2-fore!-1 Golf in Wales
29 Courses in Flintshire, Newport, Wales, Gwynedd, Ceredigion, Monmouthshire, Cardiff, Wales, Vale of Glamorgan, Pembrokeshire, Denbighshire , Llanidloes, Porthmadog, Wentlooge, Cwm-twrch Isaf, Mold, Wales, South Wales, Morriston, Cefn-coed-y-cymmer, Llandrindod Wells, Clwyd , Isle of Anglesey, Wales, North Wales, Llandysul, South Glamorgan, Mayals, Powys, Anglesey
Your golfing experience in Wales will be one of warm welcome, very well kept courses (the smaller, hidden away courses as well as the well known clubs), scenic beauty that encompasses your game, and an extra touch of magic from the rich Arthurian legends of the past. If you allow it to act on you, this may bring a new edge to your golfing skills. Where you are preparing to swing your clubs, those legendary knights once wielded their swords with equal precision, strength and determination. You may even play your rounds in Merlin's hometown of Carmarthen.
Wales has some 200 golf courses. Two of these, St Davids and Porthcawl, received Royal status in the early 1900s. The first recorded Welsh golf course, in Pontnewydd in Monmouthshire, was laid out in 1875. Nine hole courses appeared along the coast through the 1880s, and in 1888 the Tenby Golf Club was founded. Other clubs soon followed, including Conwy, Penarth, Porthcawl and Aberdovey. In 1895 the Welsh Golfing Union was formed and the first amateur tournament was held, followed in 1904 by the founding of the Welsh Ladies Golfing Union. In 2007 these merged into the Golf Union of Wales.
Wales hosted the Ryder Cup in 2010 at the Celtic Manor Resort, held over four days due to heavy rain, and has won the world cup twice. Most of the Welsh golf courses are along the coastline and many have dramatic or panoramic views.
Three of the best:
Tenby Golf Club
Tenby Golf Club, in Pembrokeshire, was the first golf club to be established in Wales. Opened in 1888, the original nine hole course was expanded to 18 holes in 1907. Tenby was also a founding member of the Welsh Golfing Union. It is a regular host of the Welsh Amateur Championships. Overlooking Carmarthen Bay, this classic links course offers beautiful sea views, which include Caldey Island. One of the Holy Islands of Britain, Caldey has a recorded history going back 1500 years. Benedictines built the Monastery, now the home of Cistercian monks, the Trappists. If you are golfing at Tenby in spring or summer you can visit the island as well. However, Tenby is far more than a holiday golf course. There is an ageless quality to the design - you could almost be stepping back in time. While the rolling greens are contoured and very fast, the dunes are untamed and you'll need to watch for unexpected pot bunkers, as well as dense gorse ("the rough is very rough"). Buggies can be hired from the club where preferred. From the warmth of your welcome and the generous dining facilities, the charming nature of your surrounds and the beautifully maintained golf course, your visit to Tenby will be more than worthwhile.
Royal Porthcawl Golf Club
The Royal Porthcawl is a true championship course, one of the very best. Founded in 1891 as a 9 hole course, this was expanded to 18 holes a few years later. The club was given the Royal title in 1909. Shortly afterwards the course was developed further, and again in the 1930s. In 2014 and again in 2016 it hosted the Seniors Open Championship, and has hosted the Amateur Championship seven times. Today it is the number one ranked course in Wales, and in the top 100 in the world. It opens as a links course, and your first three holes are along the shore's edge. Further along, the course rises and you're on a ridge overlooking the sea. Through curves and contours, twists and turns, the ocean is always in view. The winds also make their presence felt. The first hole and views of the ocean can be seen on the club's live webcam, here: http://www.royalporthcawl.com/course/live-webcam/
Royal St David's Golf Club
Royal St David's Golf Club is one of the earliest to open in Wales. The course was laid in 1894, and the club received its Royal status in 1908. The setting of the Royal St David's Golf Course is extraordinarily atmospheric. World Heritage listed Harlech Castle towers above the course, which extends over the dunes towards the sea. Past the dunes is the wide, sweeping and beautiful Tremadog Bay, and northwards are views across to Snowdonia. This championship links course is not the standard 'out and back' links design. Rather, there are a string of long and demanding par four holes and five short holes, giving an overall zig-zag sense. The last five holes loop through the dunes to a challenging end.