Ian nominated the Clyne Golf Club as a gem and we added the course to the site in December 2007. Since then Clyne became a ranked Welsh course after we published the first country ranking for Wales back in 2008. We didn’t feel the need to write an article on Clyne because Ian says it all:
“Clyne Golf Club is located in an elevated position above Swansea and is perhaps the lesser-known neighbour to Pennard. Its location though is nearly as dramatic with wonderful panoramic sea views of the Gower Peninsula.
The course itself is similar in style and layout to Southerndown – being both a moorland-type course with plenty of gorse and fern bordering the course mixed in with its common land occupants (mainly sheep!). This is a course like Pennard and we felt that the challenge at Clyne was nearly as demanding as its formidable neighbour.
The layout and variation of the holes is good and you will not come here and play to your handicap without being accurate as the greens are well protected. Amongst the holes, there are some very long par fours and very tight par threes. The direction of the wind is always a big factor here – we played a couple of par fours into the wind which were just less than 400 yards and it took two very good hits to get home. Conversely when the wind was helping from its prevailing direction (which gives you the chance also to hit it long from elevated tees) the drive with your driver becomes extremely rewarding.
The 9th is a case in point; a par four over 450 yards long can be reduced to a drive and medium iron. Standing on the tee you will see a stone plaque commemorating the occasion when in 1995 a member drove the green in one.
We all loved this course and feel that it is a proper golfers course. The test was as stern as Pennard or Southerndown and the variation and elevation equally as challenging. This is a real hidden gem and we were pleased to search it out. The club notes that Peter Alliss had ranked this course within his Top 200 in the UK so others have made it their business to hunt it out too!”
“If my father had not been a travelling man, I might well have been brought up here.” Wrote Peter Alliss in his book – The Good Golf Guide featuring the 200 Best Courses in the British Isles. “Having moved from Yorkshire, he (Percy Alliss) began his professional career at Royal Porthcawl as an assistant and then became Clyne’s first professional in 1920. The course was officially opened in 1921 with the Mayor of Swansea invited to perform the inauguration ceremonies. Alas, his worship missed the ball at his first attempt to drive and my father had to give him a quick word or two of advice on his golf swing.”
Visited today in their open week as my 39th Welsh and 418th worldwide course.
It was fun to play with some amazing views of Swansea Bay. A good variety of holes and just like Brora, although NOT as good, it is fun playing with sheep and ponies wandering free and the electric fences around the greens.
For me, like many Welsh links, it was just that 'rugged' (or is it 'tatty') appearance BUT it plays well with several challenging and interesting holes. Not sure how or why but Scottishness links courses just seem in better condition than Welsh ones in many cases. Certainly the aforementioned Brora is better than here, but putting aside my 'opinion' of Clyne's "welshness" it isn't still well worth a visit. Must be a tiughie when it blows !?