Golf News for Friday, July 12, 2013 | Business

England's Atlantic Links appoints Countrywide Golf Holidays to encourage more overseas visitors

England's Atlantic Links, one of the UK's premier golfing destinations, has appointed Countrywide Golf Holidays as its preferred tour operator to encourage more international golfers from overseas to experience this exceptional collection of six championship links courses located along the north Atlantic Coast.

The Atlantic Links comprises a quintet of legendary clubs in south west England: Somerset's Burnham & Berrow, Royal North Devon and Saunton in Devon and the north Cornish clubs of St Enodoc and Trevose.

Countrywide Golf Holidays is well placed to promote the Atlantic Links as it has been organising golf tours in the UK for over 20 years and, thanks to being based in Cornwall, has indepth knowledge of the five clubs, nearby accommodation providers and off-course attractions and activities.

"With strong focus on personal service, tailor-made itineraries and a commitment to offer value for money, combined with a passion for the West Country, Countrywide Golf Holidays is a natural partner for the Atlantic Links," commented Iain Tym of Countrywide Golf Holidays.

"We have dealt with all the clubs regularly on an individual basis for many years and we are very familiar with the courses and their facilities. As a group they form an extremely attractive package for golfers in terms of quality links, stunning landscape and value for money so we are very much looking forward to raising the profile of this prestigious golfing destination amongst European, American and Asian golfers."

Despite the high quality of the courses, the Atlantic Links remains relatively unknown compared with the well-trodden links of Scotland and Ireland. However all six courses appear regularly in recognized course ratings compiled by top golf publications and are frequently bestowed the honour of hosting top amateur championships, further testament to the quality of these links.

In 2008 for example Trevose staged The Brabazon Trophy (English Men's Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship) whilst in 2011 it was Burnham & Berrow's turn, for the fifth time. That same year Burnham entered golf's history books by staging the R&A Boys Championship to become the first course to hold both championships in one year. Next year Saunton's East and West Courses will host the English Amateur Championship, the blue riband men's event on England Golf's 2014 calendar.

The Atlantic Links combined appeal of history, tradition and variety is complemented by an array of off-course attractions such as pretty coastal towns like Clovelly and Ilfracombe in Devon, bustling market towns such as Wadebridge and Barnstaple and charming fishing villages like Port Isaac, Rock and Padstow in north Cornwall. Further up the coast, historic towns like Weston-super-Mare and the spa town of Bath, near Burnham & Berrow, are ideal destinations to round off a golfing adventure.

The region's rich culture features the inimitable Barbara Hepworth Museum and Tate St Ives, displaying the very best in modern and local art, the renown Eden Project and fascinating Lost Gardens of Heligan whilst outdoor activities such as surfing around Newquay and walking and horse riding in Exmoor National Park are as good as anywhere in the British Isles.

The gastronomic delights of the South West are not to be missed either, from the exceptional Padstow seafood restaurants of famous local chef Rick Stein and a variety of other Michelin-starred restaurants, to real English ale and authentic pub grub in an abundance of traditional country pubs.

In terms of travel, the nearby M5 motorway and A39 "Atlantic Highway", and international airports at Bristol, Exeter and Newquay, ensure easy accessibility for all visitors.

Atlantic Links Golf Packages for 2013:
Full Atlantic Links Golf Experience
- Four nights' accommodation at the 3-star Royal & Fortescue Hotel, Barnstaple, North Devon
- Three nights at the Molesworth Arms Hotel, Wadebridge, Cornwall
- Five rounds of golf
- Burnham & Berrow Golf Club
- Saunton Golf Club - East or West Course
- Royal North Devon Golf Club
- Trevose Golf Club
- St Enodoc Golf Club

- Price per person: £655.00 (circa US$990) per person
(supplement to stay at the 4-star Imperial Hotel, Barnstaple and the 4-star Metropole Hotel, Padstow: £195.00 (circa US$295) per person)

Shorter trips are available such as:

Atlantic Links Golf in North Cornwall
- Two nights' bed & breakfast accommodation at the Trevose Golf & Country Club, nr Padstow, Cornwall
- Three rounds of golf
Day 1 - Trevose Golf Club
Day 2 - St Enodoc Golf Club
Day 3 - Trevose Golf Club
- Price per person: £268.00 (circa US$405) per person

***The prices are valid until the 31st October 2013 and include twin/double share accommodation, breakfast, golf & VAT. Dinner supplements and single room supplements are available on request.

**** Countrywide Golf Holidays can tailor itineraries according to golfers' preferences and budgets.

For further information on England's Atlantic Links, visit www.atlantic-links.co.uk or for Atlantic Links Golf Packages contact Countrywide Golf Holidays at info@countrywide-golf.com

For further information and photographs, 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: helen@headypr.co.uk

The Courses that Comprise England's Atlantic Links:
Founded in 1890, Somerset's Burnham & Berrow is particularly noted for its distinct sand hills that form such stubborn, natural obstacles, along with the buckthorn and even a marsh for golfers to avoid mid-way through a round. Throw in the prevailing south westerly winds that whip in from the Atlantic and along the Bristol Channel, and golfers are left with a links challenge not for the faint hearted. The course has evolved over the decades but today's layout is largely the work of Harry Colt. 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". Burnham & Berrow has hosted a string of prestigious amateur tournaments, most recently the 2011 R&A Boys Championship and The Brabazon Trophy.

Dating back to 1864, Royal North Devon, or Westward Ho! as it is also known, is England's oldest links and next year celebrates its 150th birthday for which the club has organized a number of tournaments and events. The golf course has hardly changed over nearly 150 years and to play it is like taking a step back in time and seeing how golf was played in Victorian England. The golf course, on terrain that undulates more gently than Burnham & Berrow, is set on common land on which livestock still graze. While JH Taylor may have served as Burnham & Berrow's first pro, it as here at Royal North Devon that the golfer started his career as a caddie and later finished it as club president. With such heritage, the clubhouse serves as a treasure trove of golf memorabilia second only to the R&A.

Further down the Devon coast is Saunton, set in the remote shadows of the giant sand dunes of Braunton Burrows. When the club was inaugurated in 1897 its clubhouse doubled up as the local post office, yet now its two championship courses, East and West, are among the greatest links in the world. England's most successful post-war golfer, Nick Faldo, has said, "I've no doubt if the East Course were located on the coast of Lancashire or Kent it would have hosted an Open Championship by now," although the West course is an exceptional challenge in its own right and it is a mistake to consider it second best. It was here in 1997 that a 17-year-old Sergio Garcia won the British Boys Championship, just two years before making his Ryder Cup debut.

Cornwall's St Enodoc is another links once trodden, never forgotten. Founded in 1890 and designed by James Braid, it has a fantastic setting among 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 renowned for its towering Himalaya bunker that entirely blocks golfers' view of the 6th green from all but a slither of fairway. This is the tallest bunker in Europe. Over the past four years the course has benefited hugely from refurbishments that have included laying new greens and tees.

Across the Camel River from St Enodoc and over the majestic Trevose Head that juts into the Atlantic, Trevose Golf & Country Club offers a brilliant links that staged the celebrated English Amateur Stroke play Championship (Brabazon Trophy) in 2008. Complete with holiday flats and bungalows, Trevose conjures a relaxed holiday atmosphere to go with its classic Harry Colt golf course. With only a gentle breeze the 6,973-yard Championship Course offers good scoring opportunities, particularly with 3 par 5's, but the character of the course is transformed when the winds blows in from the sea.