Golf News for Thursday, March 20, 2014 | Travel

England's Atlantic Links offers sizzling summer golf packages

The north Devon links of Saunton, east and west courses, and Royal North Devon or the Cornish combination of Trevose and St Enodoc a little further down the coast, plus a visit to Burnham & Berrow in Somerset on the way down, make for the perfect two-night, three-round trip from only US$528.

For those with more time on their hands, a leisurely tour along the north Atlantic Links to play all six courses, staying seven nights, costs from US$1,282.

A wide variety of alternative packages can be found at www.atlantic-links.co.uk provided by Countrywide Golf Holidays, who are also able to tailor-make itineraries according to individuals' budgetary requirements and accommodation preferences.

When comparing the south west breaks available with a number of golf clusters in Scotland, Wales, Ireland and northern England that feature a similar standard of links golf courses, England's Atlantic Links stands out as offering tremendous value.

"In our eyes, a golf trip to the Atlantic Links delivers premier links golf at 'half the price, but twice the experience'," comments Nick Gammon, manager at Trevose Golf & Country Club.

"In addition to great golf, the south west provides charming, yet reasonable hotel and self-catering accommodation alongside a wide range of restaurants and local pubs that offer fresh, local cuisine in addition to the region's well-known seafood, cream teas and cheddar! If you are bringing your family, there are many off-course activities to entertain the kids such as surfing, fishing, walking, cycling and horse riding as well as local attractions that include Tintagel Castle, The Eden Project, the Lost Gardens of Heligan, Tate St Ives and the nearby Barbara Hepworth Museum."

In terms of accessibility, the M4 &M5 motorways and A39 "Atlantic Highway", and international airports at London, Birmingham, Bristol, Exeter and Newquay, ensure the south west is easy to get to for all visitors.

Sample Atlantic Links Packages:

Atlantic Links Cornwall, 2-night, 3-round:
• 18 holes at Trevose
• 18 holes at St Enodoc
• 18 holes at Burnham & Berrow
• 2 x nights at Trevose Golf & Country Club, nr Padstow
From US$528 (May through October)
Contact info@atlantic-links.co.uk or call +44 (0)1637 879991

Atlantic Links Devon, 2-night, 3-round:
• 18 holes at Royal North Devon
• 18 holes at Saunton East
• 18 holes at Burnham & Berrow
• 2 x nights at Royal & Fortescue Hotel, Barnstaple
From US$540 (May, June, September & Oct)
From US$556 (June & August)
Contact info@atlantic-links.co.uk or call +44 (0)1637 879991

Atlantic Links, 7-night, 6-round:
• 18 holes at Royal North Devon
• 18 holes at Saunton East & West
• 18 holes at Trevose
• 18 holes at St Enodoc
• 18 holes at Burnham & Berrow
From US$1,282 (May, June, September & October)
From US$1,332 (July & August)

Contact info@atlantic-links.co.uk or call +44 (0)1637 879991

For more golf breaks, go to www.atlantic-links.co.uk

For further press information and photographs, please contact Helen Heady of Heady PR, on behalf of England's Atlantic Links on M: +44 (0)7966 491 509 or T: +44 (0)20 8789 0900 or E: helen@headypr.co.uk

Established in 2008, England's Atlantic Links is now recognized as one of the leading golfing destinations in the UK. Hardly surprising as this exceptional string of golfing gems comprises the six best links courses in the south west: Somerset's Burnham & Berrow, Saunton's West and East Courses and Royal North Devon in Devon and the north Cornish clubs of St Enodoc and Trevose.

The Courses:
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. St Enodoc has been bestowed the honour of hosting the 2014 English Women's Amateur Championship from July 14 to 17, further testament to the quality of the Church Course.

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 7,168-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.

Countrywide Golf Holidays
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.

For more, go to www.countrywidegolfholidays.com or contact info@countrywide-golf.com or tel: +44 (0)1637 879991.