Golf and great food
Play in this part of the country and there’s no excuse not to eat well. Amid the green valleys and craggy coastlines of South and West Wales, you’ll find plenty to please your inner foodie – everything from chic contemporary restaurants to welcoming country inns. The golf is pretty tasty too.
Making the cut
Starting out in the lush Wye Valley, you’ll find the exquisite Rolls of Monmouth Golf Club. Laid out around the ancestral home of the one of the founders of the Rolls-Royce car company, this refined parkland course is a suitably classy affair. You’ll find equally high-end fare at The Whitebrook, nestled in the woods above the River Wye. Run by Raymond Blanc-trained chef Chris Harrod, this Michelin-starred hideaway offers delicious French-inspired British cuisine made using the finest Welsh ingredients.
Next stop is Monmouthshire Golf Club near the market town of Abergavenny in the Usk Valley (home, incidentally, to one of the UK’s top food festivals held in September). Starting out as a nine-holer in 1892, this mature parkland course was extended to 18 by the great course designer James Braid in 1938. Rest up for the night at the Beaufort Arms in Raglan, a former coaching inn where good hospitality and good food both come naturally.
Head west past the bustling seafront city of Swansea and onto the Gower Peninsula where you’ll find the unique Pennard club. With its dunes, hummocks and hillocks it has all the hallmarks of a classic links course – apart from its setting some 200ft above beautiful Three Cliffs Bay. Little wonder it is known as the ‘links on the sky’. Stop over at Fairyhill, a wonderfully contemporary spin on the country house hotel with a famously well-stocked wine cellar and a choice of more than 100 varieties of gin.
There are more links to play at Tenby, reputedly the oldest club in Wales. It’s a regular feature on ‘best of’ lists and one of the country’s finest coastal courses. Equally worthy of a visit is The Grove at Narberth in south Pembrokeshire. This immaculately restored country house offers fabulous Pembrokeshire food – much of it grown in the on-site Kitchen Gardens – in truly inspirational surroundings.
The final stop is Pembrokeshire’s rugged north coast and Newport Links Golf Club. Described as a ‘gem of a course’ by Ryder Cup pro Phillip Price, its 18 challenging holes are complemented by stunning sea views across the bay. In Newport itself,
Llys Meddyg is a boutique bolthole specialising in great local food – don’t miss the chance to sample super fresh crab that’s made the short journey from Newport Bay’s pristine waters direct to your plate.
Need to know
You’ll need a good five days to cover everything here. If time is tight, choose just one of the two courses featured in both the borderlands and Pembrokeshire.