Nefyn (Old) - North Wales - Wales

Nefyn & District Golf Club,
Morfa Nefyn,
Pwllheli,
Gwynedd,
LL53 6DA,
Wales


  • +44 (0) 1758 720966

Nefyn Beach - picture courtesy of Julle

Nefyn is dramatically located on the cliff tops at the foot of the Porthdinllaen headland, a tiny promontory that juts out from the Lleyn Peninsula into the Irish Sea. In terms of sheer topographical exhilaration, Nefyn is Wales’ equivalent of Ireland’s Old Head of Kinsale. This is literally golf on the edge of the world.

Nefyn and District Golf Club was founded in 1907, originally as a nine-hole course and in 1912, it was extended to 18 holes. One of the great triumvirate, J.H.Taylor, was commissioned in 1933 to add a further nine and to revise the existing course. F.W. Hawtree and his his partner A.H.F. Jiggens, known as “Jigg,” built three new holes in the 1980s.

Until recently, the layout at Nefyn was extremely unusual with 26 holes in play. The course comprised of 10 outward holes and two separate inward 8 holes, these two 18-hole courses were named the Old and the New. This rather strange configuration made life somewhat confusing for the first time visitor. However, Swan Golf Designs has rung the changes after a lengthy five-year advisory period whereby numerous improvements have been made, the most significant of which was the creation of new holes on the dramatic “Point”.

Today there are three distinct 9-hole loops at Nefyn, "The Front Nine (Yellow)” [holes 1-9], “The Point Nine (Blue)” [holes 10-18], and “The Back Nine (Red)” [holes 19-27] according to the club’s website".

There are only a few seaside courses where you can see the sea from every hole, but you sure can at Nefyn. Not only is the sea in view, but also on a clear day, you can spot peaks of the Wicklow Mountains across the Irish Sea. The opening hole takes you away from the clubhouse to a series of cliff-top holes on the edge of the headland. There are blind drives, strategically placed bunkers, thick rough and, of course, the ever-present wind to contend with.

The Old course back nine plays along the Point peninsular, providing spectacular views across the cliffs and the bay. After the par four 15th, you’ll find a footpath down to the Ty Coch Inn, located on the beach at Porthdinllaen. A quick drink here on the pub’s famous wall, with the soothing sound of the sea and the glorious view across the bay to Mt. Snowdon, will set you up nicely for the closing three holes.

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Reviews for Nefyn (Old)

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Description: The Old course at Nefyn & District Golf Club is literally golf on the edge of the world and it makes the adrenaline pump... Rating: 6.8 out of 10 Reviews: 49
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Greg Watson

I remember the first time playing the course around 25 years ago and being blown away by it, I have to say less so these days. Spectacular views from the course are worth the visit alone, course condition good (July 2022) and an enjoyable course to play.

The wow holes across the cliff down towards the lighthouse are picturesque and stunning albeit not as challenging as they look in the brochure.

Good place for a game away, with plenty of entertainment in the vicinity post golf.

August 01, 2022
5 / 10
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Stephen whyle

Day 2 of our 4 day golf trip to North Wales. Easily the best course we played out of the four. (Conwy, Nefyn, Caernarfon, Porthmadog). Spectacular views, challenging course that’s in excellent condition, extremely friendly and welcoming and perfectly located to Ty Coch Inn. Would 100% recommended and return to play again, hopefully with the blue course available to play next time. Love it!

April 19, 2022
8 / 10
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Peter Byron

Stunning clifftop location, challenging course on a windy day. 27 hole layout, Front and New combination is the main course, the point (old) is more of a novelty, but with some stunning clifftop holes and an obligatory stop for a pint at the 'ty coch' inn on the beach after the 5th on the point (old) course.

January 24, 2022
8 / 10
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James Stephens

Nice course. Not an amazing layout. The peninsular 6 holes are very tight with a public path to the beach running through it - so make sure you’re straight. Greens were in decent condition.

September 05, 2021
4 / 10
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Stuart Eastwood

The Nefyn course was once rated as high as #59 on the Top 100 in the British Isles (Keth Baxter's book) but has slipped away. Why? It is an outstanding links presented in excellent condition with a decent clubhouse too. I would happily go back to play Nefyn anytime.

August 28, 2021
8 / 10
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Keith Baxter
September 01, 2021

It was actually ranked 65th in our 2005 British Isles Top 100 book. Back then we had a fairly rudimentary ranking and rating process compared to today’s system. I played Nefyn for the first time in 2011, my review is published further down these pages. I wouldn't categorise Nefyn as a links course, I feel it fits into the cliff top mould rather like Old Head.

Peter Wood

We played the Front and Old nines at Nefyn & District. The front nine starts beautifully with a glorious opening hole. It requires a decent drive, and then an accurate long iron or rescue to a green set below you. The backdrop of cliffs and sea grabs your attention from the start.

Holes 2, 3, & 4 all hug the coastline- hit a slice and you are in the sea. They are good strong holes, and the cameras will be working overtime..

Hole 5 is a short par three, with a tee on a small rock promontory sitting above the sea. From this tee you hit uphill to a pretty hole protected by three bunkers on the right.

Holes 6, 7, 8 & 9 then run inland. Each are good holes, but they dont have that special appeal that clifftop holes have.

However I thought the short downhill approach on hole 8 was excellent- with 6 bunkers ringing the front of the green, it was another 'Kodak' moment!

Hole 9 is a medium length par 3 uphill to a green set into the hill- it was another good hole.

The Old nine starts with an unusual hole. It asks players to hit tee shots short of a steep rise at the end of the fairway, and then hit a short iron blind up over a rise covered in heavy rough. Ladies may struggle to carry the ball high enough to survive the hole, so a stroke round is not a good idea!

Hole 11 is a recent addition- a delightful par 3 across the valley where the side winds wreak havoc.

Hole 12 ups the ante with another slightly longer par across the clifftops. With the winds blowing this is a tough hole for anybody, but boy is it spectacular!

Hole 13 is a highlight of the round. The tee shot must carry a gaping chasm diagonally to reach the fairway, and the player must choose how much to take on. A good drive leaves a short to mid iron in to a green nestled into the rocks. Par is a good score here.

Hole 14 is a downhill par 3 from an artificial tee up by the lighthouse. It took us a while to find the tee- but fortunately the lighthouse keeper called us up! I thought it was a pity that artificial grass was used on the tee given it is such a natural course..

The shot itself is perhaps just a little reminscent of Pebble Beach's 7th hole as it is sharply downhill with the sea as a brilliant backdrop. In reality it is a unique hole- where else do you tee off from a lighthouse over another green to a green below on the cliffs?

Hole 15 is a par four which asks for an accurate uphill tee shot to the same fairway as was used on the brilliant 13th hole, followed by a short iron in to a green set above you on the cliff edge.

At this point in the round many golfers will take a break- heading down the cliff walk to the very popular beachside pub for lunch, or a cleansing ale!

Refreshed the golfer heads back up the cliffs and resumes the round on the strong, scenic par 3 sixteenth hole. It is a downhill shot to a green near the cliff edge.

Hole seventeen is a letdown. It is a very tight par 5 with the landing area only wide for golfers to walk single file. With cliffs to the right, public walking randomly down the track on the left side, and a stiff cross wind in play- even the more accomplished golfer will worry about turning over the tee shot and causing damage. It is too dangerous for my liking, and the golf hole is the weakest on the course. (changes have since been made)

The closing hole is a short uphill par 4 which returns you to the clubhouse. It is a nice hole, and a necessary anti climax after all the excitement preceding it.

Nefyn will not host any Open Championships, nor will it be known for great design or strategy. It is not a championship layout. But it is great fun in a picturesque setting!

You may shake your head at some of the crazy holes, but you won't stop talking about it. Every golfer should play Nefyn & Districts once in their lives!

Peter Wood is the founder of The Travelling Golfer – click the link to read his full review.

May 11, 2021
7 / 10
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Grant Cunningham

Truly was amazing! Played in November and couldn't of asked for better weather, very little wind and t shirt worthy by the 10th! We played the 'new' front 9 along the coast and then onto the peninsula (old) back 9. Front 9 was incredible and the back 9 is the whole point of the course! amazing holes that literally take you out and sometimes even over the sea! Greens on the back 9 are rough... but I suppose that was the whole charm of it!

December 10, 2020
9 / 10
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Andrew

I played the Front nine and the old and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. The views along the sea on the front are stunning and the holes present a great test of golf as for the Old Course it really has to be played if you are a golfer visiting North Wales every hole is wonderful but the Par 3 2nd followed by the dog leg 3rd are jaw droppingly good.

February 16, 2020
7 / 10
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Andy Cocker

It’s interesting to read previous reviews and certainly opinion is mixed over how good Nefyn is. I played the Old Nine and the the Front Nine in that order. It was my 1st experience of cliff top golf and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The stretch of holes 1-6 are good fun albeit a tad baffling after having tee’d off down the 1st, we were left wondering where the green was, raised high above us surrounded by gorse and bracken and the cliff edge. More luck than judgement that we landed on the green. Followed by 2 par 3’s the part most people seem to remember are holes 4-6, which provide excellent views, albeit the actual holes are nothing special in terms of design. Teeing off the par 3 5th from the lighthouse is more crazy golf, but it was good fun. That’s the point - this part of the course is fun.

The Front Nine again starts well playing down towards the Irish Sea and the next couple of holes along the cliff top are very enjoyable, but after that as the course wends inland, there are no further standout holes, certainly nothing that lasts in the memory.

So overall, if you play Nefyn, play the Old Course and make sure you stop at the Ty Coch Inn for a pint - it’s all part of the experience and it’s the part of the course you will remember the most and for the longest period of time.

Well worth a visit and very friendly club to boot.

September 06, 2019
6 / 10
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Kevin Henley

One of my first Welsh trips and wow what a spectacular course. On more recent visits the have had to change a couple of holes because of the hoarders of walkers but the Old part is still stunning.

Very welcoming clubhouse too.

April 30, 2019
8 / 10
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