Perranporth Golf Club, 24th May 2017
The third benign day in a row but muggy, cloudy and as with the first two days not very good photographic conditions. To the naked eye this was very heaven. By a curious geology this was a view of mountainous links, wild seascapes, expansive beaches with views to excite. Yet we were hundreds of feet above the sea. Had some seismic geology pushed the dunes to the top of the cliff? It felt like a sea level course placed on top of a hill. Lip smacking.
There was just enough wind to keep shots honest and the darkening skies made intimidating views more ominous but there is room down the first, a par 4, hurrah, to help you find your feet and the green. There are many blind shots and a profusion of marker posts. Not least on the second which is like going up, not down, a helter skelter.
I thought that perhaps they had bought a job lot of marker posts and placed them randomly but in some instances it is necessary for different tees to have their own marker posts and one had to carefully work out where you were trying to go off each tee and commit to that marker post. We chose correctly but there were moments of doubt.
James Braid did a fantastic job here utterly natural in feel and look. Exceptional. Many of the holes run down chutes of dunes and wild grasses that skip balls in all directions like school children released early from the school gates. There are a number of raised greens to complicate club selection but once reached they were fast and true, essential when almost always there is a requirement to rectify earlier errors by being abstemious with the putter. Slopes, or hillsides sweep you around which with the wind, give and take away, but overall add a decent measure to the length of the course. Take advantage on an easier day and be fortunate that you are not playing for your card in a November medal.
The members must be lovely to have bought and maintained this course but beware their stated handicap. This is my type of course. Alas no railway or church but proper links country. The love was returned with the best round I can recall and a resounding victory against my patient friend who had the opposite round. Like Dorian Gray and his portrait my scorecard was perfectly formed and his was like the portrait in the attic riddled with the excesses of a life of debauchery and a total not unlike the national debt. And that probably sums it up; not a place to go to try and hammer out the kinks in your swing or when you feel the world is against you but taken without expectation of a low score there is something for everyone and any number of holes to draw you back that will stay with you forever.
If you are going this far make sure you drop in on Newquay which by the time I got there had the promised Mediterranean weather as a reward for my earlier efforts. Dinner and a bed was provided by my old tutor whose love of language and delight in people makes him a fine decanter of words and his wife his superb sommelier adding to the jollity and getting the best out of everyone. Thank you.