Top 10 Golf Courses in West Wales 2015
West Wales Best in Region rankings updated
The West Wales region covers three largely rural counties in the south west of the country, with a combined population estimated at just fewer than four hundred thousand people. The landscape in this part of Wales is dotted with old Castles like Picton and Pembroke and the area boasts a number of railway attractions such as Vale of Rheidol and Teifi Valley, all of which keep an influx of visitors entertained in the summer months.
The more studious tourist might consider a look in at the National Library of Wales or maybe a wander round the National Botanical Garden but for many who come to West Wales in search of relaxation, there’s only one place to head for and that’s along the rugged coastline that stretches out between Aberystwyth in the north and Llanelli in the south.
It’ll come as no great surprise then to discover that each of the top five courses featured in our chart lies along the scenic seaboard which touches both the Bristol and St George’s Channels. That’s not to say there aren’t any decent inland layouts – for instance, the little 9-holers at Dawn Til Dusk, Priskilly Forest and Saron all have their admirers – it’s just that the best tracks are found along the shoreline of West Wales.
Ashburnham is at the number 1 position in our regional chart and this venerable old J.H. Taylor design is where Bernhard Gallagher and Sam Torrance picked up their first winner’s cheques as professionals; Bernard claiming the Schweppes PGA in 1969 and Sam lifting the Martin International in 1976. Recent reviewer comments describe the course as “an interesting test of golf” and “right up there with the best that Wales has to offer”.
Tenby appears at number 2 in the West Wales rankings and this course lays claim to being the oldest in the country, having been brought into play as a 9-holer in 1888. James Braid visited in 1901 with a view to adding another nine holes but the official opening of the 18-hole course didn’t take place until six years later. Braid returned around 1912 to advise on further changes then he came back to carry out extensive alterations just before the club held the 1930 Welsh Amateur.
Machynys Peninsula occupies the number 3 spot in our standings and this modern layout from Nicklaus Design has drawn a number of favourable comments from reviewers, typified by: “I was amazed at how this course has developed. I played here back in 2006 when it first opened, it was quality then and since then it has only got better.” The course has hosted a number of important championships during its first decade of operation and it seems set for a very bright future.
Laid out on the cliff tops above the Teifi Estuary, the golf course at Cardigan has been described as “one of Wales’s best kept golfing secrets” and it sits at number 4 in our regional listings. Featuring spectacular views from every hole on the scorecard, it’s not a links course by definition but golfers will more often than not find firm and fast conditions when playing the gorse-lined fairways at this much underrated track.
Finally, at number 5 in our West Wales table we have the most northerly course in this region, Borth & Ynyslas, which some claim was founded in 1885, three years before Tenby, making it the oldest club in Wales. Even though there’s no documentary evidence to substantiate its provenance, the course remains a classic old links which Harry Colt also modified immediately after World War II.
Many thanks to all those who contributed to our re-ranking process for West Wales. To view details of all the courses in our West Wales Top 10 rankings click this link. If you’ve played extensively across this region and would like to assist us when we next update the rankings then please email Editor-in-Chief Keith Baxter at [email protected].
24 August 2015 Respond to this article