Wales is home to many of the best golf courses in the UK and the Twenty Ten course at Celtic Manor has even hosted the Ryder Cup. Wales is densely populated with courses surrounding the city of Cardiff in the south, whereas North Wales features many hidden gems. With more than 140 courses in Wales, people often ask “what are the best golf courses in Wales?” Take a look at our handpicked “Quick 9” for a pick of the best golf courses in Wales.
As the name suggests, the Twenty Ten course at Celtic Manor was host of the 2010 Ryder Cup in which Colin Montgomerie’s European side defeated Corey Pavin’s Team USA. Built especially for the Ryder Cup, this par-71 South Wales course measures a staggering 7,493-yards. The mix of memorable tests and risk-and-reward holes make this course perfect for matchplay, especially when you reach the middle section of the course which reveals the full extent of the lake-lined challenge. Recreating Graeme McDowell’s putt on the 16th is something you can tick off the bucket list.
Set within the enchanting Snowdonia National Park at the mouth of the Dover Estuary you will find Aberdovey Golf Club and its rich links heritage. 1999 Masters champion Ian Woosnam developed his craft on the tight fairways of Aberdovey, with the links now measuring at a challenging 6,700-yards. Playing golf here is a journey on the classic out-and-back layout alongside a railway line. The rustic mix of tight lies, rolling fairways, undulating approaches and fast greens make for an unforgettable links test.
The location of Royal St David’s in Harlech is nothing short of beautiful as the course is guarded by the medieval Harlech Castle and towering sand dunes. Don’t let the fact the locals call this 6,500-yard course “the world’s toughest par-69” put you off, as the challenge is most definitely an enjoyable one. Over the years, this Royal golf club has hosted numerous high profile tournaments such as the British Youths Open Amateur Championship, won by Sweden’s Freddie Jacobson.
Known as the “links in the sky” thanks to its location 200ft above sea level, the classic rugged links course at Pennard is a highly rated course by those who play golf in Wales. As you take in the fantastic views of the famous Three Cliffs Bay over to Oxwich Bay, it is understandable that you may lose focus of your golf game for a moment. You must definitely take a step back for a minute on the 16th green to take in your surroundings.
Conwy Golf Club, North Wales, is the third oldest golf club in Wales and it lies at the mouth of the River Conwy. The club is overlooked by Conwy Mountain on its south side, overlooks Llandudno’s Great Orme on its north side and has the Isle of Anglesey visible to the west. Despite being relatively flat, the winds that batter the Caernarvonshire coastline make this golf course a real test for every standard of golfer.
Located off the beaten track to the west of Cardiff, you will find Wales’ number one ranked course – Royal Porthcawl. The course is extremely exposed to the elements, with the Bristol Channel acting as a funnel for the Atlantic gales. For years the course, unfairly, was relatively unknown but the hosting of the 2014 Senior Open Championship, won by Bernhard Langer, helped boost the popularity of this course. Three years later, after successfully hosting Senior Open championship, the event returned and was once again won by the evergreen Bernhard Langer.
2017 Race to Dubai winner Tommy Fleetwood described Machynys Peninsula as “arguably the best man-made links in the world,” so it is no wonder the course is the youngest ever to be awarded an R&A championship. Just 12 years after its opening, the course was named as a qualifying venue for the 2017 Senior Open, which was also played in Wales at Royal Porthcawl. The £3.5 million spent on the course, and even more on the clubhouse, reflects in the quality of golf and service you receive, whether that be before, during or after your round.
Amid the lofty sand dunes hugging the South Wales golfing coast of Porthcawl you will find the fantastic Pyle and Kenfig Golf Club. The views here are just as amazing as the golf, with the Bristol Channel, Gower Peninsula, Sker House and the Welsh Mountains all visible from various points on the course. Enjoy the front-nine, because it is the back-nine where the real challenge begins, with the dunes coming into play from the 11th onwards. The last three holes here are regarded as some of the best closing holes in golf.
The Old Course at Nefyn and District is situated on the world famous ‘Point’ cliff tops – a tiny promontory that juts out from the Lleyn Peninsula into the Irish Sea. This in turn offers, quite literally, golf on the edge of the world. This is one of the few courses in the world where you can see the sea from every single hole, and on a clear day it is even possible to spot the peaks of the Wicklow Mountains across the Irish Sea.