Golf on the coast
The sandy, scenic North Wales coast is famous for its seaside resorts. There’s great golf too, strung out along the shore from Llandudno all the way to the Wales/England border. Here, we highlight just a few clubs.
Making the cut
You need venture no more than a mile or so from Llandudno to find three outstanding courses. The undisputed ‘Queen of the Welsh resorts’ has kept her looks and character over the years – the promenade and pier are as pristine today as they were when created over 150 years ago.
Let’s start with some links. North Wales (Llandudno) Golf Club on Llandudno’s West Shore, is a true links challenge, a natural course that commands respect as well as superb views across the Conwy Estuary to the mountains of Snowdonia. It’s best known for its duo of criss-cross par threes on the 16th and 17th. ‘They may be pretty short holes but most golfers would pay good money to par both with any sort of breeze blowing,’ says Jeremy Elwood from Golf Monthly magazine.
Maesdu (Llandudno) Golf Club runs almost alongside, though this is parkland golf with links thrown in. The gently undulating course, designed by Tom Jones (no, not that one) and James Braid, is varied, versatile and suitable for all abilities. And it comes with more of those stunning sea and mountain views.
Conwy is the venue for your third golfing experience. It’s another classic links course, the first club in Wales to have the honour of hosting a qualifying round for the Open Championship. This ‘must-play’ course is no stranger to prestigious competitions and invariably attracts praise for its challenge, presentation and condition. ‘It is a course where you have to think off the tee,’ is typical of competitors’ comments.
Head eastwards from Llandudno to Rhyl, home to one of the oldest and friendliest golf clubs in Wales, established in 1890. Unlike the others mentioned here, it’s a nine-hole (18-tee) links course that’s nonetheless challenging, with large fairways but tight, well-guarded greens that are firm and fast. Watch out for northerly and westerly winds, which make things even more exciting. As a bonus, it also offers exceptional value for money.
Close by there’s Prestatyn Golf Club, another unspoilt links course characteristic of the Welsh coast. Again, winds come into play along with the infamous ‘Prestatyn Gutter’, a deep and wide drainage ditch that crosses six of the holes. At nearly 7,000 yards, this championship course is one of the longest in North Wales. A temperate climate and seaside location ensure that the greens play well throughout the year on superb turf.
Need to know
Llandudno has the largest choice of accommodation in Wales. And it’s close to the A55 ‘Expressway’ that takes you to Rhyl and Prestatyn in no time.