- 18 Hole
- 6034 Yds
Southerndown is unique. Nature has crafted an unusual ‘limestone-heath’ on which we play our golf. The massive limestone outcrop, which rises over 70 metres from the sea and gives us such superb views, accounts for the course’s free drainage; the overlying soil supports acid-loving heathland vegetation such as heather, bracken and gorse; and the westerly winds have deposited centuries of sand to give the front eight holes a springy, links-style character.
This ‘limestone-heathland-links’ presented the original course architects with a unique tableau on which to work. Willie Fernie, Herbert Fowler, Willie Park, Harry Colt and Donald Steel – some great names in golf course design – have all played their part over the years in creating Southerndown as we know it today.
Hole 1: A difficult starting hole, played uphill to a generous fairway. The hole slopes left to right. Take plenty of club on your approach, as short and right makes for a difficult up and down.
Hole 2: A blind tee shot – play the tee shot left of the marker post as the land slopes from left to right. The green also slopes left to right and is well guarded to the right.
Hole 3: A straightforward hole that plays harder than it looks. Favour the right half of the fairway as the land slopes right to left. Be bold with the approach as the green slopes from back to front: the ball can run back in dry weather.
Hole 4: An intimidating tee shot played over gorse. The fairway slopes right to left – too much draw can drag the ball into the gorse that runs all the way up the left. A good tee shot should be rewarded with a relatively straight forward short approach to the green that slopes from the back.
Hole 5: Carter’s folly! The tee shot demands a long carry across the valley. Take plenty of club: the bunkers short of the green have wrecked many cards! If using a golf buggy, please use the path marked to the left as the slope down from tee to green is dangerous.
Hole 6: The tee shot gives you a choice: long hitters can drive over the cross bunkers, but shorter hitters should play to the right of them.
Hole 7: A demanding par three played downhill to the green. The wind will make a big difference to your club selection here. The green slopes from back to front and is well guarded at the front and right.
Hole 8: A slight dogleg left to right. Lay up short of the large fairway bunkers or take on the carry if the wind is with you. Played uphill, the land slopes right to left. The green is well guarded, and slopes right to left and from the back.
Hole 9: A short par 4 setting up a birdie chance if you avoid the bunkers guarding the fairway and green. The green slopes sharply from back to front.
Hole 10: A downhill par three that can play much shorter than the yardage. Well guarded green that slopes from the right and the back. A difficult green, so a three here is an excellent score. The ideal tee shot is between the flag and the right of the green.
Hole 11: A slight dogleg to the right. The line of the tee shot is slightly right of the marker unless you are skilful enough to place your tee shot to the left half of the fairway, setting up an easier approach. A big, relatively flat green, sloping gently from back to front.
Hole 12: Consistently one of the most difficult holes on the course. The tee shot is intimidating, with gorse left and right and the prevailing wind blowing across the dogleg. The green is large and club selection can vary by up to four clubs depending on the pin position.
Hole 13: An easier hole, a short par five, generally played downwind. Make sure you miss the cross bunkers and the approach can set up a two-putt birdie. Catch the bunkers or the gorse and you’re looking at a bogey, double or more! The green slopes gently from the back and is bigger than it looks. All the trouble is at the front.
Hole 14: A short par three, well guarded all round. Stroke index 18 on the men’s card. The bunkers around the green are deep, the deepest front right. Avoid this at all costs!
Hole 15: First of three of the last four holes generally played into the prevailing wind. A short, downhill par 4 that could yield a birdie chance. Fairway is wider than it looks from the tee, but there is gorse left and right. A good tee shot should set up a short approach to a well-guarded smaller green. A bank at the back makes for a difficult up and down if you overshoot the green.
Hole 16: A difficult par 4 played uphill into the prevailing wind. The fairway slopes from left to right, so favour the left half of the fairway. Keep the approach to the left of the flag as missing right gives a very difficult up and down from the bunker or the deep hollow.
Hole 17: A strong par four, particularly from the back tee. Favour the right side of the fairway as the slope from right to left is quite severe. The fairway stops at around the 150 yard mark. Driving further than this could give you a difficult stance or lie (or both). The apron of the green is sloped right to left, designed to kick shots to the left greenside bunker. Play toward the right half of the green.
Hole 18: The signature hole, played downhill to the split level fairway. Trouble left and right, so hit straight! The green is one of the largest on the course but is well guarded. A relatively flat green in front of the clubhouse.
Southerndown is a traditional private members club that boasts all the facilities you would expect to find at one of Wales finest championship courses.
What is Southerndown like as a Club?
If you asked ten different members you would probably get ten different answers. But everyone would agree – it’s a Club worth joining!
- a Private Members’ Club with a tradition going back over a hundred years
- a prestigious course – one of the finest gems in Wales
- a quaint, old-fashioned clubhouse with a warm, charming atmosphere
- a tough golfing challenge to test the best – and a haven of relaxation for golfers of all abilities
- traditional in its standards – and at the same time modern in outlook
- plenty of social or competitive golf, to suit everyone’s taste
- a good social life with friendly company
Members like to invite guests and to show off Southerndown to their friends, and many of these guests become members.
Visitors from further afield keep returning, too – drawn by the allure of Southerndown.