Tenby - West Wales - Wales

Tenby Golf Club,
The Burrows,
Tenby,
Pembrokeshire,
SA70 7NP,
South Wales


  • +44 (0) 1834 842978

  • David Hancock

  • James Braid

  • Rhys Harry


Visit Golfbreaks.com for a golf holiday at Tenby

Tenby Golf Club lays claim to the oldest course in Wales, established in 1888, originally as a 9-holer. James Braid was commissioned to extend the course; 18 holes opened for play in 1907.

This charming, classic links is situated on the beautiful Pembrokeshire coast, affording superb views across to one of Britain’s most fascinating and holiest of islands. Caldey Island has experienced more than one thousand years of Cistercian prayer. A pleasant summer boat trip from Tenby harbour will take you to the island where you will receive a warm welcome from the various orders of monks.

Tenby is one of the finest and least well-known golf courses in the whole of the British Isles. It is here you will find links golf at its most natural. There is nothing modern about Tenby, but it’s an engaging experience.

Many shots are blind, the contoured greens are hard and fast, and there are snaking hog’s back fairways, dense gorse, cruel pot bunkers and rugged dunes. It’s not a long course by today’s standards, measuring a little less than 6,500 yards from the tips, but the opening four holes (three of which are over 400 yards long) will challenge the very best golfers.

It would be easy to dismiss Tenby as a holiday golf course or as unfair, eccentric or quirky. We think Tenby is very enjoyable; playing here is always a memorable experience and you’ll probably end up playing shots from positions you’ve never faced before. What an absolute delight.

Don’t tell too many people, but the green fee is tremendous value too, and what’s more, you’ll be given a very warm Welsh welcome.

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Reviews for Tenby

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Description: Tenby Golf Club is situated on the beautiful Pembrokeshire coast, affording superb views across to one of the UK’s most fascinating and holiest of islands. Rating: 4.1363636363636 out of 6 Reviews: 10

Few courses in all of Wales have such a superlative opening of holes as Tenby. Any visit to the club is augmented by the superb location -- plenty of things to do and see -- with golf most certainly high on the list.

The quartet are challenging and architecturally interesting in a variety of ways. The opening salvo reminds me of any James Bond or Indiana Jones movie -- best you're seated the minute the lights go down low in the theater or you will certainly be missing something of note.

Tenby opens from the championship tees with a long par-4 of 462 yards -- it's a par-5 of 476 yards from the medal tees -- requiring two solid strikes to get near the putting surface. It also helps to shape the tee shot from right-to-left but be forewarned -- going too far left means a date with the out-of-bounds awaiting the hapless play. The tee shot features a blind shot over a narrow saddle opening and clearly signals the game is most certainly on.

The 2nd is no less challenging -- fortified by a long narrow green -- the approach must be played with total confidence in order to achieve a hard-earned par.

At the 3rd you encounter arguably one of the finest under 400 yards par-4's in all of the UK. Generally, the prevailing wind is with the player and it pays to take heed as the fairway bottlenecks considerably. Those who seek to hit driver had better execute with laser-like precision. The smart play is to lay-up before the narrowing and hit one's approach from that area. The green is simply grand stuff, utterly devilish and providing steep drop-offs on either side which can propel one's ball into a harrowing position.

The 4th continue the challenge in fine fashion. The ground is naturally rumpled and gives the appearance of an ocean on a stormy day. A long accurate tee shot can finish over a blind rise and the approach from this position becomes a matter of total faith in one's ability. Assessing the yardage and the trajectory one wishes to execute the shot are equally called upon. The green is beautifully situated in a bowl-like setting. When you finish the hole -- look back from the rear of the green and admire the manner by which Mother Nature played such a sterling role.

The land movement at Tenby is very good amongst the links holes -- plenty of twists and turns with fairways featuring an assortment of lies and the different types of stances you'll need to improvise when playing. Thinking carefully before striking one's ball is essential on the opening half of holes. The proximity to the ocean allows for varying wind velocities to Impact play and the tightness of the turf ensures plenty of ball movement when any shot strikes the terrain.

The series of par-4's from the 7th through the 11th is also a good mixture. At the 7th there's a rail line hugging the right side of the hole with OB awaiting. There's also a series of fairway bunkers - big enough to snare a golf ball into but far from an automatic escape. The elevated tee at the par-4 9th is also a wonderful hole that provides a glorious view of the coastline and a view of the town and St. Catherine's Island & Fort. With a turn of the shoulder you can also take in the view of nearby Caldey Island.

The 10th and 11th are solid two-shot holes -- each going in different directions so the wind pattern will vary. The 12th is the best par-3 at Tenby. The tee is along the edge of the property line with the nearby beach and the green is slightly angled so when a pin placement is in the far right area it will take a supreme shot of total skill to find the mark.

Unfortunately, when one leaves the 12th you're envisioning a rousing finish to cap off the round. Alas, that's not going to happen. Much has been made of the three holes on the other side of the rail line. I concur their inclusion is totally out of character with the holes found on the links side. However, holes #13 and #14 do not really add anything to the equation and while they still possess a links connection they are truly lame when held against the likes of what one has already played. I was informed the three original holes were lost to the sea and that the club added the "new" holes in the 1960s.

The 18th tries to sort things out as players return to the links side of the course. The extreme rear tee does provide a wonderful view of the clubhouse in the nearby distance and the pesky OB runs down the entire left side must also be factored into the mix with any approach struck too strong.

How many times has one gone to a movie and after a rousing opening and much build-up you're anticipating a grand finale and then left wanting at the end. That's the story with Tenby -- the course should have been much better because the quirk you encounter and the various twists and turns of the terrain are really fun and memorable. The other missing ingredient for me is the lack of a quality par-5 or two in the mix. There really isn't such a hole at Tenby. The backbone of the course rests with the collection of par-4 holes on the links side.

Tenby is certainly worth the visit -- but the disappointment of "what might have been" still resonates for me.

by M. James Ward

4 / 6
Tenby
February 20, 2018


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Golf courses such as Tenby are very few and far between. For me they capture the absolute essence of links golf.

They provide not only a true test of the game but give you much more than that; they provide a memorable and scintillating golfing experience.

How and why? You may rightly ask. And the answer is all to do with the movement of the land.

At Tenby you play over naturally billowing terrain that tumbles, falls and rises in all manner of ways. Sometimes it’s subtle whilst at others, and for the most part, it’s more pronounced with many changes in elevation as you travel over and through the natural duneland. Golf courses are often called rollercoaster rides and this term is no more fitting than here.

The mobility of the land allows for green settings that provide holes of exceptional quality and a uniqueness that cannot be replicated. The rumpled nature of the fairways provide holes of strategy, a variety of lies and a feeling, when walking them, that cannot be bettered. You feel in touch with nature, and you are, because that is what created the amazing topography.

You are faced with some blind shots, others that are partially visible whilst for the most part you know where you are going. The ground game is very much in force on this exciting links, and shot-making comes to the fore, whilst there is also the occasional forced carry; the terrifying par-three 12th is perhaps the best example. Tenby mixes it all up perfectly.

What you also have at Tenby is a real connection with the sea and the town itself. The ninth tee has the most amazing view over a sandy beach towards the picturesque harbour town edging the cliffs that look out to the small tidal island of St Catherine’s and the more distant Caldey Island beyond.

With excellent Dormy house accommodation on site at Tenby and the proximity of the club to town after just one visit this has become one of my favourite places to ‘play and stay’ when golfing not just in Wales but the entire United Kingdom.

Ed is the founder of Golf Empire – click the link to read his full review.

5 / 6
Tenby
May 18, 2017


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A real hidden gem. A true links, in good condition, and very good value indeed. Complete with one of the more varied and interesting set of greens one could see. 3rd an upturned saucer with trouble on every side, 4th an old-fashioned blind pulpit green, 8th on two tiers at the most awkward angle, 11th wickedly sloping from back to front and shallow. Were it not for the three holes across the railway, the last of which, 17th is a pretty, and a good, par three, which are of totally different character, this would rate right up there with Portcawl for difficulty, and fun, for me. As it is, still a wonderful course.

5 / 6
Tenby
August 23, 2016


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We played Tenby today on a sultry May afternoon after waiting out some hammering rain by enjoying the very nice food in the club house. The very friendly pro offered us the choice of tees recommending the whites for the extra length and getting more elevated views of the many blind shots. A nice touch, but the 6500 length played much longer. Some great links par 4 holes, the Bell hole in particular with a classic blind short in to a sunken green that wouldn't be out of place at Silloth, Machrihanish or indeed the Machrie. No higher praise ! Quibbles would be the uneven distribution of the par 3s and the Lelant like loop of holes 15 - 17 that can't help but disrupt the rhythm of the round. Also the greens at the club house end of the course aren't up to the excellent standard further out. However, a really enjoyable game of golf on a quality course that felt like one of the longest of its type, I feel the course is under rated and should be played by the many traditional links addicts on this site.

5 / 6
Tenby
May 10, 2016


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The winter has really been hard on Tenby's fairways and greens. On top they have ambitiously cut back encroaching vegetation. This meant that at the end of April 2014, this course looked and played very far from its best. The strokesaver you get in the shop is therefore also not 100% up to date. No doubt will this come together beautifully at some point, maybe later this season or next year. Until then, play at the other superb links courses in South Wales. That is, unless you are prepared to overlook all this and enjoy the fantastic value offered by the reduced green-fee and an empty course - the latter is helpful because of the tight layout.
3 / 6
Tenby
May 05, 2014


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Craig Thomas
May 16, 2014
Your right we have had some of the worst weather in a number of years however we have taken considerable steps to get the fairways and greens back to their best. We felt it only fair to extend "preferred lies" and reduce green fees to compensate for this however the course is now getting back to it's best and we plan to be "back to normal" by the end of May. New strokesavers are in print and we advise purchasers that the existing ones have been manually amended to include the new features such as bunkers, layout changes etc. The course has improved significantly over the last few weeks and recent photos are available on our Facebook/Twitter and Instagram accounts.
So we are sitting at home on a Saturday morning planning to play Machynys that afternoon and Tenby on the Sunday morning with the weather saying at least 2cm of rain and 20 to 30 mile an hour winds. A quick change of plan and Machynys was moved to the Wednesday and Tenby to the Sunday afternoon. So Sunday afternoon arrives the rain has eased to an occasional downpour and the wind is still blowing, but this took nothing away from a great course. The 4th is just a hole to remember a fantastic par four and is then matched with the 12th par 3. The course is a bit of a trip but make the effort. To the course itself we also appreciated the 50% off due to the course needing some work, due to the winter. Many times you go to play somewhere and there are temps everywhere yet you are charged the full price.
5 / 6
Tenby
April 13, 2014


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I was fortunate enough to spend a week in Tenby recently on a family holiday and took advantage of a 7 day ticket at Tenby GC giving me unlimited golf for only £120.The course is a traditional old-fashioned links with multiple blind shots, narrow roller-coaster fairways, and impossibly punishing rough. I loved it, and all the more so for getting to know it over many plays. My only reservation is the finish - three of the final four holes are on a totally seperate area of land leased from the adjacent caravan park and are definitely of inferior quality to the rest of the course. The mystery is why this has been done - the practice ground by the clubhouse would provide a couple of excellent links holes and there is ample space for a par 3 out in the dunes by the 8th.
5 / 6
Tenby
June 21, 2012


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Really enjoyable and at £25 for an evening round I can't think there is a better value for money course in Britain. Some great holes and the bunkers are as they should be, a hazard! I've not played a lot of links being a Staffordshire lad but to me this is proper golf, unlike so many courses now and their obsession with length! As we holiday in the area every year I will be back!
6 / 6
Tenby
June 13, 2012


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am
June 16, 2012
I have played Tenby many times. It is a good quality, thoroughly enjoyable links course. With holes, 4, 6, 10 and 11 being the stand-outs. As mentioned 15, 16 and 17 across the railway are park-like in nature. To award Tenby a six-ball score suggests it is in the same bracket as the oustanding championship links courses, Royal County Down, Royal Birkdale, Carnoustie, Royal Sr George's and the rest. It isn't, four balls is a fair score, with courses such as Littlehampton, Dunbar, Lundin Links and Ballycastle more realistic comparisons.
Steve Plant
August 28, 2012
You are of course correct about my score here, when comparing to those championship courses. What i'm trying to say is that for £25 on a summer evening i I don't think there is a better value round of golf available in the country
Had the pleasure to play here in 2009. True links course. Awesome setting. A hidden surprise. Had no temporary tees nor par 4's converted to par 3's as you'll see from other posts. I get to travel a lot and Tenby is a hidden gem for us US golfers, definitely in my top ten and if you find your way into this corner of Wales, play it.
6 / 6
Tenby
December 10, 2011


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When I played Tenby last week, she could have stolen my heart but at the end of the round I was hearbroken. What a course of contradictions, for 14 holes it is magnificent and then holes 15,16 and 17 are completely out of character with the previous natural links land then 18 is a very ordinary par 4 to finish. The views across the bay from the far end of the course back to the town are magnificent.If Tenby had continued in the same vain as the first 14 holes it would have been an easy 5 baller but due to the finish it is a 4 baller. Overall, it is very much a course worth playing if in the area.
4 / 6
Tenby
August 04, 2011


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