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!
After turning directly into the car park off the main road, the experience only gets better. This is a class links course offering stunning sea and beach views and all at an excellent price. Yes there are some quirky holes but that is all part of the fun and it’s a course you will play better the 2nd time around for knowing. I agree with other reviewers that holes 3-5 are less spectacular as you head inland but the 6th is a hard test and the 7th and 8th really good fun as you play alongside the railway line. However the holes next to the sea are what make the course for me and the views speactacular. There are quite a few par 3’s towards the end and holes 16 and 17 do feel contrived as they cross over (so less of a fan of those) but the 18th is a great way to finish you round on a high.
The greens were in excellent condition (played last week in May) and the rough was penal - they had an AmAm on and any ball drifting off line was likely never to be found. So it was a tough day at the office but it didn’t detract from a very enjoyable round of golf.
Curiously unimpressive entrance, clubhouse and first hole but gets so much better after that.
Quirky pair of crossing par threes towards end of round.
Would always rank Conwy as the better course but this makes up a good trio with the other neighbour.
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.