Peter Johnson, the Wales National designer and former professional at the Cardiff Club, first began the development of golf within the former estate of Hensol Castle, a Grade I listed 17th century stately home, when he built Vale’s other 18-hole layout, the 6,700-yard Lake course.
Following a visit to USA, he returned with the idea that Wales required a tougher, longer course to test the modern day golfer. Hence the Wales National course stretches to more than 7,400 yards over nearly 200 acres with five lake areas coming into play at half the holes on the card. A standard scratch score of 75 against a par of 73 lets you know that this course has been constructed with some serious golf in mind.
As Johnson says, “new golf technology has seen top golfers destroy the reputation of some of our traditional courses with their huge driving and we have to develop more challenging courses. However, I am a bit of a traditionalist and set out to mold the course into the countryside, making the most of the land's natural contours, features and waterways”.
Set within some beautiful Welsh countryside, the course contains a mix of wooded areas, wide and narrow fairways, along with some enormous water features and bunker complexes, with all putting surfaces constructed to USGA standard. The 495-yard 16th is rated by some as one of the best par fours in the UK with an incredibly undulating green that sees more than its fair share of three putts.
Having just seen the response to this review i feel the need to correct both Messrs Dunne and Aspinall with regard to their comments about my involvement with the development of the Lake course at The Vale Resort.
I formed the Vale of Glamorgan Golf Club Ltd with 3 others and acquired the land at Hensol from Mr Howard Joyce who had achieved planning for a golf course, hotel and equestrian centre.
My company then applied for a totally different development which included two golf courses , a driving range and the hotel.
The plans eventually approved by the Vale of Glamorgan planners were completely of my design with the equestrian centre being dropped. At no time were Celyn landscapes involved after my company acquired the land or had any input in the layout of the course.
On a small point the course is named "The Lake" not Lakes, and gets its name from HENSOL LAKE which was the only lake on the land prior to construction.
I'm pleased to say that both courses are maturing very well and the playing conditions have drastically improved following a very substantial investment by the present owners.
I must say I stronlgly object to being called disengenuous and I would ask these two gentlemen to retract their comments which are totally untrue
Peter Johnson FPGA
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