World Class Golf Par For The Course in North Wales

Test your skills on the 'old' back eight holes at Morfa Nefyn...

In October 2010 the eyes of the golfing world turned to Wales when The Ryder Cup came to Celtic Manor in Newport. Traditionally overshadowed by Scotland and Ireland, Welsh golf has made its mark – and it’s not all about the south.

Welsh sporting heritage of course centres around rugby but its golfing traditions run far deeper than many realise. The arrival of the sport’s premier showpiece, The Ryder Cup, provided a shot in the arm for the Principality as it finally positioned itself at the centre of golf tourism in the UK & Ireland.

So what’s on offer?

The Celtic Manor Resort, to give it its full title, lies in the south but golf in North Wales is every bit as essential. Home to over 60 courses, golf in this beautiful part of the world is scenic and unpretentious, branded as ‘golf as it should be’.

You’ll find some excellent parkland courses here, perhaps most notably Royal Town of Caernarfon, famed for its breathtaking views and scenery. You begin on the first tee with a drive best aimed for Mount Snowdon. How about that for a target?

But for golfers, North Wales generally means links – and the area is teeming with inspirational links courses. Unspoiled and rugged, the golf on these shores is often testing and always a delight.


The most breathtaking of all has to be Nefyn on the Llyn Peninsula. Sometimes labelled North Wales’ answer to Pebble Beach, this unique 26 hole championship course boasts a sea view from every tee and is truly one-of-a-kind. The original final eight holes play along the much-photographed ‘The Point’, a jaw-dropping, skinny stretch of land that juts into the Irish Sea and makes for a thrilling test of anyone’s game.

Seldom do reviews of golf courses feel compelled to mention a pub, but Nefyn’s unique charms don’t end with The Point alone. The Ty Coch Inn (Red House) is in the tiny village of Porthdinllaen, preserved by The National Trust, and just so happens to nestle on the beach beneath the 15th hole, providing welcome liquid respite for most visitors.

A round of golf or four at Nefyn wouldn’t be complete without a trundle down the steps for a drink in The Ty Coch. The hard part is tearing yourself away and back up to the 16th tee. It might well be the longest round of golf you’ve ever played, but you won’t ever have had so much fun.

Wealth of Golfing Wonders

So how do you follow that? Well, Conwy’s links staged a qualifying competition for the 2006 Open Championship, a ringing endorsement for any golf course. And Royal St. David’s, in the shadow of the medieval Harlech Castle, is renowned for being one of the toughest par 69s in the world and ranks in Ian Woosnam’s top five courses in Britain.

US Masters winner Woosie is a Welsh golf legend and Llanymynech Golf Club played a key role in his development. He first played the course aged seven, and both his mother and father were captains of the club. Llanymynech, a mountain course, is also the only course in Europe where you visit two countries in one round. You play your tee shot on the 4th in Wales, and hole out in England - where you remain for the next three holes before returning back over the border to see out your round.

With an almost ridiculous array of wonderful golf courses to cross off your list, a mere day trip here can hardly be justified. Traditionally known as one of Britain’s top holiday destinations, North Wales is well-versed in welcoming tourists.

Anyone headed here for a golfing break will find a range of quality accommodation as wide as the selection of stunning golf courses. It’s almost as though the place was made for touring golf societies, and an overnight stay here – or even better a short break – provides golf enthusiasts with everything they need and more.


These are exciting times for Welsh golf. A £2m Ryder Cup Legacy Fund is supporting over 40 projects which will create over 200 new holes across Wales, giving clubs financial backing to develop quality, accessible public golf facilities and encouraging people of all ages to take up the game through a series of initiatives.

The benefits have been reverberating around Welsh golf ever since Graeme McDowell holed the winning putt at Celtic Manor, as Wales finally stepped out of the shadows and announced itself to the world as a leader in golf tourism. Do yourself a favour and chip in.

Sean Cummins

February 2012

Last Updated: 28 Apr 2015