A to Z: I-lfracombe to J-ohn O'Gaunt

Our series identifying courses we recommend, is proving popular. But don't forget to tell us your own opinions...

Bob Warters's picture
Fri, 16 Jan 2004

A to Z: I-lfracombe to J-ohn O'Gaunt
A to Z: I-lfracombe to J-ohn O'Gaunt
Ilfracombe – on headland.

If you’re looking for a golfing day out why not take up our regularly recommendations as we sift through a personal A to Z of golf courses.

We want to hear your views, too, so tell us on the Forum if we’ve left out any under the appropriate letters.

I

Ilfracombe

01271 862176

I’ve always had a soft spot for this North Devon course set on the Bristol Channel headland – it was one of my first holiday golf experiences. And I couldn’t resist hitting a couple of old balls into the sea 100 foot below. Recall it as a little dangerous in parts with fairways criss-crossing and some quirky holes towards the end of the round. But for about £20 a day, who cares!

Innellan

01369 702373

A spectacular 9-hole course overlooking the Firth of Clyde, five miles south of Dunoon, where I almost claimed my first hole in one 20 years ago. From one of the handful of elevated tees my ball soared, bounced and stopped six inches short of the hole. Such a welcoming club with great views.

Ilkley

01943 600214

Nestled in the beautiful Wharfe Valley with Ilkey Moor as its backdrop, this is one of the most picturesque golf clubs in the country. The River is an ever present threat during the opening holes, of this mature parkland setting. Colin Montgomerie learned his golf as a junior here and is an honorary member, alongside former Ryder Cup captain and local resident Mark James. Until the end of March you can play here for £27 – the rest of the year it’s about £40.

A to Z: I-lfracombe to J-ohn O'Gaunt
Ilkley’s short 15th hole.

Isle of Purbeck

01929 450354

Set above Studland Bay, near Bournemouth it’s an enchanting place to play golf on purple, heather-fringed fairways, with yellow gorse and broom adding to the spectacular scene. This is heathland, moorland and links golf rolled into one. Not to be missed at a club that dates back to 1892. Among the original owners was children’s author Enid Blyton.

J

Jedburgh

01835 863587

Designed by the legendary former Open champion Willie Park, Jedburgh is a 9-hole, exposed parkland course. Worth a visit if you’re taking the scenic route through the Scottish border country towards Edinburgh.

John O’Gaunt

01767 260360

Rated as probably the best creation of the famous Hawtree design family, the main course at this little-known Bedfordshire venue near Biggleswade is an absolute gem and usually in exceptional condition. Part parkland and woodland, the signature hole is the 17th where the green is set on a former castle mound. It’s not cheap, around £50 in the week (and they’ll require and handicap certificate) but you won’t regret the effort. There’s also a shorter, less mature Carthagena course.