Top 20 Golf Courses in South Wales 2015
South Wales Best in Region rankings updated
The South Wales region is one of the most densely populated areas in the United Kingdom and it’s home to around two million people, with around one in six inhabitants living in the capital city of Cardiff. Once renowned as an industrial powerhouse due to its coal mining and iron production, South Wales is now heavily reliant on the service sector for its economic prosperity.
There are more than seventy clubs in membership of the two male golf unions and two female golf associations which provide administration for amateur golfers in South Wales and we feature twenty of the best courses operated by these clubs in our South Wales ranking chart.
Looking at the recently updated edition of this Top 20 for South Wales, the first three places remain exactly the same as last time, with Royal Porthcawl holding off the challenge for the top spot from Pennard at number 2 and Celtic Manor (Twenty Ten) at number 3. Of course, the old links at Porthcawl also features in our World Top 100 chart so it’s no great surprise to see it hold onto the regional number 1 position.
At number 4, rising one place, is the course at Pyle & Kenfig. Reviewers have been “very pleasantly surprised” when playing a course that offers “good value for a championship venue”. On the other hand, others have felt “slightly underwhelmed by P&K” by finding “enjoyable holes on the inward 9 that were let down by some rather dull ones on the outward stretch” so opinions of the course have recently been somewhat mixed.
Another course making an upward move is St Pierre (Old), rising two places to number 6. Remodelled by Ross McMurray of European Golf Design in 2008, the Old course is set within a wonderful 400-acre estate that’s situated close to the Severn Bridge, with an historic 14th century manor house in place to act as hotel and clubhouse.
Newport also climbs smartly up the the chart, moving up six positions to number 9. Laid out within Llwyni Wood, to the north west of Newport, the course was established in 1912, nine years after the club was founded, and this 18-hole layout is unusually configured with five par three holes and five par fives.
The only other course to make an upward move is Radyr, which soars an impressive seven places to number 12. Designed by Harry Colt, this 18-hole layout was chosen to host the 2015 Welsh National PGA Championship and it’s one of the premier venues in the vicinity of the capital.
Whitchurch is the first of two new entries, leaping into the Top 20 at number 10. The original 9-hole course was fashioned in 1915 then expanded to 18-holes eight years later so, apart from during World War II when a number of fairways were used to grow vegetables, golf has been played here for exactly one hundred years.
The other newcomer to the South Wales rankings is Glamorganshire at number 19 and this parkland track is situated on an undulating site at the eastern edge of Cosmeston Lakes Country Park, near Penarth. Celebrating its 125th anniversary this year, the club is the oldest in the south of Wales and the fourth oldest nationally.
Many thanks are due to those who helped with our re-ranking process for this region. To view details of all the courses in our South Wales Top 20 rankings click the link. If you’ve played extensively across this region and would like to assist when we next update the rankings then please email Editor-in-Chief Keith Baxter at [email protected].
27 August 2015 Respond to this article