Founded in 1905, Prestatyn Golf Club had an 18-hole course in play the following year. Nine of the original fairways were lost to development in 1921 but another nine were in play within twelve months, enabling members to resume with a full complement of holes.
The land on which the most northerly golf course in mainland Wales lies was owned by Lord Aberconway and when he died in the late 1950s, both course and clubhouse were sold to pay death duties. The local Council managed to compulsorily purchase the layout from its new owner a short time after before it was leased back to the club.Set out on a 150-acre tract of land known as “morfa,” meaning bog or sea-marsh in the Welsh tongue, the course lies between the coastal rail line and the Irish Sea. A canal – known as the “Prestatyn Gutter” – runs through the links and it’s been the ruin of many a poor golfer down the years.
Prestatyn is a fine championship links course on the North Wales coast and is easy to see why it’s regularly selected for the country’s top events.
In 2015 it hosted the Welsh Amateur Championship amongst other tournaments and at 6,825 yards from the back tee markers there’s no doubt this varied links is a test for the very best.
There’s a good mix of holes throughout the round which in my opinion gets better and more interesting as the round progresses. The stretch of holes from the 10th through to the 14th is of a particularly high standard.
The front nine, played closer to the sea but on flatter and softer ground, goes about its business in an economical manner but still has plenty of challenge and presents several options on a number of holes. Indeed an important choice must be made on the very first tee as to how much of the marshland you should bite off on your tee-shot. A tough decision with your first strike of the day!
I enjoyed a beautifully clam day for my round at Prestatyn but I can imagine when the wind blows it can become a different beast altogether.
North Wales has a great mix of golf courses and is a popular destination for visiting golfers from both near and far. A round at Prestatyn should be an essential part of any itinerary when heading to this part of the country. The green-fees are already well priced but The Club also run a number of open competitions throughout the year which offer even better value.
Ed is the founder of Golf Empire – click the link to read his full review.
After an absence of around 15 years since making an annual trip with a society, I decided to return to Prestatyn for some winter golf, as my course dug up 4 greens at the end of 2015, and is also not the best course off-season anyway. After speaking to the friendly secretary, Chris, who advised the course was in great shape and that they pretty much play full tees and greens all year, 2 friends and I decided to go and play.
I’ll cut to the quick and say right now that we returned several times over the next few months and have since all joined as PGC members in 2016. The course is in very good condition and you couldn’t wish for a friendlier welcome, with a core of dedicated members also helping out around the club, so it’s easy to feel at home.
As to the layout, PGC opens with a few fairly featureless holes which serve well to ease you into the round but from the 4th onwards the links really comes into it’s own. The finer grasses from here onwards also create options for a ‘running game’ on most holes (except the 8th which can be wet in winter). Once you reach the 11th, the course really starts to peak and from here to the 18th, you will struggle to find a better stretch of holes anywhere. And then there’s the wind ! ... Most holes play up or down the prevailing wind, so take the good holes when you can and hold onto your score when going into the teeth of it. The par 3 17th can play anything from a wedge to a wood ! The rough isn’t as penal as at some links either, which makes for a more enjoyable round by all. If you are from the school of low single-figures and subscribe to the fact a course has to be tough to be good, and sit in the bar afterwards lauding it was a real test because you struggled to break 80, then probably best to avoid here …. To everyone else I say come along and you will enjoy it ! Prestatyn held both the Welsh Amateur and the British Senior Ladies Open Amateur championships in 2015, where a truly international field gave glowing reports of the course.
I don’t think I can give any greater testament though than the fact that I put my money where my mouth is and joined.
With a small team of green staff, you clearly won’t get the conditions seen at some of the ‘classic’ links but having played well over 200 courses in my time, I’m pretty certain you won’t get a friendlier welcome or better value for money than at Prestatyn.