A is for adventure
It used to be called crazy golf, but as the courses have become more complex and fantastical, a new name was required. These days, it’s all about adventure golf. Grab your putter and take to the miniature fairways for a fun and inexpensive round. You’ll find courses all over Wales, like the Pirates of the Caribbean course at Heatherton Park in Tenby, the woodland themed Llwyngwair Manor Riverbank AdventureGolf course, in Newport, Pembrokeshire, or the jungle-themed Treetop Adventure Golf in central Cardiff.
Combining food, drink and mini-golf, Cardiff's Par69 is perfect for a competitive night out. For over 18s only, there are two 9 hole mini-golf courses to play, and decent bar with classic cocktails and food on offer.
You can even combine it with a full-sized round at the world-famous Celtic Manor Resort. Alongside its three championship 18-hole courses are two adventure courses, one inspired by Welsh myths and legends and the other featuring tiny recreations of holes from Pebble Beach, Augusta and St Andrews.
Wales is also home to the world's first underground adventure golf course. Zip World Llechwedd has created an incredible subterranean experience in the old slate caverns deep underground. Make your way round the course and try out the increasingly harder challenges, based around the history of the mines.
One of the newest editions to the golfing family can be played at Clerkenhill Adventure Farm near Haverfordwest. Getting rid of those fiddly clubs and balls, its Frizbee Golf Course sees you throwing flying discs at 18 baskets laid out through its picturesque Pembrokeshire valley setting. Apart from the change in equipment, it’s pretty much like the real thing. The fairways vary from a piddling 14 metres to a mighty 90 metres in length, and each basket has its own par rating. As in ‘real’ golf, the ultimate achievement is a hole (or basket) in one, a feat reserved for those with the most accurate and powerful throwing arms.
Put the boot in
Get a kick out of a round of footgolf. As the name suggests, it’s golf, but with your legs taking the place of your clubs. It’s a lot of fun for the average player, but also a serious sport with an extensive range of tournaments taking place across the UK. You’ll find a number of courses throughout Wales, like the 1,634-yard Storws Wen on Anglesey, 2,688-yard Silver Birch near Abergele, the nine-hole Castell Coch near Cardiff or at Celtic Manor in Newport. You may be using your feet, but the normal golf rules still apply – that means no football boots and no ripping your shirt off to celebrate a particularly good shot. For a full list of courses, head to the Footgolf Frenzy website.
Feel like travelling the globe to play some of the world’s greatest golf courses but don’t have the time (or the money)? Just go virtual. With high-tech golf simulators, you can hone your skills on authentic digital recreations of courses like Sawgrass, Ponte Vedra, Palmer’s Place and St Andrews, all without even venturing outside.
Check out the Virtual Golf Studio at Bryn Meadows Golf Hotel & Spa near Caerphilly, or head to North Wales Golf in St Asaph.