The club described by legendary sportswriter Bernard Darwin as the place his ‘soul loved best of all the courses in the world’, Aberdovey offers a classically rugged links golf experience. Natural features blend almost imperceptibly with meticulous design to create a course that feels truly timeless. Hugging the coastline where the Dyfi Estuary meets the sea, Aberdovey’s dune-studded links is blustery seaside golf with a thrillingly elemental wild side.
Nefyn & District
Strung along a narrow finger of land projecting into the Irish Sea, Nefyn is golf at its most nautical (no wonder it’s often likened to playing on the deck of an aircraft carrier). You’ll need to be accurate here, as misplaced shots can see your ball consigned to a watery grave. At least you have the option of stopping for a mid-round drink at the Ty Coch Inn. Conveniently located between the 15th and 16th holes, it’s ranked as one of the world’s Top 10 beach bars.
It won’t take long to understand why Pennard is known as ‘the links in the sky’. Though its undulating hummocks, dunes and hillocks bear all the hallmarks of a classic coastal course it is in fact perched 200 feet above sea level, overlooking Gower’s impossibly beautiful Three Cliffs Bay. Pennard’s golf lives up to the setting. Watch out for the par-four 7th, a demanding drive between the ruins of a 13th-century church and the remains of a 12th-century castle.
A regular feature on lists of the world’s greatest golf courses, Royal Porthcawl overflows with championship pedigree. As host of the Senior Open Championship in 2014 and 2017, its lightning-fast links and swirling sea breezes have challenged some of the biggest names in world golf (everyone from Bernhard Langer and Colin Montgomerie to Fred Couples and Miguel Ángel Jiménez). ‘I really fell in love with it immediately’ was Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson’s reaction. We suspect you'll feel the same.
Royal St David’s
Even without the presence of mighty Harlech Castle (a World Heritage Site, no less) looming over your shoulder, a round at Royal St David’s feels legendary. Laid out on rolling terrain liberally sprinkled with towering dunes, this is links golf at its purest and most traditional. The sea has had a big part in shaping the course’s unique character. Venture back in time to when the castle was at its peak and the land now occupied by greens and fairways would have been beneath the waves. The ocean’s loss is our gain.