Royal Porthcawl Golf Club
|Red (W)||75||5840 yards|
|Blue M: 71.2/120||343||421||440||201||491||345||129||427||358||3155||317||178||517||392||145||440||414||482||403||3288||6443|
|White M: 70.7/118||320||407||328||178||459||341||118||404||343||2898||306||152||498||369||146||403||389||464||378||3105||6003|
|Red W: 74.7/136||316||360||325||155||436||328||119||384||299||2722||288||143||485||339||138||382||386||437||331||2929||5651|
Wales' Championship test
If you love your golf to have "Championship Pedigree' then Porthcawl is the course in Wales for you. No blind shots, everything is in front of you, bunkers are penal and placed in obvious places to make approaches difficult; all of this adds up to a fair test of golf. If the Open was to come to Wales this is the place; it should have been the place for the Ryder Cup.
This is a links test. Plenty of holes with long distances, which this club will let you play if you show them a handicap to match those criteria. The opening holes along the ocean is anticlimatic, but the rest of the holes do provide views of the ocean. Really strait forward links golf where controlling the ball flight in the wind is essential and missing the green can lead to recovery powers of a high order.
Off the course, the members are very nice and proud of their club. The bar and restaurant staff are very pleasant. In most cases, you get a breakfast or lunch with your round. My only regret might be not staying at the "Dormy" house accommodations on site.
If going to Wales, this should probably be at the top of your list; unless you really enjoy the quirk. Excellence all around.
The undisputed alpha dog of golf in Wales
The great appeal of Wales as a golf destination is in its quirky links like Pennard, Southerndown and Nefyn & District. But the great exception to this is Royal Porthcawl, a links with every bit of pedigree as England and Scotland's top medal links.
The opening stretch of holes along the beach are fantastic. Perhaps the single greatest attribute I remember about my two rounds at Porthcawl are the small, deep pot bunkers that command your full attention on every hole, especially the par 3s. I love the short par-4 finisher that plays straight downhill towards the water.
You wonder if the 2010 Ryder Cup been held here instead of further inland, the matches wouldn't have been such a wash, and it might have done a better service to the links golf scene here. In any case, this 19th century links isn't going anywhere, and is a must on any Wales golf itinerary.