Conwy Golf Club
Situated on the North Wales coast with spectacular views towards Conwy, Llandudno and across the sea to Anglesey and bordered by the Snowdonia hills, Conwy Golf Club is a superb links course. Several of the holes of the front nine skirt the estuary with views over the bay. As the course turns to the back nine, many of the holes are played beneath the backdrop of the Conwy Mountains. You can also see medieval Conwy Castle, one of the most spectacular in Britain. Conwy became the first Welsh club to host the Open Championship final qualifying in 2006 when the championship was held at nearby Royal Liverpool, close to the Welsh border.
Nefyn & District Golf Club
Nefyn and District Golf Club, located in the North West of Wales on the Llyn Peninsula, offers perhaps the most stunning setting for a round of golf in the country. The Old Course consists of Holes 1-10 followed by Holes 11-18 on the world famous ‘Point’. It opens with a series of 4 holes running Parallel with and at times very close to the rugged coastline, before moving inland with some testing Par 4s and a challenging Par 3. It then moves to The ‘Point’ – eight holes on a narrow peninsula with fairways and tees perched above secluded coves and tiny inlets on one side and sandy beaches on the other. But the best feature for visiting North American golfers is located in the sandy cove below the 12th green, the Ty Coch Inn, a fun traditional pub which is an inviting and charming stop for a pint before continuing your round.
Royal St. David’s Golf Club
Since its foundation in 1894, the championship links of the Royal St. David’s Golf Club has occupied the dunes land between Harlech Castle and the sea. The familiar and foreboding presence of Harlech Castle watches over you as you traverse the links, with the blue waters of Tremedog Bay on one side and the great Welsh mountains of the Snowdonia National Park on the other. A unique Par-69, this is one of the toughest Pars to match in all of Britain. The course starts out gently enough, with the front nine straightforward without much undulation, meandering through some beautiful Snowdonia countryside. The highlight is the 15th, universally recognized as one of the greatest holes in the British Isles and undoubtedly one of the most difficult Par 4s you could ever play.
Aberdovey Golf Club
The original “world’s best golf writer” was the great Bernard Darwin, who first waxed poetic about the finest courses in Britain a century ago, and whose words still describe these gems better than anyone else’s could. So when he describes his home course, Aberdovey Golf Club, as “the course that my soul loves best of all the courses in the world,” you can bet that this is a place worthy of a visit. Opened in 1892 on natural links land running along the mouth of the Dovey Estuary, not a lot has changed in the 100 plus years since it opened and the course still has the traditional railway line along its inner boundary. The highlight is the 12th, a classic links Par 3 along the sea with the green exposed to the seaside winds high atop a dune. Not to be outdone is the straight-from-Prestwick 16th hole, Aberdovey’s “Road Hole” running hard along the old railway. Aberdovey is old-fashioned golf as you can only hope to have the chance to play.
Royal Porthcawl Golf Club
The king of clubs in Wales is the Royal Porthcawl Golf Club located not far from Cardiff on the southern coast. Royal Porthcawl does not have the infrastructure required to host an Open Championship, and the closest it has ever come to staging a world-renowned event was when it hosted the Walker Cup in 1995. The American team, which had Tiger Woods as its main weapon, was blown away, quite literally, by the course. Wind is a constant factor here due to the fact that there are no high dunes or trees that might form some sort of defense – it’s just you against the elements. The course is very reminiscent of Muirfield with cross bunkers on 12 that immediately conjure up the 17th on that great Scottish links. With the closing hole playing towards the sea and into the wind, there is perhaps not a single course in British golf that can produce a finer, more dramatic finish. The sea is visible from every hole here and, while the first three holes run alongside the beach, many of the rest climb high above sea level to afford panoramic views of the Bristol Channel and across to Exmoor. Ranked #44 on Golf Digest’s list of 100 Greatest Courses outside the US.
Southerndown Golf Club
Southerndown Golf Club, originally designed by Willie Fernie and later modified by Donald Steel, has undulating fairways and tight lies providing a downs-land links character. The course is located high on a hill with spectacular views of the sea and Porthcawl as well as the Welsh countryside. The course has rippling fairways, abundant gorse and bracken, and sheep grazing nearby to keep you company throughout your round.
Tenby Golf Club
Tenby Golf Club is considered to be the oldest established golf course in Wales. The course is situated between the sea and the railway and offers stunning views of the sea and the monastic island of Caldey. James Braid was commissioned to extend the course and the new 18 opened in 1907. The layout is one of sand, sea, salt and rolling dunes. Most of Tenby’s holes are short – the entire layout is no more than 6,375 yards for a Par of 69. The fairways are tight; the rough is extensive; and the greens are fast and true.
Pennard Golf Club
Founded around the turn of the century and originally laid out by James Braid, Pennard has long enjoyed the reputation as ‘Wales best kept golfing secret’. Tom Doak, a leading American golf course architect, has described it in his book “The Confidential Guide to Golf Courses” as one of his all-time favorites, saying that the site was one of the most spectacular he had ever seen. The course overlooks the great sandy beaches of Oxwich and Three Cliff Bays, and meanders alongside the ruins of a 12th century Norman Castle which doubles as the club logo. It is undoubtedly the “highest” pure links in the world as there is no “cliff top” Parkland-type turf here even though it is located so high above the sea.
Pyle & Kenfig Golf Club
Pyle and Kenfig Championship Golf Course, known as ‘P & K’, is located in a wonderful stretch of golfing country along the Southern Wales Porthcawl coast. Glorious views adorn this undulating course with its natural hazard of hillocks, valleys and towering dunes. The Bristol Channel, the Gower Peninsula, Sker House and the magnificent Welsh Mountains can all be seen from various points along the links. The 11th hole, a 525 yard Par five known as the Valley Hole, is where the dunes come in to play – from here on in, it’ sheer fun. Pyle & Kenfig’s last three holes (all long Par fours) are amongst the best closing holes in golf.
Celtic Manor Resort – Twenty Ten Course
The Twenty Ten Course at Celtic Manor, built purposely for staging the Ryder Cup in 2010, is a Par 71 measuring 7,493 yards for championship play. It features nine new holes that have been developed along the floor of the Usk Valley, as well as nine holes from the former Wentwood Hills championship course that have been extensively remodeled. With water hazards on half of its holes, the course presents many memorable challenges and its signature hole is the new 413-yard 14th. One of the features of the course is its variety with many of the earlier holes having a links-like feel with some long rough and greenside swales, before the middle section of the course reveals the full extent of the lake-lined challenge.
Celtic Manor Resort – Montgomerie Course
Designed by Colin Montgomerie, this challenging Par 69 course features deep pot bunkering which gives the course a links look. Spectacular views abound with dramatic tee shots over valleys and breathtaking downhill shots. Two long Par fives, a number of short Par fours and several testing Par threes all add up to an exciting and rewarding challenge.
Celtic Manor Resort – Roman Road Course
Opened in 1995, the Roman Road course was the first of the Resorts three courses to be opened. This Par 70 course overlooks the Severn Estuary with views across to Somerset and Devon. It was designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr. and is named after the many Roman roads that cross it.