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Top 50 Golf Courses of Wales 2018

23 October, 2017
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Top 50 Golf Courses of Wales 2018

We started out with a Top 15 for Wales back in 2006 and have gradually built up our coverage of golf courses in the Principality over the last decade, expanding to a Top 50 chart in 2014. We also now maintain regional listings for North, South, Mid and West Wales so there are actually more than sixty courses in total featured across the country on this website. Whether you’re looking for a top links course on the coast or an entertaining parkland track further inland, you’re bound to find something that will appeal to you within our rankings for Wales.

Royal Porthcawl remains our number 1 course in Wales and this world-ranked course – host venue for the Senior Open on the European Senior Tour in two of the last three years – is unlikely to be shifted from its perch any time soon. Architects Mackenzie & Ebert have been advising the club on a variety of course aspects in recent years and their judicious input ensures this lovely old track is still fit for purpose in the modern era.

Aberdovey at number 2 and Pennard at number 3 both rise one position in our new chart. Fashioned at various times down the years by Fowler, Colt and Braid, the links at Aberdovey is a romantic old layout dating back to 1892, when the club was founded. Squeezed in between the Cambria Mountain Range and the Dovey Estuary, it’s an enchanting place to play golf, with on-site Dormy House accommodation making it the perfect base for a West Coast of Wales golf trip.

A hundred miles further south, the course at Pennardis a totally different type of links, set on top of cliffs on the rugged Gower Peninsula. It was a favourite of writer James Finnegan, who wrote: “I would as soon play Pennard as any course in the world” and a reviewer described it a few months back as “one of those fantastic links courses that has a little bit of everything… mixes strategy and quirkiness to good effect and boasts a handful of truly excellent holes.” Tom Doak and associate Clyde Johnson have been assisting the club with bunker renovation work recently.

There are lots of little one or two-place moves up or down the table from position 8 onwards, until we reach Holyhead, which jumps up four slots to number 24. Situated only a mile from the ferry port at Holyhead, the gateway from Wales to Ireland, this James Braid design has been delighting golfers for more than a hundred years now with its old-fashioned traits such as cross-over fairways and short par four holes. It’s a challenging heathland/moorland amalgam with loads of character and plenty of interesting architecture.

In the bottom half of the standings, the course at Rhuddlanin the Vale of Clwyd also climbs four places to number 44. Designed by Fred Hawtree back in 1930, it’s a gently undulating parkland track that plays to a par of 70 from the back tees but its standard scratch score rating of 72 proves that Rhuddlan is more than capable of providing a tough test when hosting county and national championship events for elite amateur players.

Three courses drop out of our Top 50 for Wales (Builth Wells, Glamorganshire and Mold) and they’re replaced by three new entries near the bottom of the chart: Padeswood & Buckley near Wrexham at number 47, Monmouth at number 49 and Aberystwyth at number 50 (which some might notice is a re-entry because it was previously listed at number 41 in 2014).

We’re always happy to receive feedback when we produce an updated national ranking chart so, if you have a strong opinion, please let us know what you think of our new Top 50 for Wales. Maybe we’ve missed a course that should be listed or we’ve included one that really shouldn’t be there? Perhaps there’s a layout occupying a position that’s too high or too low in the standings? Please click the “Respond to this article” link at the bottom of the page if you’d like to let us know your thoughts.

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To view the complete detailed list of the Top 50 Golf Courses in Wales click the link.

Jim McCann
Editor
Top 100 Golf Courses

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