72 Bryniau Road,
- +44 (0) 1492 875325
Off the A546 between Deganwy and Llandudno
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Tancred Cummins and Harold Hilton
This venerable old links course was created in 1894 by a Cheshire businessman named Tancred Cummins, assisted by an associate (and member of the Royal Liverpool Golf Club), Harold Hilton, who had been Open Champion two years earlier. Mr Cummins would go on to serve the North Wales club as captain and secretary for a total of 38 years, until 1933.
Another Royal Liverpool member – and 1890 Open Champion – John Ball, presented a putter to the club shortly after it was formed and this trophy is still competed for annually. The Hoylake connection doesn’t end there as the North Wales badge includes the words “far and sure”, taken from the Royal Liverpool Golf Club motto.
Situated just across the estuary from the wonderful Conwy golf course, North Wales is laid out on Llandudno’s lovely West Shore, offering an interesting variety of holes that run out along the rail line then back along the shore, with small and tricky greens throughout.
There is only one par five and three short holes on the inward half, so par for the back nine is only 34. Two of the par threes are played back-to-back at the 16th and 17th holes and Mr Cummins, the club founder, having originally purchased the land for the course from the Church Commissioners, presumably attempted to minimize any cryptic offence by naming them “O.L.” and “L.O” – Oh hell and hello!
Founded in 1894 North Wales Golf Club, on the West Shore at Llandudno, is a course that is admired by many and provides some good old fashioned authentic links golf.
It also has excellent views over the Conwy estuary to Anglesey and the Snowdonia Mountain range.
The course stands proudly as one of the most popular and best value-for-money venues in Wales.
Not long by modern standards the par 71, 6,254-yard layout changes character a few times during the round and depending upon your personal tastes this will determine just how much you love it. But love it you will.
The first two holes give an immediate introduction to the challenge of links golf with the second hole being one of the best on the entire layout as it snakes through low lying dunes before you play to a well defended green with all the natural humps and bumps that you would expect to find on a course of this ilk.
The course ends in fine style too with a sweeping par four from an elevated tee to a falling fairway. This brings the end to a highly enjoyable golf course with bags of character.
North Wales may not be long by modern standards but you are asked to hit many different types of shots and in my opinion the final six holes are up there amongst the best, certainly the most fun, you will play in Wales.
The links purists may not care as much for the four or five holes from the third but in terms of making a score these are crucial to your round and good golf is certainly required. Interestingly on the scorecard there is both a 15-hole and 14-hole loop that members can play. The 15-hole course omits holes 3, 4 and 5 whilst the 14-hole layout misses out 15, 16, 17 and 18. I know which I would choose to play but in truth you will want to play all 18.
Ed is the founder of Golf Empire – click the link to read his full review.
North Wales is a very good links course. After the small disappointment of the opening hole which is very much squeezed into houses and a fence, the course opens out. The front nine are a little featureless but the par four along the railway is one of the best holes you will play, it would not look out of place at Hillside. The back 9 is great, with beach views and tall dunes. The blind shots though are a little disappointing, detracting from my score a little.
The 16th and 17th make a great arena if you have several groups on the course, but the 18th leaves you a little flat as is somewhat of a poor end.
This is some of the best value for money green fees anywhere in Britain though, so just book and go play.