societies. There is enough length to challenge the low handicapper, and there are several very good holes, especially the par-4 12th through the trees and over water and the three-shotter that follows.

Bude & North Cornwall

Bude & North Cornwall - Hole 10

Bunkers left and a stream short and to the right protect the short tenth at Bude & North Cornwall

(Image credit: Jeremy Ellwood)
  • Location Bude
  • Founded 1891
  • Architect Tom Dunn
  • GF Round £45 Mon-Fri, £50 Weekend
  • Par 71, 6,036 yards
  • Contact Bude & North Cornwall Golf Club (opens in new tab)

Not quite on the beach, this links is as close to the town as the Old Course is at St Andrews and so is very much a part of the local community. The club’s roots live on in the shape of the adjacent pitch & putt course, and the Tom Dunn design itself is an easy-walking and sporty layout over a fairly compact site. The three par 5s are just about reachable for many and so offer realistic prospects of a birdie, or better. Humps and bumps, pot bunkers and undulating greens create the challenge, and there is plenty of interest even if your game is off. Very enjoyable 

Carlyon Bay

Carlyon Bay - Hole 12

Carlyon Bay enjoys a glorious cliff-top setting with panoramic views out to sea

(Image credit: Carlyon Bay)
  • Location St Austell
  • Founded 1912
  • Architect Not Known
  • GF Round £60 all week
  • Par 72, 6,433 yards
  • Contact Carlyon Bay Golf Club (opens in new tab)

As you would expect in a county that is a magnet for holidaymakers, a fair amount of its golf is linked in with hotels and other types of accommodation. One leading example is the lovely clifftop resort at Carlyon Bay. Despite its setting, the course is predominantly a parkland one, and it runs along the ridge offering panoramic views down over the coast and out to sea, particularly on the front half. Any wind will have a very significant impact here, but the set-up very much has the holidaymaker in mind and is not designed to be too penal. Potentially the greatest difficulty facing the visiting golfer here will be to stay focussed on the shot; the visual distractions are significant!

Lanhydrock

Lanhydrock Golf Club - Hole 1

Looking back from behind the green on the opening hole at Lanhydrock, a short par 4

(Image credit: Lanhydrock Golf Club)
  • Location Bodmin
  • Founded 1991
  • Architect J Hamilton Stutt
  • GF Round £32-£48, check website for details
  • Par 70, 6,090 yards
  • Contact Lanhydrock Golf Club (opens in new tab)

While Cornish golf is primarily of a wild, romantic, Poldarkian coastal nature, there are also plenty of inland havens that offer a scenic and entertaining game. Lanhydrock is a good example; an attractive parkland course just to the west of Bodmin Moor. Kept in fine condition and on easy-walking turf, it is no great length with a par of 70 but there is still plenty to interest golfers of all standard. The family-run hotel has a new fitness centre and is a short drive from the Eden Project.

Mullion

Mullion Golf Club - Hole 10

The fabulous par-4 tenth at Mullion is protected on the right by a fearsome ravine

(Image credit: Mullion Golf Club)
  • Location Mullion
  • Founded 1895
  • Architect William Sich
  • GF Round £75
  • Par 70, 6,053 yards
  • Contact Mullion Golf Club (opens in new tab)

England’s most southerly course is blessed with an idyllic and remote location that makes it a haven of peace and beauty. From the clubhouse, you wend your way in ever-changing directions along, up and down the gentle slopes towards the cliff’s edge. There are several stand-out holes such as the picture-perfect 10th, and it really is the views that dominate and keep the golfer alert and interested all the way.

Read full Mullion Golf Club course review

Newquay

Newquay Golf Club - Hole 16

Looking over the sixteenth green at Newquay with the famous Headland Hotel in the distance

(Image credit: Rob Smith)
  • Location Newquay
  • Founded 1890
  • Architect Harry Colt
  • GF Round £45 Mon-Fri, £50 Weekend
  • Par 69, 6,044 yards
  • Contact Newquay Golf Club (opens in new tab)

This less well-known Harry Colt design fits perfectly on a parcel of land between the town and Fistral Beach. From the characterful and castellated clubhouse there are views out over the course, the sea, and the Headland Hotel, and the gentle slope down to the beach provides elevation changes without any demanding climbs. There are plenty of Colt’s famous pot bunkers, some gentle dog-legs, and the course us kept in first-class shape, especially the greens. Rather than a course designed to beat you up, this is one that provides scoring opportunities, and most importantly of all, one where the emphasis is on enjoyment.

Perranporth

Perranporth Golf Club - Hole 3

The lunar dunescape on the par-4 third at Perranporth with showers out at sea

(Image credit: Rob Smith)
  • Location Perranporth
  • Founded 1927
  • Architect James Braid
  • GF Round £55 Mon-Fri, £65 Weekend
  • Par 72, 6,293 yards
  • Contact Perranporth Golf Club (opens in new tab)

As natural and elemental as they come, this James Braid design a few miles from Newquay runs over and through some of the most impressive and glorious dunes in the country. It can also be very demanding, especially when the wind is up. It also had its detractors and is therefore a touch Marmite-y as it has perhaps more than its fair share of blind shots. This reviewer, a mid-teen handicapper prone to very wayward drives, kept the same ball when playing 36 holes here in 2019 and loved every minute!

Read full Perranporth Golf Club course review

The Point at Polzeath

Point at Polzeath - Hole 9

The ninth hole on the Point at Polzeath is a demanding par 4

(Image credit: James Lovett)
  • Location Polzeath
  • Founded 1990s
  • Architect Tim Lobb
  • GF Round £47.50, discounts for residents
  • Par 72, 6,274 yards
  • Contact The Point Golf Club (opens in new tab)

Remodelled by architect Tim Lobb, this parkland course sits a little way inland from the North Cornwall coast not far from Rock. It began life as Roserrow but the resort and has been transformed and this pretty course has much to offer. The signature hole is the bunkerless par-4 14th with a stream diagonally dissecting the fairway. At almost 6,300 yards from the back tees, there is sufficient length to challenge low handicappers, while the course is also very playable for the holiday-maker or less experienced golfer. Either way, it’s a beautiful place to play golf.

West Cornwall

West Cornwall Golf Club - Hole 9

The ninth green at West Cornwall overlooking Carbis Bay

(Image credit: Rob Smith)
  • Location Lelant
  • Founded 1889
  • Architect Not known
  • GF Round £50 Sun to Tue, Thu & Fri, £60 Sat
  • Par 69, 5,847 yards
  • Contact West Cornwall Golf Club (opens in new tab)

The club at West Cornwall is just outside Lelant, and its course is a real beauty that mixes some really strong holes such as those at the 2nd, 6th, 9th and 11th, with occasional quirkiness and even a touch of health and safety concern such as at the shared fairway on the 4th and 8th. The lovely low-level views over the estuary are matched by those from on high at the 12th, 17th and 18th, and the course is presented in excellent condition. The welcome from both staff and members is also first-class, and this is a delightful place to play.

Read full West Cornwall Golf Club course review

The golf offering in Cornwall is on a par with the best golf courses in Devon, and it is a wonderful place to visit for a golfing trip. And while each of its leading three courses is a big draw in its own right, the beauty, the value and the fun to be had elsewhere makes it a very appealing destination.

Rob Smith
Contributing Editor

Rob Smith has been playing golf for more than 40 years and been a contributing editor for Golf Monthly for over ten years, specialising in course reviews and travel. He has now played more than 1,170 different courses in almost 50 countries. Despite lockdowns and travel restrictions in 2021, he still managed to play 80 different courses during the year, 43 of them for the first time. This included 21 in 13 days on a trip to East Lothian in October. One of Rob's primary roles is helping to prepare the Top 100 and Next 100 Courses of the UK&I, of which he has played all but nine. During the 2021-22 review period, Rob has played 34 of the Golf Monthly Top 200. He is a member of Tandridge Golf Club in Surrey where his handicap hovers around 16. You can contact him at r.smith896@btin