Our golfing trails aren't written in stone. We've designed them as jumping-off points to allow you to create a trip that works for you. Alongside some truly great golf, you'll find plenty of unforgettable experiences for non-players and younger travellers. It all adds up to a visit with something for everyone to enjoy.
Championship trail: High-quality courses and coastal adventures
Walk in the footsteps of legends with a round at Royal Porthcawl. It’s the course that five-time Open winner Tom Watson ‘fell in love with’ the moment he saw it, while multiple PGA Tour winner and US Ryder Cup Vice Captain Fred Couples described it as ‘absolutely spectacular’. Don’t expect an easy ride. This is a place that rewards both precision and power, with winding lines and lightning quick greens given an extra layer of challenge by the unpredictable offshore breezes. The second hole is a perfect example, requiring confident and accurate shots to reach a green flanked by menacing out of bounds.
Off the course
There’s lots for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers to see and do in this part of Wales. Head to the waves of Rest Bay for some of the UK's best surfing, or explore the sandy expanses of Merthyr Mawr Nature Reserve – home to the second tallest dunes in Europe. For urban adventures, take the short trip along the coast to Swansea, Wales’ city by the sea. Visit the National Waterfront Museum to learn about our industrial and maritime heritage, see the childhood home of legendary writer Dylan Thomas and relax in the bars, cafés and restaurants that surround the lively marina. You can also get a taste of wonderful Welsh whisky with a tour of the new Penderyn Swansea Copperworks Distillery.
Extend your champion golfing trail by playing at one or (all of the four) of the Senior Open qualifying courses - Machynys, Ashburnham, Pyle & Kenfig and Southerndown. Awash with challenging water hazards, Machynys is the only Nicklaus-designed course in Wales and Ashburnham is one of the finest Championship Links courses in Britain. Pyle & Kenfig has a split personality, with nine holes of rugged heathland and nine of dune-studded links, while Southerndown’s gorse-lined links have been described as a ‘timeless classic’ by Golf Monthly magazine.
West is best: Glorious greens and trendy towns
Perched by the shore in Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, Newport Links Golf Course is worth a visit just for its stunning sea views. Don’t get too distracted though – you’ll need all your concentration to make it round with a respectable score. The course’s original nine holes were laid down in the 1920s by and legendary golf architect James Braid (also responsible for storied links like Carnoustie and Gleneagles), with a further nine added later. Watch out for the par-three 15th, played over dunes to a miniature elevated green. According to Today’s Golfer magazine, it’s one of the 10 hardest holes in the UK.
Off the course
The circular walk around Dinas Head a few miles to the west of Newport is a highlight of our 870-mile Wales Coast Path. You’ll tackle some steep climbs as you negotiate the clifftop route, but your reward will be some of the best views in Pembrokeshire. Take some time to explore Newport, a once peaceful village that has become one of Wales trendiest destinations. Its home unusual eateries like Pwnc (offering both delicious coffees and an onsite climbing wall) and the Carningli Centre’s enticing cornucopia of antiques and vintage books. Things are just as quirky in Cardigan, where historic streets and a renovated castle sit alongside unique boutiques and places to eat. Enjoy authentic Mediterranean cuisine with a Welsh twist at Belotti's, or delicious hand-baked goodies at Bara Menyn.
Treat yourself at Llys Meddyg in Newport. This indulgent Georgian townhouse offers both stylish rooms and an award-winning restaurant, built around the finest seasonal Pembrokeshire produce. There are wonderful waterside views at the Cliff Hotel and Spa near Cardigan, which sits at the mouth of the Teifi Estuary. Alternatively, get close to history by staying in one of the self-catering or B&B rooms at restored Cardigan Castle.
There’s high-level play at Cardigan Golf Club, perched in a lofty spot above the bay. US sports writer Furman Bisher favourably compared the views here to those at Pebble Beach. The par-three sixteenth is the pick of the bunch, with an undulating green framed by the blue waters of Cardigan Bay. Or cross to Pembrokeshire’s southern side for a round at Tenby. This timeless, James Braid-designed links is the oldest course in Wales.
Northern shores: Seaside strokes and classic castles
Starting life as a rough collection of holes laid out by enthusiastic amateurs in 1869, Conwy Golf Club is now a championship links with serious professional pedigree. Among its long list of prestigious events, the club became the first (and only) Welsh course to host final qualifying for the Open in 2006 and was more recently the venue for the 2021 Curtis Cup. It’s hard to pick a highlight, but watch out for the par-three second with its sloping, bunker-encircled green. There’s also the eye-catching par-four 7th, which hugs the shoreline and offers spectacular views of Great Orme as you work your way towards a well-protected punchbowl green.
Off the course
Explore some heavyweight history at our UNESCO World Heritage Site castles (at Beaumaris, Caernarfon, Conwy and Harlech). It’s a particularly good time to check out Caernarfon, thanks to a new renovation that opens up the highest parts of its towering ramparts to visitors for the first time. There’s even a lift to take you up (storming the castle has never been so easy). Take a tour of North Wales’ fabulous food and drink. Choose from places like the incredible Jackdaw, which serves up innovative gastronomic creations within Conwy’s ancient walls, stunning seasonal tasting menus at Sheeps and Leeks in Caernarfon and super-fresh seafood on the coast at Dylan’s in Menai Bridge. If you're looking for more action, tackle a roof-space via ferrata, high ropes and a ninja assault course at Adventure Parc Snowdonia, or get an adrenaline kick at one of the Zip World activity attractions in North Wales.
Bed down for the night at Conwy’s Y Capel. This former chapel turned boutique guesthouse sits within the town’s medieval walls and is packed with unique features (including the old baptismal pool which can be seen through the floor). You can also sleep inside Caernarfon’s walls at the Black Boy Inn, a higgledy-piggledy tavern with roots stretching back to the 16th century. For some country living, cross the Menai Strait to Anglesey and Chateau Rhianfa. Seemingly ripped from the pages of a romantic novel, this French-inspired mansion combines opulent, individually-designed rooms with spectacular views across the water towards the peaks of Eryri (Snowdonia).
Caernarfon Golf Club blends a links-style seaside setting with top-quality parkland golf. Highlights include the par-four 14th, played towards a small, well-guarded bunker overlooking the Menai Strait. Alternatively, live on the edge at Anglesey’s Bull Bay Golf Club. It’s the most northerly course in Wales and has been described by Ryder Cup winner Jamie Donaldson as ‘a must play’.