On the trail of James Braid in Pwllheli

My brother-in-law Owain and I played at Pwlhelli last Wednesday, along with six friends. As we drove into the car park the putting green and seventh green were on the right and looked manicured and tidy. Approaching the clubhouse you can immediately see the parkland front holes and the links back nine going away from you. We had coffee and a bacon sandwich from the lovely chatty clubhouse staff before booking in with the pro, who was very pleasant and helpful in his well stocked shop.

The course proved to be quite tricky to play in the variable gusting wind conditions we encountered, especially once we were out into the links holes. Everything was in great condition and the greens were very true, although slightly slower than we were used to.  Everybody enjoyed the mix of challenges presented by the course layout.

It's hard to pick out particular holes although I particularly enjoyed the dog leg 16th as a brave tee shot aimed left to cut the corner left me 50yds out and set me up for a birdie three!  The others thought the fifth was a good hole.  The warning sign on a tree as you approach the tee should be heeded since the lake in front of the green cannot be seen from the tee and requires a layup fairway wood rather than a drive. Not everyone took heed and ended up getting wet. 

The signature James Braid hole is the long par-three 10th. This is an excellent challenge requiring accuracy and a long straight hit to find the green and avoid the large bunker protecting the front of the green or to prevent the wind blowing your ball over the rough grass down the left side of the hole and out into the sea. I scored 34 points and Owain got 30 so we felt we had done the course justice.

Everybody thoroughly enjoyed the game and with a mix of handicaps ranging from 10 to 28 it proves that the course can be enjoyed by all standards of golfer. You do not have to be a big hitter to play Pwhelli well. Armed with a course planner to guide you round and help you choose your shots, together with some straight and accurate ball striking, a great score is there for the having. Will we go back? You bet we will!