Aberdovey - North Wales - Wales

Aberdovey Golf Club,
Tywyn Road,
Aberdovey,
Gwynedd,
LL35 ORT,
Wales


  • +44 (0)1654 767493

  • Golf Club Website

  • West end of Aberdovey on A493 adjacent to railway station.

  • Welcome - contact in advance


Bernard Darwin at Aberdovey

“If one dare write about Aberdovey at all,” wrote Patric Dickinson in his book, A Round of Golf Courses, “one must begin by letting Bernard Darwin through on the way to the first tee. For this links is ‘his’, and it is all and more than one would expect from a writer and golfer of such style; for it is both a ‘classical’ and ‘romantic’ links.”

Aberdovey Golf Club is set enchantingly within the Snowdonia National Park at the mouth of the Dovey Estuary, and the links are wedged between the Cambrian Mountain range and the shore.

“I can just faintly remember the beginning of golf at Aberdovey in the early eighties,” wrote Darwin in his 1910-book The Golf Courses of the British Isles. “Already rival legends have clustered round that beginning, but the true legend says that the founder was Colonel Ruck, who, having played some golf at Formby, borrowed nine flower pots from a lady in the village and cut nine holes in the marsh to put them in.” A great deal has changed since then and the hands of many great architects have touched Aberdovey: Herbert Fowler, Harry Colt and James Braid. It is not surprising that it is such a revered links.

Despite its old age, Aberdovey is no shorty, measuring over 6,700 yards from the new "Darwin" back tees. It will test, and has tested, the very best golfers, playing host to a number of amateur championships over the years and it was here as a youngster, that Ian Woosnam developed his craft. It isn’t the hardest links course in the British Isles by any stretch of the imagination, but when the wind blows, it can throw the ball off line and into the punishing rough. Only the skilful will score well.

There is so much history at Aberdovey that you cannot help but fall in love with the place. Running alongside this classic out-and-back links is the railway line, reminding us of the days when the trains were full of travelling golfers. Darwin’s short story entitled “Aberdovey” tells an enchanting, romantic and amusing tale about his many pilgrimages to this Welsh links and how he used to love writing down the names of the stations as they passed by. Or as Patric Dickinson said: “A round at Aberdovey is always a brave and gay adventure, whatever the wind’s quarter.”

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Reviews for Aberdovey

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Description: Aberdovey Golf Club is set enchantingly within the Snowdonia National Park at the mouth of the Dovey Estuary... Rating: 7.6 out of 10 Reviews: 48
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Stuart Bendoris
I played Aberdovey for the first time last week. The pro was very friendly and welcoming and even knocked a fiver off the green fee because they had one winter green due to work on the bunkers at the 7th. This is a proper rugged links test, especially when the wind was blowing as it was that afternoon. The front 9 was into the stiff wind, the highlights for me being the par three 3rd through the dunes and the well bunkered 9th hole. Then you turn back downwind briefly before heading back into it at the 11th. The 12th hole is amazing, the green is perched in the sky with a fence only a few feet from the flag separating you and your ball from OB and the sea. If you miss left you fall down off the elevated green and are left with a tough chip from bare ground. After this hole I was stuck behind a fourball, who despite the fact that there were only the 5 of of us out on the course (I was on my own) would not wave me through. After a few holes of standing about in frustration I gave up, as I might still be out there, and missed out the 16th and 17th which was a shame. Thanks guys!Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed this exacting test and would definitely recommend playing it. The drive to get there through Snowdonia National Park is pleasant too.
February 28, 2015
8 / 10
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DG
Played in early August in warm, sunny conditions with a slight breeze. Aberdovey is a fun course set within very nice rather than breathtaking scenery. The course condition was splendid and the greens were true and of a good speed. The opening few holes are excellent and there is also a strong finish though some of the holes in the middle, with the exception of the very good 12th, are perhaps less memorable. Aberdovey is a charming course and in my view is correctly ranked at 3rd place in Wales. This is the second time that I have played the course and would happily play again. DS
August 18, 2014
6 / 10
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Robert Page
Finally had the opportunity to play Aberdovey after reading about over the years in Bernard Darwin's many articles and books. I played twice during the Easter holidays with no wind and blue skies and absolutely loved it. Though l imagine it plays much much different in the wind it was still a fine challenge. Played it as a single as there was no else about and both rounds were complete in less then two hours, lovely.
May 27, 2014
8 / 10
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Jason Comber
AberdoveyI played Aberdovey with my father in law last week on holiday on a sunny afternoon in a 2-3 club wind, coming off the sea so not really helping on any hole. I have to say we thoroughly enjoyed the round, and the course ranks as one of the best I have played. I love links having grown up at Saunton and this compares very favourably with there, Royal St David's, Ashburnham and Royal Porthcawl. I loved the bunkers with their uncut grass fringes, the holes were all different and memorable. The par 3s were all different and challenging, particularly the 9th and 12th, which had just opened again following the storm damage. There was still water on the course, but that is to be expected after the winter we have had, and the overnight storms we experienced. The condition of the course was excellent. The par 4s were varied, and the par 5s were a welcome birdie opportunity (not that I took advantage). Great value for money as just £37.50 at that time of day. Welcoming pro shop. Beautiful surroundings. Aberdovey has it all, and is thoroughly recommended. Our holiday cottage overlooked the 17th so the course was calling out to me the whole week, it's just a shame we only got to play the once. I will be back...
April 11, 2014
8 / 10
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David Baxter
Played Aberdovey on a twilight fee in June; a good welcome, nice clubhouse, good course condition, and course to ourselves. Loved the bunkers as a feature with the long grass growing around the tops. When we played the start was directly into the wind and the early holes were tough. Favourite hole was the par 4 4th, and generally preferred the front nine with some of the back nine seeming fairly similar. Only glimpse of the sea was on the green of the 12th and didn't really like this or the blind par 3 3rd. Thought the stroke indexes were a bit odd, with mens and ladies the same. An enjoyable course but just lacking something; would like to play again as I suspect it grows on you. Nearly a 5 ball but not quite. DB
July 04, 2013
6 / 10
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Paul Mortlock
Having now played Aberdovey, Royal Porthcawl, Royal St Davids, Pennard, Ashburnham and Celtic Manor 2010 I think I am reasonably well placed to review top Welsh courses. Played Aberdovey in late May 2013 and I have to say I was extremely impressed. A proper, 9 holes out, 9 coming back, Aberdovey Golf Course - Photo by reviewertrue links layout on a narrow strip of land with the railway on one side of the course and the sea on the other. Contrary to what other readers have said we had the strong wind firmly in our faces on the outward 9 which, as a consequence, definitely played harder. The course has a lovely feel to it - probably 13 or 14 holes are played amongst the dunes. There is a delightful quirkiness about some of the holes, with only one blind tee shot. Course was in pretty good condition and the bunkers have that classic Harry Colt look to them. We teed off at c.2.30pm at at a twilight rate of £36 (10% discount for booking via their website) which I thought was incredible value. If you are ever anywhere near this course, PLAY IT! It is remote, but well worth the visit. I played Royal St Davids 2 days earlier and would only rate that 7/10 (quite dull until the last 6 or 7 holes)whereas I would rate this 9/10.
June 06, 2013
10 / 10
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Pär Larsson
Played the course in october 2011. A solid 5 (very good), great finishing 9, not that the first 9 was particular weak. We took the train there from Porthmadog and it was a very scenic trip. The train stops some 25 m from the clubhouse. Great links course, some real tough bunkers and rough, great condition. The last 9, I will remember for a long time.
October 23, 2011
8 / 10
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Sam Baldwin
On a recent trip to Wales we included Aberdovey as a last minute addition and I'm extremely pleased we did. I love links golf and this course is right up there. If your driving the ball well and it's not too windy you will score well but it designed well enough to make you think. The front is where to make your points because the back has some great holes. Great under-valued course play here if you can!
August 21, 2011
8 / 10
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Mark Cull
Played Aberdovey on a beautiful summers evening, fortunately in a gentle breeze. The welcoming staff make you feel like a lifetime member. Standing on the first tee gives you a real sense that you are about to embark on a special round of golf, and this place did not disappoint. Attempting to ignore the stunning scenery (dunes on one side & mountains on the other) and concentrating on hitting the narrow fairways on the 1st & 2nd is the primary challenge. The 3rd hole requires a well struck iron, taking aim over the dunes to a blind green, with only the top of the flag visible. Walking through the dunes to the punchbowl green leaves you wondering where you shot has ended up. To my delight, the straight the tee shot came to rest only 6 foot from the pin. This experience is constant throughout the rest of the round at Aberdovey. Unlike many links I have played, this course fully rewards a well struck shot and bites back only when you make a mistake. There are many other great holes to mention, particularly the par 3’s. And then there is the par 4 16th, the finest risk/reward hole I have ever had the pleasure of playing. The condition of the course is outstanding, although don’t expect finely manicured greens and fairways. This is a rugged yet beautiful Links sculptured by Mother Nature, time and a little nurturing from Fowler, Colt and Braid. This Welsh gem is a must for all golfers and should surely be a Top 25 ranked UK course.
July 31, 2011
10 / 10
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Martin Jordan
There was a welcome in the hillside and there was a welcome in the dales as Wales laid out the red carpet for us, their Celtic cousins, on our first, and hopefully not last, visit to the Principality. It seemed a fitting and inspired choice that we would commence our trip by walking in Bernard Darwin’s footsteps at his beloved Aberdovey. It is hard to describe the feeling you get when you walk across the railway tracks (don’t forget to shut the gate) as you can almost taste the Aberdovey Golf Course - Picture by reviewertradition of the place. Shut your eyes and let your imagination run wild and you can feel Darwin climbing out of the train carriage, golf bag slung over his shoulder eagerly heading to the first tee. Daft, indulgent and sentimental? Perhaps, but the place is just enchanting and I defy any golfer not to get caught up in the atmosphere of the place. I suddenly wondered if the course would measure up. Surely it wouldn’t be a let down after all of this? I needn’t have worried as the course is simply wonderful. I could wax lyrical all day about the course but I will keep it brief by saying that I don’t think that there is a weak hole on the course however; holes 1 - 3, 12 and 16 are just a wee bit more special than the rest. So if a golfing trip to Wales has never crossed your mind I would strongly advise you to think again as it is a fantastic place to play golf. We played 4 of Wales’ top tracks, Harlech, Conwy and Nefyn being the other 3, but Aberdovey won my heart. Needless to say that I would love to Aberdovey some day. If I am ever lucky enough to receive this wish I would like to complete the experience by staying in the club’s dormie house. The thought of falling from your billet on to the first tee at Aberdovey is as close to golfing nirvana as I will ever get. MPPJ
July 13, 2011
8 / 10
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