Top class golf
If you’ve ever wanted to test your golfing skills against the best in the business, you’ve come to the right place. From Ryder Cups to Senior Open Championships and everything in between, our courses provide venues for top class competition. Time to see how you measure up to the pros.
These courses are dotted throughout the country, so you’ll want to take at least a week to get the best of them.
Making the cut
Start out at Conwy on the rugged North Wales coast. Wales’s only Open Qualifying course, it has played host to numerous competitions in recent years, including the Wales Senior Open and the Wales Ladies Championship of Europe. It’s a classic links played along the mouth of the River Conwy, with a final three holes that are among the most challenging in golf. Many a round has come a cropper here, so approach with caution.
Next stop is the mighty Royal St David’s at Harlech, a regular host of the European Senior Tour and Ladies European Tour. It has been described by former Ryder Cup captain Bernard Gallacher as ‘one of the finest links courses in the world’, an opinion shared by publications like Golf World, Golf Monthly and Golf Digest. Played in the shadow of Harlech’s imposing castle, a round here never lacks drama.
It may have only opened in 2005, but Machynys Peninsula near Llanelli has enjoyed a championship pedigree from day one. That’s partly down to its status as Wales’s only Nicklaus-designed course, but mainly due to the quality of its golf. A 7,021-yard modern links strewn with deep bunkers and water hazards, Machynys is a test for pros and amateurs alike. Little surprise it’s already hosted eight championships – including two R&A championships – in its comparatively short life.
Continuing along the South Wales coast, you’ll reach Royal Porthcawl. The clued up golfer has long known these rugged links to be amongst the best in the game – it has played host to many big competitions over its history. But 2014 is a banner year for the place described by famed sportswriter Bernard Darwin as an ‘emphatically good and serious course’, as the Senior Open Championship rolls into town. There couldn’t be a better venue for Wales’s first Major competition. Rated number 45 in Golf Digest’s 2014 list of the ‘World’s Greatest Golf Courses’, Royal Porthcawl is a multi-layered challenge which sees players digging out every club in the bag in search of a low-scoring round.
From one championship heavyweight to another, your journey ends at Celtic Manor Resort near Newport. The incredible Ryder Cup that took place here in 2010 may be receding into history, but it still burns bright in the memories of all who witnessed it. Tackling The Twenty Ten course is a rite of passage for any golfer and a fitting climax to your tour of Wales’s championship clubs.
Need to know
Maximise your playing time by staying right next to the course. Nearly all of these clubs offer on-site accommodation, from unfussy Dormy apartments to luxury five-star hotels.