Go back to where it all began with a tour of the clubs where Welsh Senior Open Championship stars Stephen Dodd, Mark Mouland, Phillip Price and Ian Woosnam cut their golfing teeth.
Making the cut
Tee off at hilltop Llanymynech in Mid Wales, where local lad Ian Woosnam (Woosie to his mates) got his start in golf. But that’s not its only claim to fame. Straddling the border between England and Wales, it’s the only course in Europe where you’ll visit two different countries during a single round of golf. Despite his globe-trotting career, Woosie still has a soft spot for the course where it all began, describing the view from the 12th tee ‘as one of the most magnificent you’ll see anywhere’.
Next it’s on to Pontypridd, the high-altitude mountain course overlooking the Rhondda Valley in South Wales, where a young Phillip Price honed his skills. Pontypridd’s natural, wooded fairways and springy turf set Price up for an international career that’s included representing his home country at several World Cups and playing a key role in Europe’s 2002 Ryder Cup win. Big sky views over Brecon Beacons National Park are a welcome companion as you traverse a course packed with challenge. Watch out for the signature 13th, a downhill drive to a green guarded by ponds and bunkers.
Stephen Dodd’s first golf experience was searching for balls at Brynhill Golf Club in Barry on the outskirts of Cardiff. A few decades later he’s one of just a handful of players to have won tournaments at all three levels of the European Tour, most recently taking victory at the Senior Italian Open in 2016. Beautiful Brynhill has changed a bit since Dodd first roamed its greens and fairways. Originally just nine holes, it was expanded in the 1990s (by Dave Thomas, designer of The Belfry’s Brabazon) to the par-72, 6,368-yard championship course you see today. It’s a challenge fit for a champion (the Vale of Glamorgan views are pretty good too).
Finish up at Glamorganshire Golf Club in Penarth, the course Mark Mouland calls home. The multiple European Tour winner’s connection with the club goes right back to his father, who was the professional here for many years. Combining rolling parkland terrain with widescreen sea views, this deceptively tricky course bears the fingerprints of legendary course designer James Braid, who modified the layout in the early 20th century. It’s also the birthplace of the Stableford scoring system, which was first used here in the 1890s.
Need to know
Stay in the charming Victorian town of Llandrindod Wells on the first leg of your journey, before choosing from Cardiff’s almost limitless accommodation options while you play the South Wales courses.