Southerndown - South Wales - Wales

Southerndown Golf Club,
Ogmore-by-Sea,
Bridgend,
CF32 0QP,
Wales


  • +44 (0) 1656 880476


"Not far from Porthcawl – as the aeroplane flies – is another excellent course, Southerndown," wrote Bernard Darwin, in The Golf Courses of the British Isles. "It is perched high aloft and looks down on Porthcawl, amid the many other glories of a beautiful view. You may look out far over the sea, or again over a wide stretch of English – or rather Welsh – landscape. The breezes blow cool and fresh here, and on a still and stifling August day, when the golfer is almost too limp to crawl round Porthcawl, he will be wise to refresh himself by a round on the heights of Southerndown."

Southerndown Golf Club's elevated site, high above the Ogmore River Valley, provides arresting views across the Bristol Channel. Over time, sand has blown up from the seashore, coming to rest on the rolling slopes and giving the turf at Southerndown a rather links-like character. In fact, you would be hard pressed to categorise the course – it's quite unique – but one thing is for sure, it's absolutely natural. There are no trees or artificial water hazards, just bracken, gorse and bunkers waiting to trap the wayward drive. Oh yes, we'd almost forgotten, there are a couple of other things – the ever-present wind and the sheep – serious hazards in their own right.

Willie Fernie originally laid down the course in 1905. But this wasn't the same Willie Fernie who won the British Open Championship in 1883 – it was his namesake – a fact we learnt from Southerndown's knowledgeable Secretary. The hands of a number of great architects have touched Southerndown over the years (Herbert Fowler, Willie Park Junior and more recently, Donald Steel) but its lineage remains intact.

"Bracken to the left of you, bracken to the right – and a fairway rising up to the sky," was how the great Henry Cotton saw Southerndown's opening hole. It's certainly a most challenging two-shot hole and it's followed by two more, which are equally tough. The four par threes at Southerndown are noteworthy, especially the 5th hole, known as "Carter's Folly" – it's expertly bunkered and calls for an accurate iron shot.

James Braid and Harry Vardon predicted that Southerndown would become a great course, and they were right. It's hosted a number of important events including the Piccadilly Masters and the Martini International. The most notable current event is the Welsh amateur competition, called the Duncan Putter, an annual 72-hole competition, which has seen Peter McEvoy and Gary Wolstenholme emerging as winners.

No trip to South Wales would be complete without a game at Southerndown – it's an exciting experience with a warm and inviting clubhouse, which completes the perfect day.

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Reviews for Southerndown

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Description: Over time, sand has blown up from the seashore, coming to rest on the rolling slopes and giving the turf at Southerndown Golf Club a rather links-like character. Rating: 6.9 out of 10 Reviews: 27
TaylorMade
Kevan Voce
A good course but not as good as its neighbour P&K but both worth playing. The views here are terrific. We played it in strong winds (which I guess are fairly common) which made it more of a challenge. Not typical links but very enjoyable. Hole 2 and the Par 3 5th are great holes. The 18th is also a great hole - ideal for the "Greg Norman bottle-job" challenge - a tradition in our golf society whereby anyone who fails to get 2 points on the last hole pays £20 into the tour kitty!
July 03, 2007
6 / 10
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James Smith
March 16, 2008
Played Southerndown recently, an excellent course though they have a problem with people not replacing their divots - if the users of the course could do this there would be a significant improvement to the condition of the fairways.
Andrew Fearn
Played on a sunny,warm,light-breeze day and Southerndown just seemed a most wonderful place to be.Don't know if it's the lovely views and airy feel of the place,or the friendliness of the locals (we must have been asked half a dozen times if we had enjoyed ourselves) or maybe it's because there's hardly any rough,thanks to the sheep eating it ! But whatever it is,Southerndown has definitely got it.
July 23, 2006
8 / 10
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Rod Wiltshire
Can't put this in a specific class of topography. Could be links or heathland but definitly not parkland.In great condition and better than some of its neighbours this is a challenging course that most will simply love.great variety of holes, excellent clubhouse and very helpful staff. a must visit and very much a top 100
May 10, 2006
8 / 10
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A great course in a great location. Fully deserves to be in the top 100 in all surveys.·Lovely springy soil, great views, a good test and something of the x factor. It felt “right”. ·A tough but fair test, but with a few good opportunities to score, especially the par 5s which can play quite short. Saying that, no one in our group of 10 played to handicap and it wasn’t even that windy.·The lady serving the food was a bit officious – “you will have to eat in the dining room as the ladies are playing bridge in the lounge and they don’t like the smell of chips”!! The rest of the staff including the pro were great and very welcoming.
September 10, 2005
8 / 10
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Hugh
Southerndown is a very enjoyable, hilly and exposed course, perhaps not in the same league as Royal Porthcawl in terms of the collection of holes or the condition…but the common land and the sheep account for that. Nevertheless, it’s an interesting layout with some fine views. Definitely worth playing…and hold on to your hat!
October 29, 2004
10 / 10
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Andy Newmarch
Is it a Links, a downland or heathland ? Probably a bit of all three ....Good fun to play at Southerndown and a fair set of decent holes. 1st, 2nd and 18th my pick of the bunch. The views from the 2nd are amongst the best. Not an easy place to play to handicap and if the weather is against you, then this is really tough. A little disappointed with the quality of the greens but as the sheep are allowed to graze on the course it has to be described as a feature ! Enjoyed my round at Southerndown...a warm clubhouse welcome and very friendly members...well worth listening to over a small libation.
September 20, 2004
4 / 10
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Keith Baxter
You feel on top of the world here at Southerndown - the course is really exposed to the elements. Watch out for the sheep - they never respond to "fore". The views from the friendly and welcoming clubhouse are simply outstanding. The opening and closing holes are superb, as is the par three 5th, known as "Carter's Folly". Well worth playing if in the area.
September 18, 2004
6 / 10
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