“The first can be a brute but I enjoyed this coastal course,” was one comment from our Wales Top 50 panel on Cardigan. Located around the Tei Estuary, Fred Hawtree included blind shots to add entertainment to the visual spender that comes with it having panoramic views of Cardigan Bay from every hole. The basis of the current Towyn course was devised by Tenby pro JE Grant during the late 1920s before Hawtree extended it in the ‘50s after the purchase of new land.
Whenever you play Cardigan, you’ll get a course that will be in tremendous condition with true, even-paced greens. And don’t expect, whenever you travel, to find a temporary tee or green. They don’t entertain those at Cardigan.
Among its most notable features are the outstanding views from every part of the course – Cardigan Bay, the river Teifi estuary and the Preseli Hills in the distance. On a clear day Bardsey Island and the Lleyn Penisular can be seen across the bay.
With undulating fairways, boldly contoured greens and strategically placed bunkers, the course provides a good test. The par-4 4th, played through a funnel of gorse, is one of the best early holes and it is from here you head to the higher ground. But it is when you come back down, courtesy of a very nervy drive at the 14th that you understand how the best is saved until last.
While the rest of the course doesn’t have a genuine links feel the last four certainly do. The green at the 15th is a peach, surrounded by sculpted bunkers, and the real pick comes at the next. Hillocks and bunkers surround a sloping green but your eye, from a raised 16th tee, will be caught by the views across the estuary to Poppit Beach.
Your eye will likely be turned one way throughout the whole experience. If you know what you’re looking through you will be able to make out large chunks of the area’s history – Cemaes Head, Bardsey Island, the Lleyn Peninsula and St Dogmaels.