Think of links golf in the British Isles and more often than not your mind will conjure up names from the Open Championship rota of courses – the Old Course at St Andrews, Carnoustie, Turnberry, Royal Birkdale, and so on. It's perfectly understandable – and make no mistake: any golfer worth their salt should try and play these magnificent layouts before it's time to join that Great Golf Course in the Sky. But the fact remains that Britain is packed full of great courses, a huge number of which get completely overlooked – particularly by foreign travellers – purely because they don't hold a notable professional tournament. The Open returns to the south of England this July – to Royal St Georges (another must-play) – after a hiatus of eight years, which is great news for the clubs in an around the immediate region: they're sure to do thriving business with more than 150,000 spectators likely to descend on the Kent coast to watch the third major of the year. But head down to the southwest of the country, to the counties of Devon and Cornwall, and you'll discover a number of tremendous links tracks that have the twin advantages of being decidedly less busy and decidedly less expensive. They call themselves the Atlantic Links and they offer golfing tourists a first-class alternative to the well-trodden and more traditional golf routes of the Scottish and Lancashire coasts.
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