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, named Front (holes 1-9), Old (holes 10-18) and New (19-27). The Old course combines the Front and Old nines to create the club’s premier configuration. Most visitors will elect to play the Old course because it’s the Point’s spectacular cliff edge holes that are at times quirky but frequently jaw-dropping which simply have to experienced.
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.
Revisited Nefyn this Summer as part of a Society tour to NW Wales, Carnarvon was a great base. Loved Nefyn on my previous visits and was excited to see the changes.
We had a great time, and the newcomers were blown away by the location, but the (entirely understandable) changes to the Point holes have traded excitement for the safety of grockles obliviously sauntering through a firing range.
The new holes are still a little raw and will I'm sure settle down, but something of the magic has been lost.
Still good fun though, and a great pint at the Ty Coch - not nipping down the hill to the beach should be a DQ !
Played there on a very windy day (60 MPH, october 2011), almost unplayable but we had lots of fun. Unbelievable course, some great scenic holes and perfect conditioning. We almost drove some par 4s in downwind but also hit drivers on a par 3, 153 yards. Really loved the course, difficult and some holes is more of an experience than golf but overall we will be back there for sure and hopes for a less windy day.