Played by NCG: Porthmadog Golf Club
Reason for a Porthmadog Golf Club review
Generally thought to be in Wales’ top 20 courses, never been before and on a family holiday less than an hour away. And is a James Braid design which is a big tick in the box.
Where is it?
Porthmadog is on the edge of the Snowdonia National park on the west coast of Wales, Harlech is just 10 miles south of here.
Reason for going (back)
An incredible thunderstorm that circulated while we were on the 12th tee so, two days later at 7am, we returned to bright skies.
What to expect
A genuine mix of 9s. If you have played Pwllheli, just down the road then you will know how different the 8th tee onwards is from the rest of the course. This is the same but from the 10th. The front nine is parkland with lots of ditches, the back nine is a humps-and-hillocks seaside links.
The front nine is perfectly good and you’ll enjoy it, then when you play the second nine, with all its quirks and backdrops, you will quickly start picking holes (no pun intended) in what went before it.
My best bit
The 12th tee would take some beating anywhere. To the left is the most tranquil of beaches where the very odd boat breaks the ripples, ahead is a short, just about drivable, par 4. If any setting deserved a short and juicy par 4 it is here. Given any sort of decent weather, or even a thunderstorm, this is a spectacular place to be with your clubs. And if you do hit the shot of your day and find the green try not to three putt.
Other highlights are stepping onto the 10th tee and quickly realising that you are in for something very different. And finding a garage that runs alongside the 3rd hole and serves bananas, water and painkillers.
What to look out for
The ditches on the front nine are hard to spot until you find your ball sitting at the bottom of them. On a more positive note the green shape and surrounds at the 15th are pretty impressive and you might want to take an extra club at the short 13th.
When I go back
I will make sure I don’t panic and fan a driver so far right my approach to the 15th green (pictured below) isn’t played with the ball at chest height from the rough at the 14th. And play it as it was intended from the fairway.
Also, to lay up at the 17th and have some sort of trust in myself in finding the green from 80 yards and, finally, to make time for a pint in the most open-planned clubhouse bar.
In summary a proper golf club with a course to match.