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The Cary Arms And Teignmouth Golf Club Review

By: Derek Clements | Thu 20 Oct 2022

THERE are times when I consider myself pretty lucky to have made the career choice that I did all those years ago. And I have to tell you that I had to pinch myself more than once during a recent stay at the Cary Arms, located in a glorious bay in Babbacombe, near Torquay in Devon.

The views from the patio garden and, indeed, from most of the rooms, will take your breath away as you look out from Babbacombe Bay towards Portland Bill, and all the while there is the sound of the sea in the background.

The Cary Arms is located at the bottom of a steep hill (a VERY steep hill) and, at first glance, resembles an old smugglers’ inn. But first impressions can be very misleading.

This is luxury five-star accommodation that has won more awards than you can shake a stick at - and it is magnificent. 

The Cary Arms

The Cary Arms offers a wide array of accommodation. We stayed in The Commodore, a stunning room with huge double bed, central heating, TV, free wifi, tea and coffee making facilities, high-class furniture and a bathroom with a fabulous walk-in shower. It also has its own garden and a balcony where you can sit and drink in those views. Oh, the views…

There are plenty of other options, including seven coastal cottages. Beach Cottage sleeps eight people, Rose Cottage nine, Cove, Smugglers and Seaview Cottages sleep six, Basy Cottage sleeps four and Foxes Walks can accommodate nine guests. And Beach, Rose and Smugglers are also dog friendly.

You will not be surprised to learn that the food is spectacular. Try a Devon full English breakfast, cooked to perfection, and it will set you up for the day. And, of course, all the ingredients are locally sourced.

But it is the dinner that you will remember. I started with mussels in a spectacular sauce, followed by beef and then an orange tiramisu for dessert. The steak melted in my mouth and the tiramisu was as light as a feather. My wife had scallops, chicken breast and cheese and biscuits. Let’s just say that there wasn’t a lot of conversation as we ate!

Cary Arms

There is even a menu for your dog!

The Cary Arms has a stay-and-play arrangement with Teignmouth Golf Club and while I went off to explore the course my wife headed off to the spa which, naturally, once again takes your breath away with its sea views.

My significant other had been experiencing persistent shoulder pain and opted for a massage, after which the pain and discomfort had completely disappeared. She also managed to fall asleep during her treatment. Very impressive.

It’s the little things that make the difference... 

You park your car outside the Cary Arms and a member of staff is immediately on hand to take your luggage to your room. You hand over your car keys and they will park the car for you. 

If you don’t fancy climbing the 80-odd steps to the car park they provide transport to take you to your vehicle.

Nothing is too much trouble for the staff who are all clearly proud of their place of work.

Cary Arms

The Cary Arms is part of De Savary Properties, owned by Lana and Peter de Savary. The couple’s ethos is to create a warm and friendly experience with great service and delicious food. Mission accomplished!

Lana de Savary has assisted her husband Peter in creating some of the finest clubs and resorts around the world, including the St. James’ Clubs, The Carnegie Club at Skibo Castle in Scotland, Cherokee Plantation in South Carolina, Carnegie Abbey in Rhode Island, Bovey Castle on Dartmoor National Park, England, as well as The Abaco Club on Winding Bay in the Bahamas.

For more information on The Cary Arms, please visit https://www.caryarms.co.uk/.

Teignmouth Golf Club

Teignmouth Golf Club

Teignmouth was designed by Alister MacKenzie and opened in 1924. That’s the same MacKenzie who created the gem that is Augusta National. 

This is a heathland course that stands 700 feet above sea level and offers views that are truly jaw-dropping. And the green fee, at just £50 seven days a week, is an absolute steal. If you stay at the Cary Arms the cost is even less.

Teignmouth is a glorious course that will test golfers of all standards. Most of the greens are small and undulating - put your ball in the wrong place and you can forget it. The bunkering is magnificent and MacKenzie left a signature here - every hole has three humps behind the green.

Oddly, it is a par 71 from the yellow tees but a 69 from the back tees.

It opens with a par five measuring 476 yards with the tee shot played to a fairway that slopes from right to left - go too far left and you can run up a cricket score. Teignmouth has six par threes and they are all beautiful holes. The second measures 150 yards and is played to a well-bunkered green. When the flag is at the front of the putting surface you will do well to make a par. The fourth is a par four measuring 386 yards. Usually played into the wind, finding the fairway is a must. The sixth is a 466-yard par four that calls for a drive struck over heather. They key is to avoid the bunker on the right. The seventh is a brute of a par three measuring 208 yards, affording magnificent views of Dartmoor in the background. The front nine closes with a 555-yard par five. The cross bunkers 130 yards from the green require the average player to keep the ball to the left before an approach to a two-tier green.

Teignmouth GC

The best views on the course come at the 10th tee, a tough par four measuring 468 yards. It is a straightforward hole as long as you avoid the fairway bunker. It has a small, narrow green. The 12th only measures 367 yards but the tee shot is played over a quarry. The two-tiered green is guarded by two large bunkers. The 14th is a par four stretching to 378 yards. Sand to the left is to be avoided from the tee before an approach to another small green. The toughest hole on the course is the 15th, a par four measuring 444 yards. The fairway slopes from right to left and there is no future in going left. Your approach should be played to the right of the green, which also slopes from right to left. The 16th is a gorgeous par three that measures just 127 yards but the green is guarded by a cavernous bunker. The 17th is a downhill par four of 331 yards. If the conditions are right, it is possible to drive the green but there is trouble everywhere. A classic risk and reward hole. And that brings us to the 18th, a par three measuring 225 yards, with your tee shot played over a quarry and out of bounds to the left. A wonderful closing hole.

For more information on Teignmouth Golf Club, please visit https://www.teignmouthgolfclub.co.uk/.

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