Wenvoe Castle was constructed in the late eighteenth century but a fire destroyed much of the original structure in 1910. A number of buildings were restored before the golf club was formed in 1936 and the magnificent old mansion house now functions as a rather grand clubhouse for the membership.
James Braid modified the course – one of around twenty that he worked on in Wales during his career as an architect – before the C. K. Cotton design company subsequently upgraded it. Laid out in two returning 9-hole loops, the modern day course now measures 6,514 yards from the back tees, playing to a par of 72.
It’s been described as “a course of two highly contrasting halves,” with many trees and steep fairways on the front nine, all but one of which is played downhill. The inward half then flattens out and playing corridors become wider, with a little less arboreal influence along the fairway fringes.Feature holes include the 537-yard 1st (played from a lofty tee position into a valley then uphill to a bunkerless green), the 482-yard 8th (which is the longest of the par four holes), and the 401-yard 10th, where out of bounds threatens the drive on the right before the approach shot then has to carry a small pond on its way to a sand-protected, two-tiered green.
I have ranked this course just below the mass of good quality parkland course Wales has to offer, Whitchurch,Newport,Cardiff,Creigiau St Mellons and Glamorganshire are all in my opinion better, but not by a long way and the back 9 of Wenvoe is the equal of any of the top Parkland courses, it invariably has quality slick greens and worthy of a visit.
Wenvoe is one of what seems like a plethora of similar parkland courses in the Cardiff area. Three par 5's and three par 3's makes for a par of 72 with a white tee yardage of 6514; seemed to play all of this as there was little roll after the recent rain this August. Quite a windy day and crosswinds on most holes made finding fairways off the tee difficult. Tees were in poor condition and although the greens were in places quite sodden they were in good condition and actually putted quite nicely.
A tale of two nines really with a hilly front nine and flatter back nine to the south of the clubhouse (old mansion which in it's heyday must have been impressive). The first eight holes (other than the 5th) are very much either straight uphill or straight downhill. The 9th was a nice par 3, followed by the best hole on the course, a dog-leg of 401 yards with downhill drive and a large pond on the angle of the dog-leg and much trouble down the right hand side of the hole. After the 10th it was fairly flat parkland.