Pyle and Kenfig - South Wales - Wales

Pyle and Kenfig Golf Club,
Waun-y-Mer,
Kenfig,
Bridgend,
Mid Glamorgan,
CF33 4PU,
Wales


  • +44 (0) 1656 783093

  • Golf Club Website

  • One mile off M4 J37 follow Porthcawl signs

  • Welcome, contact in advance


Pyle and Kenfig Golf Club, commonly known as P&K, is one of Wales’s few true links courses. Its famous regal neighbour, Royal Porthcawl, lies next door. But make no mistake, Pyle and Kenfig is almost as good in places as the mighty Porthcawl.

Breathtaking views of Welsh mountains, Rest Bay and the Bristol Channel can be seen from this old links course, which was founded in 1922 and originally designed by Harry Colt. Nine holes were commandeered by the military during World War II, but after the war, it was decided to extend the course to 18 holes once again. With great foresight, some wild linksland was identified, which lay closer to the sea. Philip Mackenzie Ross (the architect behind Southerness) was asked to design the new holes…and what a job he made of it. Colt’s front nine is solid enough, but Mackenzie Ross’s back nine, routed through the dunes, is simply outstanding.

Unusually for a links course, Pyle and Kenfig is laid out in two loops of nine. The original front nine is where to make a score because the back nine is a very stiff test, especially when the wind is up. The 11th hole, a 525-yard par five known as the Valley Hole, is where the dunes come in to play – from here on in, it’s sheer entertainment. Drink in the view from the 14th tee, a 416-yard par four – the panorama towards the Gower Peninsula is stunning. Pyle & Kenfig’s last three holes (all long par fours) are amongst the best closing holes in golf. They will severely test the mettle of the very best golfers.

Solid driving is key to a good round at Pyle and Kenfig. If you can avoid the trouble and find the fairways, scoring well will be a real possibility. From the regular tees, the course measures a lowly 6,122 yards against a par of 71. Step back onto the medal tees and it’s a different proposition – 6,728 yards and the par is still 71. The club has hosted a number of important events, including the Amateur Championship in 2002 (with Royal Porthcawl) and the Girls Home Internationals in 2003. Additionally, in 2006, the club played host to the Men's Home Internationals when Scotland emerged victorious.

Good shot making will be rewarded at Pyle and Kenfig - it’s a fair golf course without any unforeseen tricks up its sleeve and the holes routed through the dunes are alone worthy of the green fee.

If the above article is inaccurate, please let us know by clicking here

Write a review

Reviews for Pyle and Kenfig

Average Reviewers Score:
Description: Pyle and Kenfig Golf Club, commonly known as P&K, is one of Wales’s few true links courses. Its famous regal neighbour, Royal Porthcawl, lies next door. Rating: 6 out of 10 Reviews: 43
TaylorMade
David Oliver

The number of superb holes on the back 9 are not enough for the course (correctly), to be included in the GB&I top 100 links. Indeed, a number of the front 9 holes had more of an inland feel ( similar to Ashburnham) however, P&K is well worth a visit.

July 12, 2022
6 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
1 person found this review helpful

Greg Watson

Played recently on a bright spring day and received an amazing friendly South Wales welcome in the pro shop and later in the clubhouse. Little things go a long way and the welcome will stay long in the memory.

The course was in truly fantastic condition as good as I have seen at this time of the year. Unlike many reviewers I found the whole course good, interesting and challenging, I think the open space and housing around the early holes may detract some attention of the great course architecture.

The final 7 holes are awesome, meandering through some natural dunes and with clever bunkering and undulating greens the course is a stern test, especially the final long 4 holes, I would urge everyone to visit the area and have Pyle and Kenfig on the list of mist plays

March 20, 2022
8 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
1 person found this review helpful

Javier Pintos

This one is very good, close to excellent. But if the stars get together and they move the front 9 closer to holes 11-17 in those dunes we might have the best golf course in the world … of course arquitects has to be one that knows about Colt and that can bend the new holes together with the great 11-17.

I read previous reviews and agree there is an unbalance between front 9 and back 9 (I feel 10 and 18 are 2 great par 4s!), but it is how the course was born and unless the Members take the brave and ambitious call to try and put all 18 together in the dunes, it will always be excellent but us golf architecture nuts will feel it could even battle RCD for #1 spot in the UK and even the world.

Said this, I have to point that this is one hell of a course, even the front 9 where tee shots are less intimidating, there is more room to miss and it’s the part of the course where you can build the score that for sure will be smashed in the final holes.

After a gentle front 9, 10th already starts to demand with a tight tee shot and a mid to long iron to a big green. And then party starts! 11th is an amazing 5, with a huge bunker close to the green similar to that one at Portrush and 2 small “Spectacles”. Then 12th off the tee you only see the green and you get surprised when walking closer and see there is quite a lot of room.

13th, a sharp 90º to the right where a brave tee shot can cut the corner and get a short iron to the green. 14th another dogleg where dunes were cut on the right side to show more fairway and the green. 15th a long downhill par 3 where wind is “the X Factor”.

16th 465 into the wind with an amazing green, one hole that should have 50 more yards as it has the perfect green for a par 5. 17th my God! Another long and tough with a blind tee shot and tough to reach in 2 (par 4!). 18th gets back to the flatter land and with the burn on the right and gorse on the left is another demanding tee shot.

Yes, there is unbalance between the 9s. But the green design on front ones makes it quite good and asks for your best golf. I can say it is THE course I would like to participate in the upgrade using the dunes on the back … a World Top 10 is potentially there! And the bonus is there are very nice views from Royal Porthcawl. An absolute must and a place where Members know their stuff and will make you feel at home!

October 27, 2021
7 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful

Michael Richmond

Like many of the reviewers here, I was underwhelmed by the front 9 but blown away by holes 11-17. Holes that belong up there with the best of any in the U.K. truly remarkable scenery.

A light sour note from our side was the dramatically unwelcome reception we received from the club. You’d have thought 10 guests, paying decent green fees & sundries on a soggy and windy Wednesday would be positively received, but the clubhouse staff seemed thoroughly displeased by has being there; and made their displeasure perfectly clear. It was the last day of a 4 day tour of Pennard, Southerndown, Porthcawl and P&K and amazing how different the reception was at P&K to the other venues for we went to. Not a club I have any intention to revisit or recommend.

October 22, 2021
5 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful

Response
Javier Pintos
October 27, 2021

I am sorry you were not treated, totally opposite to me as all Members and Staff were amazing. A course for sure to be revisited!

BB

One of the better 9 hole courses that I’ve played. The 1st is not great - draw it back from the JCB on the right side - before hitting into a welcoming green complex. Off and running. From here you enter the dunes, where any lingering concerns of Covid, Afghanistan, & the Eurovision Song Contest will likely get left behind. The 2nd is a short & wide Par 5 which invites you to first swing away like Johnny Weissmuller & then use the right side dune to kick your ball back onto the green.

Next is an attractive Par 3 with a raised tee & well guarded at the front. Take an extra club. Following a fairly fiddly 4th came my favourite the 5th. A dogleg right where you decide how much of the dune you wish to bite off with your carry. The reward for your risk is a shorter second shot, slightly uphill to an elegant green complex guarded by sentinel bunkers. Definitely not the worst hole I’ve played.

Interest faded slightly over the remainder of the course like one of Monty’s tee shots. But Golf amongst sandy hills is not to be sniffed at - I hold this thought every time I’m playing a soggy parkland - and this alone makes Pyle & Kenfig a course that should be considered for any South Wales itinerary

September 18, 2021
6 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
3 people found this review helpful

Response
paulmardon
September 19, 2021

.....err. P&K is an 18 hole course....looks like you only played the back 9....

BB
September 20, 2021

Correction to my above review - our interest tailed off (a little) after the Par 3 6th hole (and not the Par 4 5th)

BB
September 20, 2021

Thanks for the head's up paulmardon - we'll be sure to play the other nine next time we're in the area

Peter Wood

Unusually for a links course Pyle & Kenfig is laid out in two loops of nine holes. Even more unusual is the fact that the club has 23 holes. Five additional holes were added in 1983, largely designed by members. These holes are used to rest holes 11-15 in the winter months, and for use by the junior academy.

Whilst Harry Colt is known as one of the great golf architects of any era, the holes he designed- primarily the front nine- run through more parkland like terrain which I dont believe has as much interest as the back nine routed through the dunes.

Favourite holes include: - hole 1- an uphill par 4 with a lovely green setting - hole 4- a mid iron par 3 - hole 6- a short par 3 uphill

The real interest and the reason you would visit Kyle & Penfig would be to play holes 11-15 which play through some real linksland:

- hole 11 is a par 5 which brings you up into the dunes with the approach to a green which is nicely bunkered both short and at the front of the green. It is a wee bit intimidating!

- hole 12 is a long par 3 which is partially blind off the tee. The green sits in a dell surrounded by bracken, and again has 2 bunkers greenside, and 2 more just short of the green. Playing downwind, with a front pin, and mostly unseen from the men's tee, it was a challenge!

- hole 13 is a tease! It is a short dogleg par 4 with a blind tee shot, and a green partially obscured by a large dune. As the fairway doglegs sharply to the right and the hole is not long it is very easy to hit through the fairway or get the line altogether wrong. Playing it for the first time, with no concept of what lay ahead, and a howling wind, the blind tee shot was a lottery. However I can imagine that knowing the hole one would be able to negotiate it somewhat more competently on a regular basis...It is probably only a fairway wood off the tee, and a short iron.

- hole 14 is again a dogleg par 4 and this time some of the fairway is in sight. With a strong cross wind the challenge was to know where the fairway ended and the rough began, and then to hit the short stuff.

- hole 15 is a long downhill par 3 with another green set in a dell. The green cannot be seen from the mens tee, but from the ladies tee it is quite a pretty hole.

If I had the opportunity to play Pyle & Kenfig again I would head straight to the back nine and play these holes over. The key is to know where you are going and to hit an accurate tee shot. Otherwise it is no fun at all! But hit the fairway and life is all beer and skittles!

Peter Wood is the founder of The Travelling Golfer – click the link to read his full review.

May 10, 2021
5 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful

Rob Wallace

I have played this course hundreds of times and one of the joys is that it rarely plays the same twice!. I can fully appreciate the views of those that have only played the course once or twice and subsequently don’t rate the front 9. I felt the same the first few times I played it but gradually I fully appreciated the subtle design and challenges (the 9th is great golf hole and would be worthy of any championship finishing hole, shame it’s not the 18th!) but even if you don’t rate the front 9 you are in for truly world class experience on the back 9.

Holes 11-17 are world class and whilst not the condition of Royal Porthcawl these holes are the equal of anything on the Wales no1 course.

Finally its clubhouse and welcome are 2nd to none in Wales if you live local and are looking for a club to join, you will not be disappointed if they accept you into their ranks.

Tip: try to play the course from the white tees it’s a different test to the yellows (don’t be tempted with the blue tees!!)

February 05, 2021
8 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful

jason

Firstly ..... the back nine is fantastic and I would honestly say is as good a 9 holes as I have played anywhere, it is truly very very special.

However in line with some other reviews the front nine is not special at all other than 2 great par 3's and it does feel like a field with greens, all be it great greens and very well sculpted , but nevertheless feels like a farmland course.

However the positives of the back nine far outweigh the negatives of the front nine and this is a must play course.

My strong advice is make sure you play front nine first and class this as a warm up, once you hit the back nine you are in for a real treat that equals if not betters most top courses anywhere.

November 11, 2020
8 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful

Jason Comber

If we start by looking at rankings, I think 5th in South Wales, is about right. Would I prefer to play any of the ones below over this one? Probably not, though it would be a close run thing between P&K and St Pierre, Rolls, Newport and Clyne (for which I have a soft spot).

So, in terms of score, I would score P&K a solid 4 – it’s definitely a good course to seek out if in the area. 4 for me, is therefore fair, though if ranked 5th in South Wales then you could argue for a 4.5!

When I look at past reviews, in my opinion, the 2.5s and 3s are a bit harsh, compared to scores I see for other potentially lesser courses – it almost seems as P&K is being judged against different standards, maybe due to the difference in look & feel between the 2 nines.

When I see words like over-rated (how can it be – it only scores 3.5, so who is over-rating it?) or run of the mill parkland (it’s not – its heathland with links feel for a start), good to boring and bland I wonder if I am playing the same course. I feel the strong language is a little over the top and is harsher criticism than I have seen for other courses on this site that have similar flaws and issues. P&K doesn’t claim to be the best course in the world and is fairly priced for what it is (it does represent excellent Value for Money in my book), which is a solid, welcoming course in beautiful surroundings.

I also see comments about using the dunes better – I guess not every course has the money (or desire) to do what has been done at say Trump International or Castle Stuart, nor would they necessarily be allowed to given the adjoining land is a Nature Reserve and SSSI. There is a place for all types of courses, and I just wanted to share my counter opinion so people can judge for themselves. Each to their own I guess though – I just like the place and see it for what it is… The R&A also must share my view as they have used it 3 times this century to host the Amateur Championship (with Royal Porthcawl), so consider their opinion as well, and not just mine!

Clearly the front 9 is not as exciting as some of the back 9, but the holes are strong – I like 2 which is a challenge to hit the fairway, whilst 5 and 9 are visually appealing par 5s, and the 2 par 3s are sporting holes, with good greens. 7 is also a strong par 4 which requires good placement. As other reviewers have suggested, the back 9 is excellent in the main, with 11-16 being top drawer in my opinion and would not look out of place on any course in the UK.

The conditioning has always been excellent whenever I have played as well. I tend to play during the winter when other courses in my area (Bristol) are wet and I always look forward to playing P&K (as well as Royal Porthcawl & Southerndown) – how lucky are the people of Glamorgan to have these courses on their doorsteps?

September 22, 2020
6 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
1 person found this review helpful

Extremely overrated! I'll start with the good stuff; the back nine is good. 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 are all really good holes in dunes and great links land. However, the other 13 holes are in a field, with no dunes and very underwhelming features. 4 is a nice par 3, as is 6. But overall the course is extremely average and you'll wish you played Pennard, Southerndown or Porthcawl instead.

April 18, 2020
4 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
1 person found this review helpful

Response
Simon Hopkin
August 26, 2020

I think Harry Colt and Alistair McKenzie Ross the designers and architects of Pyle and Kenfig would have strongly disagreed with your average critique.

Simon Hopkin

Secretary/Manager

Freddie
August 26, 2020

A completely fair review Peter, not sure as a secretary/manager you can give a completely fair and unbiased opinion. Surely you have to look past it and see that other than the great stretch of 4/5 holes on the back nine it is not a special golf course and there are better courses around. But I suppose when you work there it’s a tough pill to swallow

Niall
August 26, 2020

Comical… I’m sure Alistair McKenzie Ross (whoever he is) couldn’t care less. I wouldn’t say P&K is “Extremely overrated” but it has to be said that the first 10 holes and the last hole are not classics, however 11 through to 17 are the real deal. This is one of those “if only” courses – acres of fabulous land all around but not enough of it being used for golf.

David Thomas
August 27, 2020

I played P & K a few moons ago, and I too was disappointed after being promised so much. The front holes are pretty normal, some are quite difficult due entirely to length, but all are pretty bland in design and in the ground used. Over the road, and it starts to change, 11 to 15 are pure linksland delight, but take these away, and to me overall, all pretty average.

Warren
August 27, 2020

I seem to recall there were a number of winter holes on the 'good side" that looked interesting amongst the dunes. Could the club get them up for all season play and re-route it so it plays say 6 on the boring side and 12 on the good side?

Gustav
August 28, 2020

When you wrote "extremely overrated" and "extremely average", did you want to advance the merits of quite a few of those Welsh courses ranked below or just vent your disappointment with the course?