For me the tale of Aberdovey rests on two distinct parts -- the outward nine and the inward side. The former is fairly pedestrian with just a moment or two of compelling architecture while the inward half is stellar stuff.
The front nine provides only a bit of fascinating terrain as the return side and the strategic options encountered as you make your long way home for the conclusion are much more rigorous and diversified.
I only wish the club could receive permission to place championship tee boxes on the holes nearest to the sea. The view from the top as one drives back toward the sliver of fairways would be a real top tier experience. I was informed that that option would not be permitted because of environmental regulations dealing with the dunes areas abutting the course.
In my singular time at Aberdovey the weather was fine from a temperature standpoint and the wind did have its moments when blowing at a 2-3 level. It would be interesting to see the course when the wind does pick up the pace.
The trio of par-4's to conclude the round are all memorable. The short 16th starts with a tee box nearly on the adjoining rail line. The hole begs the player to take the bait and gamble with the boldest of plays. Pity those who fail to execute because the punishment is ever swift and certain.
The par-4 17th is a gem of a hole. The more left you go the better the approach angle but a pesky channel is ever ready to snare your pellet. The concluding hole is a grand closer. The hole again features the same channel down the left side and the approach is protected admirably by out-of-bounds that is literally just a step or so off the green for those missing left. Likely those who do can just as quickly head to the 19th hole and wash their sorrows away.
Aberdovey would gain a good bit with an updating -- especially on the outward side. I enjoyed the course but to be among the best of links the experience must be more uniform in its purpose – not just shine brightly for only half of the time. One final thing -- what a joy it is to ride the rail line to the course and have only a handful of steps to enter the property.
by M. James Ward
Date: February 16, 2018