Our Top 10 courses in South Wales

Courses & Travel

Our choice of the best courses the region has to offer

1 Royal Porthcawl

PORTHCAWL is the best course in the whole of Wales. You can see the sea from almost every hole because this is an elevated layout in places despite being a links. The 1995 Walker Cup venue is renowned for its quick and true putting surfaces.
Nearest town: Porthcawl

2 Pennard

THERE are links courses and there are clifftop courses. Pennard somehow manages to be both at the same time. The views are spectacular and the ground is firm and fast-running. Play with imagination and cunning and you will reap the rewards – just don’t expect too many flat stances.
Nearest town: Swansea

3 Celtic Manor (Twenty Ten)

THE host venue of the Ryder Cup is unlike anything else in the Principality with the possible exception of The Vale. It is golf on the grandest of scales with water in play at almost every turn – and sometimes more than once on the same hole. The finish is particularly dramatic – a par 5 that sweeps down to a lake, with the green standing high on the other side.
Nearest town: Newport

4 Pyle & Kenfig

THIS course of two halves was shaped by two greats. Harry Colt designed the front nine while Philip Mackenzie Ross got the better end of the deal, later adding a new back nine on virgin linksland. The first half is decent but the rest is brilliant, and a match for just about anywhere else in Wales.
Nearest town: Porthcawl

5 Rolls of Monmouth

VERY few courses can match the setting here, which surrounds a spectacular Manor House, the former home of Charles Stewart Rolls – co-founder of Rolls-Royce. The championship course is over 6,700 yards and arranged in two loops. The greens are notoriously quick and sloping.
Nearest town: Monmouth
THE host venue of the Ryder Cup is unlike anything else in the Principality with the possible exception of The Vale.

6 Clyne

FAST approaching its centenary there are shades of Pennard and Southerndown about Clyne, which is elevated and moorland in style. Delightfully varied, you can play one hole that looks modest on the card yet plays uphill and into the wind, then the opposite is true on the next.
Nearest town: Swansea

7 Newport

MEASURING over 6,500 yards from the backs, it is over a century old and has hosted countless prestigious events, including the Home Internationals. Situated in ancient woodland yet within a mile of the M4 and close to Celtic Manor, it is arguably the best parkland layout in the country.
Nearest town: Newport

8 Radyr

WALES is rich in elevated courses and Radyr is a fine example, standing high above Cardiff and offering views of the Bristol Channel. A Colt design dating back to the early 1900s, it is a combination of parkland and heathland rich in variety.
Nearest town: Cardiff

9 Vale (Wales National)

AT over 7,400 yards, the Wales National course at the Vale is on the grandest of scales. Approaching its 10th birthday, water is in play on at least half the holes  and another extraordinary feature is the green at the 16th – which must be seen to be believed. Also on-site is another 18-hole course and a luxury hotel and spa.
Nearest town: Cardiff

10 Glamorganshire

THOUGHT to be the oldest course in South Wales, Glamorganshire is also one of the best, despite measuring little over 6,100 yards. The original clubhouse is worth a visit in itself while on the course an obvious highlight is the view from the elevated 16th green.
Nearest town: Cardiff
Finally, to GOWER. We’ve cheated here and made this 10th equal – two writers simply would not back down on their choices! Gower has a Donald Steel-designed course and excellent on-site accommodation, so is popular with discerning visitors seeking value and excellence. You can also eat well here, while the parkland is always well presented. Nearest town: Swansea

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