If you had the chance to catch at a few holes of the Amateur Championship on TV last week, then you’ll know what a wonderful place Royal Porthcawl is to play golf.
It must be one of the one spectacular approaches to a club in the world, with the jagged rocks of the Glamorgan coast truly a sight to behold as you hug the coastline on the road towards the clubhouse.
The views across the Bristol Channel and the Gower Peninsula really need to be seen to be believed and, if you go and play Royal Porthcawl, you’ll get plenty of chance to get a good look.
Unusually, you have a sea view from every hole on the course.
Initially, there will be some scepticism at hearing a fact like that but, having walked every hole during a visit to the Amateur, I can attest to its truth.
Whether it is to your left, as it dominates the view through the first three holes, to your back or in front down the wonderful closing hole, the absence of sand hills that normally frame links courses does make for an amazing vista as you play a round.
The views aren’t the only thing that makes Royal Porthcawl special. The clubhouse is set to be nearer the high tide mark than any other in Britain.
That 40 foot tide, one of the highest in the world, means no two visits to the course ever look the same.
And parts of the clubhouse itself have their own unique history. Opened in 1899, the historic rooms which face the sea originally began life as workmen’s quarters in Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee Exhibition at Crystal Palace.
It was taken down and then reassembled at Porthcawl, surviving not only more than a century of use but the winds and storms that have crashed up the Bristol Channel over the decades.
A rather odd structure that is as unconventional a clubhouse as you might see on your golfing travels, it merely makes a trip to Rest Bay that bit more special.
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