This itinerary has been designed as a base to explore some of the great golf courses of North Wales. With so much to do in the area of each course there is always the option to extend the itinerary to explore more.
Day One: Arrival and North Wales Golf Club
Ever since it’s opening back in 1894 North Wales Golf Club has acquired itself a highly respected reputation having hosted every top regional event imaginable.
The course is situated on Llandudno's West Shore, overlooking the Conwy estuary to Anglesey and the Snowdonia Mountain range, therefore it provides a quite stunning links test. It is a natural links course in every aspect with the front line similar to Troon, in that it runs alongside a railway line with the homeward stretch along the coast.
This course is invigorating and challenging and sure to offer an enjoyable round for all levels of player.
North Wales Golf Club (Llandudno)
72 Bryniau Road
Llandudno LL30 2DZ
T: +44 (0) 1492 875325
Afternoon options (depending on arrival time):
Llandudno: Walk along the promenade of the Victorian town, visit the shops, cafés and restaurants in the high street and stroll along the pier to enjoy views of the bay.
Penderyn Llandudno Lloyd St Distillery: The distillery offers 1hr tours to show how the whisky is created and to discover its history. The tour ends with sample tasting.
Great Orme Country Park: There are a lot of options here. Head to the summit by the Great Orme tramway or cable car (subject to operation). Once at the top, take a walk and enjoy its wildlife and magnificent views of the bay and pier of Llandudno. From the visitor centre, follow the nature trail. Visit the Bronze Age Copper Mine and walk through tunnels carved out over 3,500 years ago. There is even an 18-hole adventure golf course by the summit complex café (seasonal opening).
Accommodation option for two nights: Bodysgallen Hall
There are plenty of hotels and bed and breakfast accommodation in and around the area of Llandudno. An option is Bodysgallen Hall, one of Britain’s top country house hotels. Lavish amounts of care and attention have been devoted to this distinguished 17th century house. Skilful, sympathetic restoration, antique furnishings, old paintings and fresh flowers everywhere combine to create an ambience of warmth and well-being.
The extensive grounds and gardens are equally magnificent, with terraced lawns, rose gardens and rare 17th century knot garden box hedges filled with sweet-scented herbs. With such a rich heritage, it was entirely appropriate that Bodysgallen Hall made ground breaking news in September 2008 when it became the property of the National Trust by donation, with all profits benefiting the house and the charity.
Day Two: Conwy Golf Club
Conwy has given its name to a river, a mountain, a magnificent castle with a complete ring of medieval town walls and championship links golf course that played a distinctive role in two World Wars. Golf was being played on this flat spur of land at the mouth of the River Conwy in 1869 and a 12 hole course was built on this stretch of sand hills, ditches, gorse and fine old turf by 1875.
However, it was another 15 years before the club was officially formed. It became one of the foremost championship venues in Wales but, requisitioned as an army training camp, it was virtually destroyed between 1914-18. Members restored it to its former glory but in 1943 mysterious things started happening at the back of the second green - under great secrecy 900 workmen began building sections of the Mulberry Harbour which was launched into the river and shipped south to play its crucial role on D Day. Once more members brought it back to life and it has played a major role in championship golf ever since, the quality of its challenge matched by a spectacular setting between mountain, river and sea.
Conwy Golf Club
Conwy LL32 8ER
T: +44 (0) 1492 592423
Conwy Castle: Built in the 13th century, the medieval fortress and town walls has UNESCO World Heritage Status. Climb to the top of the towers by the restored spiral staircases and enjoy views of the quayside and town, with far reaching views of Snowdonia beyond.
Plas Mawr: The Elizabethan House was built in the 16th century. Owned by the influential merchant Robert Wynn, its grandeur and colour is on display throughout the house. The interior design includes badges and coats of arms along with ornate plasterwork painted in bright colours. Conwy town also has plenty of shops, cafés and restaurants to visit.
Day Three: Nefyn & District Golf Club
It is the nearest to heaven most golfers are likely to get. Ten of Nefyn's holes run alongside the sea and the experience is such that the club's boast is that few people play there only once. It is one of the most beautifully situated courses in Britain but, as a true championship course, can be beastly to the wayward. Ian Woosnam ranks it among his favourites and holds the club record with a 67.
No hole in the world confronts the golfer with the distractions to be met on the par five 12th at Nefyn - it has a blind drive, a blind second shot, a public thoroughfare, a crater-sized pothole and a public house.
It also has sensational views but you may not notice while ensuring your first shots are accurate. As you follow your second over the brow, the pothole is to the left of a narrow road but you may face more of a hazard on the right because one glance over the cliff could ruin your round.
Nefyn & District Golf Club
Gwynedd LL53 6DA
Tel: +44 (0) 1758 720966
Abersoch: There are plenty of watersports to choose from at this coastal village. Take a lesson to learn stand up paddleboarding or surfing. Book to go coasteering with a qualified instructor. Or hire canoes, kayaks or other types of watercraft.
Accommodation for one night: Porth Tocyn Country House Hotel
An option for one night's accommodation is Porth Tocyn Country House Hotel in Abersoch. Traditional and timeless, a family run hotel with an exemplary track record. Individuality is a strong point – this is no bland, boring country house. Sensational coastal location, with views to match. A reputation for excellent food.
There are many other options for places to stay in the area.
Day Four: Porthmadog Golf Club
The course is situated in Morfa Bychan, three miles from the harbour town of Porthmadog and created at the turn of the century by James Braid. The course has two distinct halves, the front nine are away from the coast and although the soil is sandy the terrain is more accurately described as heathland. The back nine are pure links and have stunning views of Cardigan Bay coastline and Snowdonia Mountain range and have the presence of water making itself felt on five of the holes.
Porthmadog Golf Club
Porthmadog LL49 9UU
T: +44 (0) 1766 514124
Visit the famous Portmeirion Italian Village. The Italianate architectural buildings and sub-tropical gardens was built by Clough Williams-Ellis, a Welsh architect, over a period of nearly 50 years. Group rates are available.
Travel by steam with the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railway. There are many journey options available starting from Porthmadog.
Alternatively, head to Harlech Castle, perched high above sea level on a craggy rock and accessed by a floating bridge. Views can be seen from every direction as you climb the tower and walk around the castle wall. There is a café on site for refreshments.
Hotel Portmeirion is a luxury 4-star hotel overlooking the Dwyryd Estuary on the site of the Italianate Village. With 14 bedrooms, a fine dining restaurant, bar and terrace, it is only a short 20 minute drive to Harlech. There are also other accommodation options on site.
The main building at Castle Cottage Inn, Harlech dates from about 1585, one of four buildings in a row at the top of Y Llech which is a very steep road behind Harlech Castle. The restaurant is recommended in the major food guides.
Day Five: Royal St. David's Golf Club
A former president of Royal St. David's put it perfectly: "Harlech is a magical place". So it is. Deep in Merlin country, the course is in the shadow of the towering castle built by Edward I in the 13th century to keep the Welsh in check.
Royal St. David's, is the home of a traditional links course, the undulating fairways and fast true greens are all that would be expected of a championship links course and means this course would be counted in any list of the world's best courses. When the castle was built, the sea lapped the rocks beneath it but over the centuries retreated to leave the expanse of natural links land that was never meant to be anything but a great golf course.
Only twice do successive holes proceed in the same direction so the wind invariably spreads trouble among the dunes and although it is not long, it has been described by professionals as the world’s toughest par 69. Host to many championships in its time and favoured by all manner of men - in 1934, King George V was Patron and the Prince of Wales was Captain - Royal St David's has rewarded many a long journey with a unique experience.
Royal St. David’s Golf Club
Harlech LL46 2UB
T: +44 (0) 1766 780361