Pennard - South Wales - Wales

Pennard Golf Club,
2 Southgate Road,
Southgate,
Swansea,
SA3 2BT,
Wales


  • +44 (0) 1792 233131


Visit Golfbreaks.com for a golf holiday at Pennard

Although Pennard Golf Club is located only a few miles southwest of Swansea, it’s set on the rugged Gower Peninsula, amongst one of the most dramatic landscapes in Britain. Its cliff-top site provides an ideal vantage point – from the heights, the views across to the beautiful sandy beaches of Three Cliff and Oxwich Bays are simply arresting.

Pennard is one of the oldest golf courses in Wales. Reputedly, golf has been played here since 1896, although the Pennard Golf Club was not founded until 1908. It’s often called “the links in the sky”, because the holes play across links-like ground, full of dunes, humps and hollows but the land is 200 feet above sea level.

The great James Braid originally designed Pennard, and, some years later, he returned with Ken Cotton to implement certain revisions. For many years, the unusual Pennard course was relatively anonymous until the great American architect, Tom Doak, declared in The Confidential Guide To Golf Courses, that Pennard is “One of my all-time favourites, but I hesitate to recommed it for gereral consumption; it's awfully quirky. The site, on a promontory of undulating ground between the sea and the 'Pill' (a deep stream valley), is one of the most spectacular I’ve ever seen.” Since Doak’s comments, the course has enjoyed a renaissance.

The ruins of a 12th century Norman Castle stand guard over the course, which measures a modest 6,329 yards from the back tees. It’s by no means a championship test, but there are 18 wonderful holes and Pennard has hosted a number of important amateur events. This is where the inspirational Curtis Cup player, Vicky Thomas, honed her game.

When the strong winds funnel up the Bristol Channel, Pennard will pose a stern challenge to the very best golfers. Don’t let your concentration be affected by the cattle, which graze on the links. Additionally, expect a few blind shots and don’t expect too many flat lies – Pennard is seriously hilly, with more ups and downs than most links courses.

One of the most engaging aspects of Pennard is that there are no average holes. Each and every one has character and there are at least nine great holes. The four par 4s from the 6th to the turn are simply tremendous. The short par four 7th, aptly called "Castle", will remain etched in the mind for a long time – from the elevated tee, the drive must bravely cross a deep chasm to find a distant undulating fairway. The ruins of PennardClick to find out why Steve is horizontal at Pennard Castle watch in silence. A semi-blind approach shot is to a sunken green, which is protected by dunes – fantastic stuff!

High up in the dunes once again, the tee shot from the 493-yard 16th, called "Great Tor", is also nerve-jangling. A solid drive to the rippled fairway below will leave a short, but blind, second shot across a ridge. The approach shot must find the green, perched on the cliff-top, which slopes wickedly from back to front. Don’t leave a downhill putt, or you may find yourself pitching back on to the green.

Pennard is a delightful old-fashioned affair and without doubt, this is one of the very best links courses in Britain & Ireland. No trip to South Wales would be complete without tasting the sheer delight of Pennard.

Tom Doak was appointed as Pennard’s consulting architect at the end of 2015 and his Scottish-based associate Clyde Johnson is working with Ecobunker on the installation of artificial revetted bunkers on the course. Doak will advise on the placement and shaping of the sand traps during the rebuilding programme.

We contacted Clyde Johnson in October 2017 to get his take on the renovation programme:

“Tom Doak and I made our last visit to Pennard in the winter of 2015/2016. The club had decided to re-build their second green without our input, and likewise have continued to do the bunker work on their own following Tom's initial report. I am not sure how much of our advice they heeded, but given the lack of involvement, I don't think there should be any accreditation (good or bad) on our behalf.

In truth, the bunker work was/is simply about replacing the turf revetted bunkers with the artificial turf construction process...with an interest for ensuring that these new bunkers did not appear homogenised as on many links courses, as they would be getting 'locked-in' for 20-plus years. There was to be consideration of moving the odd bunker, but nothing overly significant.

Regardless, it is the adventurous routing of Pennard, which sometimes lives on the edge, and a handful of wonderfully contoured green complexes that make it the best course in Wales, and one of the most compelling anywhere in the world.”

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Reviews for Pennard

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Description: Pennard Golf Club is a delightful old-fashioned affair and without doubt, this is one of the very best links courses in the British Isles. Rating: 8.3 out of 10 Reviews: 59
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James
I played her last Monday 27th June 2011 and found the course to be set over some spectacular ground. You play over undulating links land that enjoys a view over a spectacular bay from every hole. Ancient ruins are dotted about the course and playing here will stay in the memory for a very a long time. Each hole weaves between hillocks and dunes, over ridges and crests to sheltered greens nestled against the dunes high above the see. Some of the tee shots are so inviting that it is hard to compare with anything I have played. It is a fair test of golf over very natural Ground and I highly reccomend it to anyone.The holes go in all directions and present a fresh challenge on every tee.some of the tees and greens are precipitous and offer fabulous views down to the estuary and open sea. JCB LAY
July 04, 2011
8 / 10
Pennard
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Peter
Played this on a very wet and windy June afternoon and still had a great game! The undulations of the links course made the round all the more interesting and the views are to die for!One negative was the less the perfect greens, though they were more than adequate for a links course.Overall a great course in a great location.
June 28, 2011
8 / 10
Pennard
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Kevan Voce
I agree with many of the reviews here that this is a great golf course. We played in good weather mid-June but in a 2-club wind that was nearer 3 by the end. It is a tough course and not for the hacker. There isn’t a weak hole on the course and some really memorable ones. There are many elevated greens which made the approach shot very difficult. The negatives were that the greens were a bit slow and the fairways a bit scruffy. The views over the bay were terrific so bring your camera. Well worth a visit if you are in this neck of the woods but bring you’re A game.
June 27, 2011
8 / 10
Pennard
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Carl Tushingham
This course is a cracker and doesn't receive the recognition it deserves apart from on this website. It most definitely deserves its Top 100 ranking. Huge variety of holes and just about all memorable in there own right. Amazing views that could distract you from your round, must be some of the most stunning in Britain. Huge undulations on the fairways that give you awkward lies and greens that will test your putting skills to the max. I hope this course rises up the rankings. I was lucky to play here on a calm day as I can imagine how tough it would be if the wind blew!! Must play if your in the area.
April 16, 2011
10 / 10
Pennard
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David Baxter
A fantastic place for a day of golf; 18 holes of great variety, friendly welcome, stunning views, and even the cattle add to the 'naturalness'. Played in september open week and condition was the best I have known. There isn't a boring hole on the course, and like many others the 7th hole, with the castle on the right, is one of my favourite holes. The views walking down the 16th fairway are staggering, but beware the slopes on the green which make even the shortest putt tricky. Although Royal Porthcawl is tougher I think personally the variety of Pennard just edges it for me
September 08, 2010
8 / 10
Pennard
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Dave Andrews
Good course setup and steeped in history but very scruffy. I would recommend it if it wasn't for the rude green keepers and their lack of attention to detail. We played on a Links Golf break and played Pennard, Ashburnham and Machynys. I would recommend them all as they each offer something different.
May 14, 2010
6 / 10
Pennard
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John G. Holbrook
I played this wonderful course 10 days ago. The pro and assistant were very friendly and helpful. It was a challenging day with a 2 club wind. The course required many forced carries, course was in good condition with the greens slick. The back nine had some wonderful views of the castle and water. I wanted to play this course because the designer of Bandon Dunes in the States got many of his ideas. Would recommend this course.
October 21, 2009
8 / 10
Pennard
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darren
Played this course a few times now and have to say what an absolute delight. It is without doubt one of the finest links designs in the top 100. Superb land which will test every shot in the game, elevated greens which keep you guessing on choice of club, par 3's which demand accuracy and views to die for. As a previous reviewer has already stated this is pure golf porn! - beware target golf fans!
September 26, 2009
10 / 10
Pennard
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Adrian
I had mixed feelings after playing Pennard. The good - the course has some very memorable holes, particularly the 7th and the 16th. The greens are in quite good condition and the pro and members were very friendly. It is definitely an experience. The not so good - I think most mid to high handicappers are likely to get eaten up and spat out very hard by this course, particularly in the typical windy conditions. The fairways are often extremely narrow (particularly the 6th which must be only 15 yards wide in places). The rough is very punishing, which is fair enough I guess, but it seems strange to grow high rough within a few feet of so close to many of the greens, which seemed unfairly penal to me. It is also a difficult course to play the first time due to the large number of blind tee and approach shots. I hit what I thought was a perfect 3 iron around a dogleg towards a marker post which turned out to be a post on a different hole.
September 01, 2009
6 / 10
Pennard
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Ralph
I played Pennard on a glorious day this September as part of the PGA festival. Let me start by saying the setting and views that the course offers are stunning, I imagine the members would call the wind that blew on the day a mere breeze not worth a mention but it still warranted a couple of extra clubs when turning into the teeth. After a fairly non descript start the course becomes really interesting from the 4th tee onwards as the track dives & climbs between the mounds, humps & hollows that seem to block the easy route around this course.Pennard is not a course for one who curses any bad bounces, as invariably they will be plentiful. However, you have to be very crooked to find real trouble, but every shot will test your shot making skills as a level stance is only found on the tee.One small gripe – I know it’s land where the cattle can roam free but the fences around the greens are very annoying.
November 07, 2008
6 / 10
Pennard
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