Review for Cardigan

Reviewer Score:


One could contend that Cardigan is not easily accessible from most parts of the UK, yet many golfers have heard of it. The remote location and quality of the course provide a good definition for the phrase “hidden gem” for this is a course that is worth the effort in searching out and playing.Cardigan is set above the bay and offers traditional links conditions all year round. The Cardigan members will tell you that “it is the only course in the UK where you can wear your slippers through the winter!” This is testimony to the well draining soil that makes normal playing conditions available all 365 days a year. In fact if you get a still winters day it is an ideal time to play this course as the club can boast the envious quality of their greens and fairways – so much so that “Winter Rules” is more golf club custom and practice rather than a weather affected requirement!So what of the layout, well you won’t be disappointed. Cardigan is a first rate design and offers so much more than any traditional flat links course. The stepped elevation means you are always in contact with the sight and smell of the sea. The natural channels of gorse come into play on so many of the holes as the front nine meanders through elevation change up and away from the clubhouse with the back nine interwoven with the front and falling for home most of the way.In terms of picking the bests holes, it is difficult to single out a couple, so many of the holes are excellent. Cardigan starts strong and pushes to the turn with holes that get better and better. The sequence of par 4’s from hole 1-5 signal a strong start which is then followed by a pair of par 3’s and 5’s that complete a challenging outward nine with a par of 36.Three tough par 4’s in the next 4 holes including the long and narrow S.I. 1 14th take you back down to in front of the clubhouse and closest again to the bay. The demands of keeping concentration through to the 16th will be rewarded as a long par 3 from an elevated tee awaits. The green is well protected and set against the backdrop of the sea it offers the inspiring opportunity of sending a long iron high to the heart of this green. This is a great signature hole and many great courses are not blessed with anything this good.Cardigan is a special place to play golf and is a must play if in West Wales. It rates favourably with most of the best coastal courses anywhere in Wales and your journey will not be a wasted one! Ian Henley

Date: January 17, 2009

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