Golf in Wales - North Wales
BY ALL accounts, it’s a pretty good time to be a Welsh golfer what with the build-up to the 2010 Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor gathering momentum and the excellent recent perform-ances by the Principality’s top golfers both in the paid and unpaid ranks.
So, that being the case, it makes sense to pay Wales a visit this year for a golfing break.
The upsurge in golf’s popularity in the country has had the effect that there are terrific golf courses at just about every single twist and turn, so it can be somewhat difficult deciding where go. There are over 50 different golf tracts to choose from in North Wales, so you’d have to be mad to pass up the chance of a weekend away.
From world-famous courses to unkown gems, North Wales ticks just about every box there is.
So, where to start? Well, there are few places quite like Porthmadog, a sensational 18-hole links that will leave you begging for more. Established in 1905, it is considered one of the finest, albeit unheralded, courses in the north of the country. Its front nine is quite spacious and parkland in its feel, inviting you to open those shoulders and really let rip with the driver. Don’t make the mistake of doing this on the back nine, however, which is a true links in every sense.
The tight springy fairways require good course manage-ment, a prospect that becomes all the more difficult the harder the wind blows. With high dunes on one side and the sea on the other, it’s a formidable and appetising test of golf. Kinsale, meantime, is a charming, modern, nine-hole parkland gem. It was founded in 1996 and can be found in the homely little village of Llanerchymor in Holywell. Nestling neatly alongside a river, you cannot afford to under-estimate it, despite the wonderful and distracting views of the surrounding area and further beyond. Another great half-size parkland belter can be found at Storws Wen. Like Kinsale, it, too, opened in the mid-1990s and has since firmly established itself as a demanding challenge to players of all levels.
It is one of Anglesey’s most enjoyable courses as, even if you happen to be struggling with your game, the views of the Snowdonia Mountains and Red Wharf Bay provide some happy and welcome respite.
And these three fine courses are just for starters. There are many, many more in North Wales that are well worth a bash. What’s more, golf is only part of the story here as there is much in the area to appeal to non-golfing members of your travelling party, too, as well as an array of terrific, good-value accommodation. So what are you waiting for? Enter the Dragon this year!
Local golfing trivia
Abergele Golf Club was originally done away with in the 1960s to make way for a new motorway. However, enthusiastic members found a site for a new course.
Wrexham is celebrating its centenary this year and famous golfers to have played it include Peter Alliss, Dave Thomas and Karen Davies.
Conwy Golf Club will, this year, become the first Welsh course to host Final Qualifying for The Open Championship.