England's Atlantic Links courses of Saunton East, St Enodoc and Burnham & Berrow have all been named in the latest Golf World GB&I Top 100 course ranking whilst the remaining links that make up this premier offering, namely Saunton West, Royal North Devon and Trevose, are included in the second 100.
Saunton East in Devon is highest on the list at number 27 and is closely followed by Cornwall's St Enodoc at 35, up three places from the last ranking, with Burnham & Berrow in Somerset coming in at number 79.
"To have three out of the six Atlantic Links courses featured in Golf World's prestigious new ranking and the other three courses making it into the second 100 is a huge endorsement for us as a golfing destination. This is especially so as the second 100 has been recognised as of a far higher calibre than in years gone by given the rise of a number of magnificent new courses and the improvement of some of the established ones," commented Peter McMullen, general manager of Saunton Golf Club set on the North Devon coast.
Further endorsement of all six courses in the Atlantic Links comes on a regular basis from the R&A and England Golf, who approach them to host the major national championships.
It was announced recently for example that Saunton has been bestowed the honour of staging the English Amateur Championship in 2014 whilst neighbouring Royal North Devon will host the Men's English County Finals as part of their 150 year celebrations in the same year.
The Atlantic Links was established back in 2007 when the five clubs agreed to market themselves as the premier links trail in the south west of England. Since then the offering has proved itself to be a viable alternative to the links groupings on offer in Scotland, Ireland and Wales.
England's Atlantic Links not only comprises of some of the oldest and most stunning links in the country, but still offers amazing value for money with green fees averaging out at around just £70 over the winter and summer seasons.
Located amid the wild and unadulterated backdrop of north Atlantic coastline, all six courses offer challenging and exhilarating golf in a temperate micro climate and have now firmly established themselves as one of the most prestigious links destinations in the UK.
England's Atlantic Links courses' combined appeal of history, tradition and variety is complemented by numerous off-course activities along the Atlantic coastline from sea sports to trekking, gardens to museums, culture to gastronomy as well as charming fishing villages to market towns.
In terms of travel, the nearby M5 motorway and A39 "Atlantic Highway", and international airports at Birmingham, Bristol, Exeter and Newquay, ensure easy accessibility for all visitors.
For further information on England's Atlantic Links, visit www.atlantic-links.co.uk.
For further background, photographs or interest in press trips to the region , please contact Helen Heady of Heady PR, on behalf of England's Atlantic Links on M: +44 7966 491 509 or T: +44 20 8789 0900 or E: email@example.com
Somerset's Burnham & Berrow is known as a challenging course that has evolved over the decades. Today's layout however is largely the work of Harry Colt and is noted for its distinct sand hills that form stubborn, natural obstacles along with the buckthorn, a marsh and prevailing south westerly winds that whip in from the Atlantic and along the Bristol Channel. The club's first professional was the legendary JH Taylor, five times an Open champion, who described the course as "one of the most sporting courses conceivable".
Testament to the quality of the course is the number of top amateur events that the club has hosted since its inception in 1890. The 2009 Tillman Trophy was staged at Burnham & Berrow whilst in 2011 it hosted the R&A Boys Championship and The Brabazon Trophy - for the fifth time - and in doing so entered golfing history by becoming the first course to hold both championships in the same year.
Further down the coast Royal North Devon, founded in 1864, is England's oldest links course and a must for anyone interested in the history of the game. Experiencing Westward Ho! as this links is fondly referred to, is like taking a step back in time and seeing how golf was played 100 years ago whilst the memorabilia and ancient trophies found in the clubhouse are rivalled only by those housed in the Royal & Ancient clubhouse in St Andrews.
Nearby Saunton meanwhile boasts two championship courses that since 1932 have enjoyed a strong tradition of hosting prestigious amateur competitions and in 2014 Saunton's East and West Courses will stage the English Amateur Championship, the blue riband men's event on England Golf's calendar, in late July. Little wonder that Sir Nick Faldo once said of the Saunton links, "I've no doubt that if the East Course were located on the coast of Lancashire or Kent it would have hosted an Open Championship by now".
As the trail heads down to Cornwall, another links once trodden, never forgotten greets the golfer. St Enodoc, founded in 1890 and designed by James Braid, revels in a stunning setting amongst the dunes overlooking the River Camel estuary and with far-reaching views over the Atlantic. The Church course, so called because of the Norman Church that was uncovered in the middle of the course, is famous for its towering Himalaya bunker that entirely blocks golfers' view of the 6th green from all but a slither of fairway.
St Enodoc's neighbour, Trevose, is set against the backdrop of the majestic Trevose Head and in benign conditions the 6,973-yard championship course offers good scoring opportunities though the character and challenge of the course are transformed when the wind blows in from the sea. Trevose has also staged a number of amateur tournaments including the 2008 Brabazon Trophy and this year will host the McGregor Trophy.