Ashburnham - West Wales - Wales

Ashburnham Golf Club,
Cliffe Terrace,
Burry Port,
Carmarthenshire,
SA16 0HN,
Wales


  • +44 (0) 1554 832269


Ashburnham is one of the finest and oldest golf courses in Wales, founded in 1894. It’s located close to the Burry Estuary and Worm’s Head with fine views over Carmarthen Bay. A number of important events have been hosted at Ashburnham, including the PGA Championship. Bernard Gallacher picked up his first pay cheque here, when he won the 1969 Schweppes PGA Championship. Sam Torrance and Dai Rees were also victorious at Ashburnham.

“I played my last PGA Championship as a tournament regular at Ashburnham in 1969, and the club also hosted the event in 1959 – really hosted it, for this was the last occasion a club had to put up all the prize money.” Wrote Peter Alliss in his book – The Good Golf Guide featuring the 200 Best Courses in the British Isles. “It cost them £2,000. Although the course was a good deal shorter in those days, only five players in the field managed to break 70. The late Dai Rees was one of them, and his 70 and 69 on the last day saw him home by six strokes for his first win in Wales.”

Ashburnham originally started out in life as a nine-hole course and was extended in 1902 to 18 holes. Today’s course, which measures 6,630 yards from the back tees, is the result of alterations by J.H.Taylor in 1914, Fred G. Hawtree in 1923 and then Ken Cotton (himself a member at Ashburnham). These three great architects have created a classic out-and-back links course, rolling gently through the dunes.

Unusually, Ashburnham begins with a downhill par three, where out-of-bounds lurk menacingly at the right of the green. In fact, the course is a nightmare for the right-handed slice, as there is invariably trouble beckoning to the right on many holes. The first two holes and the closing two holes are somewhat out ofThere are stunning views at Ashburnham character with the rest, having an inland, almost park-like feel. But the holes in between are the real thing – undiluted and undulating linksland. By the time we reach the 3rd hole, we’re running parallel to the sea and often into the teeth of the prevailing wind. At the turn, we head back, wind assisted but a little further inland.

According to local Ashburnham folklore, an extraordinary tee shot was struck on the 18th. During the Home Internationals, an amateur event, England’s John Davis struck his drive from the 18th tee directly onto the clubhouse roof. The ball ricocheted off and landed to the left of the green, pin high! Admittedly, the wind was from behind, but the ball must have travelled at least 400 yards.

After a game at Ashburnham, make sure to have a drink in the welcoming clubhouse. The members are friendly and often willing to tell a yarn or two. Above all, ensure that you don’t miss playing this historic links, it’s an absolute delight and it’s guaranteed to put a smile on your face, making you want to come back for more.

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Reviews for Ashburnham

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Description: Bernhard Gallacher picked up his first pay cheque at Ashburnham Golf Club when he won the 1969 Schweppes PGA Championship. Rating: 7 out of 10 Reviews: 30
TaylorMade
Alex
My favourite of our 3 day trip, a true old fashioned links, if you drop your guard it will beat you up quite easily. The clubhouse sits up high and gives you a flavour of what’s ahead, the course after the 2nd sends you out in a constant journey to the 8th green before you turn for home playing back in the wind (the 9th did seem a long way). Some of the holes have a similar look, as bunkers seemed spread right across the front of the greens that are long and narrow thus making it hard to hold the ball on when playing down the breeze. The 18th was the toughest hole as the second shot has to be very accurate to stay on the putting surface and not rolling off back down the bank and into the rough !
June 13, 2009
8 / 10
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Ted
We played Ashburnham on a breezy and showery day and it proved to be a very tough test, I can see why important events have been staged here. In nature it is more of an inland links (shades of Formby in places) with sea views limited to the high 16th tee and 18th green. The course and greens are in good condition, however the rough is very penal - more than 3 yards off the first cut here you will be struggling to find and play your ball. There is a good mixture of holes here to hold your interest, the back nine playing slightly easier with the prevailing wind. Would definitely return for another attempt now we know where not to hit the ball!
September 14, 2008
6 / 10
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Andrew Fearn
The best stretch (3 to 14,I would say) is an interesting and very testing out-and-back links.Several doglegs,some double.Some very craftily positioned greens.First time round there will be one or two holes you just won't know how to play. On the minus side,there are no views of the sea from most of the course,only from the high ground near the clubhouse (1st tee,16th tee and 18th green) and the holes near the clubhouse are disappointing.In fact the 17th would be a contender for Most Boring and Plain Hole on a Championship Course. Overall though Ashburnham is impressive,and the green fees are amazingly low-because we were playing on a Monday when there was no catering we got on for £25.50 for the day !! A bit of a contrast with Porthcawl at £120.
July 22, 2006
8 / 10
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Kim Church
I have played this course a few times in the past and always found the rough far too tough and unforgiving. I went back because a few friends that are members at the club had told me that the new manager there has been making some alterations to the course set-up, to make it more enjoyable for mid/high handicappers like myself.What a difference - I can honestly say that I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge, without walking away with the feeling that I had just been beaten to a pulp by a course set up better for the US Open than a casual summer afternoon round of golf.I'll be back, more than just once or twice this season. The views are gret and this is the way links golf should be.
June 24, 2006
8 / 10
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Jake Thomas
The impression that I had from Ashburnham is of a once great links that has fallen on hard times. It has some great links holes – but is let down by the opening and closing holes (1, 2, 17 & 18) which are out of place with the rest of the course. The fun really begins on holes 3 – 16, which are true, old fashioned links golf holes, with out and back nines. As for all links courses, the wind plays a key role to the score you’ll make.I played in April 2006 – paying £32.50 – which was reasonable value for money but I was somewhat disappointed by the general condition of the course. Although it was the first day not using mats off the fairway, it looked tired (especially the bunkers and tees) and in need of some TLC and investment – which will hopefully be put right by the new manager who they have just appointed. It certainly seemed a course which, while having some great holes, could do with minor tweaking here and there to bring it up to date with modern technology.Having said this, the greens were excellent and true, and the welcome I received from members who let me join them for a game was first class. When the wind blows this is a real test, but with some minor modifications, and a little more care taken by greenkeepers, it will stop this course sliding down the top 100 rankings. One to play - but it could easily be so much better.
April 11, 2006
6 / 10
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michael jones Captain
February 15, 2007
Further development as far as the course is concerned, we as a club have recently appointed a Course Manager, commences 19/02/07.All bunkers are due to be re-turfed.
Alastair Chrystal
Absolutely blown to bits would describe our day on this golf course. I have never played in wind like it and old F.A. had to give in after 12 holes because he couldn't reach the fairways because of the wind. Having said all that. the course has a great layout, really interesting and challenging holes and is in good conditon.Tortoise,FCC, Mr H, Potato Head, Grandpappy and myself all felt the same way. Nice friendly staff at the course and highly recommended. In our view its as good as Porthcawl...........just beware the wind.
May 16, 2005
8 / 10
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Shaun
Excellent golf course, very demanding par 4's with the only weak hole being the par 3 16th. With a little more TLC this course could rise significantly up the ratings.
May 05, 2005
8 / 10
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Nik Brunner
I played Ashburnham on the Tuesday after the Easter holiday and found it thoroughly enjoyable. The par 3 start was a little daunting and having never played a links course before it got me paying attention from my first swing. Ashburnham taught me the true meaning of an "Out and Back" course. I had the wind with me on the way out and it was hard work after the turn with the rain starting as I stood on the 10th tee.The course provided a good variation in hole types each one was enjoyable. The greens were in superb condition and it took a while for me to get used to greens running as true as these. Using the mat off the fairways was absolutely no problem and it definitely seems to have kept the fairways in good condition throughout the winter.The staff were friendly and helpful in both the pro shop and around the course. Unfortunately I did not get the chance to spend time in the clubhouse due to time restrictions but I am looking forward to returning in the summer months.
March 29, 2005
6 / 10
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Andy Newmarch
This is a nice course with the holes ever improving as you make your way around. The day weplayed it holes 3-8 played straight into the wind making scoring very hard - when turning with the wind at the 9th scoring became more realistic.The greens here are very true and a pleasure to putt on. It is obvious that the greenstaff spend alot of time looking after them possibly whilst overlooking the tees (a little bit ropey in places).Be pre-warned .... all of the par 3's face the same way, therefore the wind will be key on the short holes.I'd love another round at Ashburnham - just to see if the wind in the opposite direction would be more friendly.The 18th hole has a great uphill approach to the green and although not a long hole - par will be a great way to end your round.
September 19, 2004
6 / 10
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Keith Baxter

Ashburnham is about as tough as it gets - especially when the wind blows. This is a man-sized test of golf and memorable too. The greens are tough to hold and even tougher to read. The only critisism is the condition of the tees, especially the 16th, which was dreadful...virtually no grass at all. I forgive Ashburnham for that though, because this is a good links golf course with some very interesting holes, especially the sunken greensite at the 14th.

September 17, 2004
6 / 10
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