The delightful heathland course at Holyhead Golf Club is tucked away on Holy Island, in the very north west corner of Wales, and it came about thanks to the efforts Commander Holland, a marine superintendent with the London Midland and Scottish railway company. Back in 1912, the LMS railway transported mail and passengers to and from the nearby ferry terminal to Ireland and golf was deemed a welcome diversion for those staying at the Railway Hotel.
The original 9-hole course was extended to a 14-hole layout by none other than the great James Braid, opening for play on 22nd July 1912. Braid returned shortly after to add another four holes and the full 18-hole course debuted in August 1914.
Fairways are set out on a compact 104-acre site and some old-fashioned design traits still remain on today’s 6,000-yard course with fairways that cross-over at the 6th and 7th holes and short par fours at the 1st and 14th holes.
Holyhead is an honest test and many of its undulating fairways are bounded by bracken and broom – with a little heather and fern thrown in, on occasion, for good measure – and, as a mid-round bonus, some wonderful panoramic views from the elevated 10th tee.
The club’s excellent dormy house accommodation (seven twin-bedded rooms) and its very reasonable packages for visiting golfers make it well worth the time and trouble to visit for those who are prepared to look a little further afield for genuine golfing hidden gems like Holyhead.
Holyhead is a cracking little golf course located close to Trearddur Bay on Holy Island, Anglesey. Enjoying fantastic views towards the mountains of Snowdonia and situated only a mile from the port of Holyhead, gateway to Ireland, the course is a challenging heathland cum moorland hybrid with some interesting greens and unusual features.
It’s a gem of a track, designed by James Braid in 1912, that has bags of character and some really cool holes. Arguably the best stretch of holes is right at the start of the round where the opening quartet head in a linear direction away from the elevated clubhouse.
The rise to the first green, located in a hidden dell, certainly grabs your attention before you play the very impressive par-three second with its green perched on a high plateau with sharp drop-offs to contend with. The 479-yard third is a marvellous hole and although not quite of the same pedigree it has elements of the magnificent fourth at Tenby and the same numbered iconic hole at Rye as it plays along a hogs back. The fourth, another short hole, is also a true delight.
Ed is the founder of Golf Empire – click the link to read his full review.