We stayed at the Manor part of the complex 5-10 minutes away, but being keen golfers spent most of our time at the Ashbury. On paper it does sound magnificent, 7 x 18 hole courses with all the accompanying facilities, however there are two fundamental issues which tarnish the whole experience. One is the unavoidable fact that the whole site is based on clay soils so that each of the 7 courses is prone to being very muddy. One's ball, wherever it comes to rest, invariably has to be cleaned, that is if it hasn't completely plugged. That apart, the courses are very varied, for the most part very scenic over the undulating Devonshire countryside, and a joy to play. That leads me to the second key issue which certainly tarnished our experience. The joy of playing was seriously marred by the complete lack of suitable course management. On every day we played, it took over 5 hours to complete a round. Queues formed at almost every hole. The main reasons were either foursomes playing variations of the game as part of a group's programme/itinerary, which inevitably took longer, or holiday golfers, or twosomes following foursomes, or basically too many people being allowed onto a course with insufficient time between each game. We only met one course 'marshall' who was circulating with refreshments (a nice touch), and he did respond positively to our concerns but it was too late to have any real impact. Fortunately the weather was kind throughout each of our rounds so that all the hanging around, though very frustrating and irritating, didn't totally ruin the experience. If it had been cold and wet, there would have been some very angry golfers, most of which would have probably curtailed their games faced with such additional handicaps.
The first issue is insurmountable, the second, with more creative thinking and organisation could be greatly improved if not avoided.
- Also Known As:
- The Ashbury Hotel Devon/Fowley Cross