Vale (Wales National) - South Wales - Wales

Vale Hotel,
Golf & Spa Resort,
Hensol Park,
Vale of Glamorgan,
CF72 8JY,

  • +44 (0) 1443 665899

  • Gareth Bevan

  • Peter Johnson

  • Clive Coombs

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.

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Reviews for Vale (Wales National)

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Description: Opened in June 2003, the Wales National course measures 7,413 yards from the tips and it's one of the longest courses outside the USA. Rating: 4.1 out of 10 Reviews: 12
Kevan Voce
We played this as part of the Waverleys tour and was a bit of a letdown after P&K and Southerndown. To be fair, if you like all that corporate golf-thing it is probably not a bad course - the 2nd being a bit special. However, proper golfers are surely going to give this a wide berth with P&K, Southerndown and Porthcawl only 25 mins away. The staff were all friendly but be prepared for a bit of a hard-sell on the old "timeshares". We were approached on the course and told we'd a get a free upgrade to a de-luxe jacuzzi if we signed up before the 17th tee!!
July 03, 2007
4 / 10
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Andy Newmarch
The resort at the Vale is a welcome addition to the M4 golfing corridor that includes St Pierre, Celtic Manor, Porthcawl, and Pennard to name a few. The Vale will be hoping take resort business certainly from St Pierre and Celtic Manor and I think it is doing a decent job. All of the modern resort facilities that you would expect including two golf courses. The Wales National course is only three years old (2003) and some of the early holes (1st, 4th 5th) have a decidedly young look about them. With some TLC over the coming years I am sure they will mature and evolve correctly as right now they are a touch bare in terms of trees for example. The 2nd is a long par 5 and already a great hole, the 3rd is a par 3 and in my mind is routed the wrong way around (if the tee and green were swapped, the flow would be so much easier). There are some really great holes after crossing the track behind the 6th with the pick probably the 16th, although it does have a bit of a comedy green (huge humps and bumps that should be flattened a little to be honest). The National course at the Vale is well positioned to become a true great course in south Wales, but not just yet…give it time though and this has chances to become the first choice for stay and play and not just an alternate to the others mentioned earlier. Worth a visit.
October 12, 2006
6 / 10
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