West Cornwall Golf Club Course Review

West Cornwall Golf Club is home to a slightly different but hugely enjoyable links looking out over St Ives Bay and the Hayle estuary

West Cornwall Golf Club - beach view
Looking over the ninth green to Hayle Beach
(Image credit: Rob Smith)

West Cornwall Golf Club Course Review

GF Round: £50wd & Sun, £60 Sat
Par 69, 5,847 yards
Slope 125
GM Verdict – A delightful links course looking out over St Ives Bay where imagination and strategy are more important than length on many holes.
Favourite Hole – The 2nd, a mid-length par 4 where the approach is played through a narrow gap between some of the tallest dunes on the course.

West Cornwall Golf Club - beach view

The beach views from many parts of the course are highly therapeutic on a fine day!

(Image credit: West Cornwall Golf Club)

It might be a long drive down to the far south-western tip of the UK, but for golfers craving a hidden gem or two and a sublime base for a spot of coastal holiday golf, it’s a journey well worth making. West Cornwall, just outside Lelant and near the famous artists’ town of St Ives with its narrow streets, is a real beauty of a links, with the courses at Perranporth and Mullion a mere half an hour away to the north-east and south-east respectively.

West Cornwall Golf Club - 1st hole

The par-3 opener plays towards a 15th century church

(Image credit: Rob Smith)

West Cornwall is the county’s oldest club and among the best golf courses in Cornwall, albeit shorter and much less well-known than the famous links duo at Trevose and St Enodoc a little further back up the county’s north coast. It was founded in 1889 and was the home club of four-time Major champion, ‘Long’ Jim Barnes, who was born in Lelant and claimed all three Majors available to him between 1916 and 1925 in those pre-Masters years.

West Cornwall Golf Club - the triangle

The trio of holes bottom right across the railway is christened 'The Triangle' by members

(Image credit: West Cornwall Golf Club)

The course, which enjoys fine views over St Ives Bay and the Hayle estuary, starts out with a mid-length par 3 towards the 15th-century church of St Uny’s before turning left for the excellent par-4 2nd, where the approach is played through a narrow gap in the dunes. There is a trio of holes across the railway from the 5th to the 7th - which the members know as ‘The Triangle’ - where the skeletal frame of an old warehouse regularly echoes to the sound of pulled or hooked drives on the short par-4 6th.

West Cornwall Golf Club - 12th green

The green on the par-5 12th with the well-bunkered 10th green beyond

(Image credit: West Cornwall Golf Club)

There are a good number of tempting par 4s on the card along with stronger tests in the longer 9th and 14th holes. There is also a degree of quirkiness in places - the shared fairway on 4 and 8, for example – and a few blind shots to contend with. But this is simply a lovely place to play golf, with the fine low-level views over the estuary early in the round surpassed late on when the course climbs to slightly higher ground that really magnifies the splendour of the vista.

Jeremy Ellwood
Contributing Editor

Jeremy Ellwood has worked in the golf industry since 1993 and for Golf Monthly since 2002 when he started out as equipment editor. He is now a freelance journalist writing mainly for Golf Monthly. He is an expert on the Rules of Golf having qualified through an R&A course to become a golf referee. He is a senior panelist for Golf Monthly's Top 100 UK & Ireland Course Rankings and has played all of the Top 100 plus 91 of the Next 100, making him well-qualified when it comes to assessing and comparing our premier golf courses. He has now played 1,000 golf courses worldwide in 35 countries, from the humblest of nine-holers in the Scottish Highlands to the very grandest of international golf resorts. He reached the 1,000 mark on his 60th birthday in October 2023 on Vale do Lobo's Ocean course. Put him on a links course anywhere and he will be blissfully content.

Jezz can be contacted via Twitter - @JezzEllwoodGolf

Jeremy is currently playing...

Driver: Ping G425 LST 10.5˚ (draw setting), Mitsubishi Tensei AV Orange 55 S shaft

3 wood: Ping G425 Max 15˚ (set to flat +1), Mitsubishi Tensei AV Orange 65 S shaft

Hybrid: Ping G425 17˚, Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Orange 80 S shaft

Irons 3-PW: Ping i525, True Temper Dynamic Gold 105 R300 shafts

Wedges: Ping Glide 4.0 50˚ and 54˚, 12˚ bounce, True Temper Dynamic Gold 105 R300 shafts

Putter: Ping Fetch 2021 model, 33in shaft (set flat 2)

Ball: Varies but mostly now TaylorMade Tour Response