Southerndown - South Wales - Wales

Southerndown Golf Club,
CF32 0QP,

  • +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. Herbert Fowler made improvements in 1908, followed by more alterations by Willie Park Jr. six years later. Shortly after the Great War ended, Harry Colt was engaged to carry out further modifications and not a lot has changed in over a hundred years since then.

"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: 6.8 out of 10 Reviews: 32
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 19, 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 17, 2004
6 / 10
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