Reason for a Maesteg Golf Club review
I wanted to play somewhere different having played – and loved – the more notable Royal Porthcawl and Pyle & Kenfig in the area.
I spoke to a couple of local aficionados and the same name came back: Maesteg.
The club’s manager Colin Thomas (only his mum calls him Colin) replied immediately and said I would be most welcome and so we teed off at 7.30am on a beautiful spring morning.
Where is Maesteg Golf Club?
Maesteg is in South Wales – 17 miles east of Swansea and half an hour north of Porthcawl. Halfway down the 2nd hole is the official border between West and South Galamorgan.
What to expect
Uneven lies, quick greens, lovely surrounds, normal people, a club steeped in history with some interesting stories and the cheapest round you will likely get anywhere. A weekday green fee currently sits at £20.
This is a proper members’ club, a theme that has run from its early days when a group of miners dug out nine new greens to make the course 18 holes.
On a good day you might also catch some red deer, who tend to roam when the golfers have gone home and are the reason you won’t see a deciduous free in bloom, skylarks, water voles and even a pair of red kites.
The par-5 11th (main pic) would take some beating, mainly for the aspect of the tee shot but also the opportunity to get a shot back on the course. Despite a fairway that should help the ball back into the fairway it is possible to shove one right into a ditch and, from there, you work your way up to some higher ground and more lovely views.
And more tasty, fun holes. The short par-4 12th is played blind but can be located (or knifed into an adjacent field) before a par 3 ‘Bryn’. Pylon wires can catch your tee shot, if it does it gets replayed, which doesn’t sound great but it’s such a nice spot you couldn’t care less.
My best bits
Managing to find the green at the par-4 7th having cut both the shot and the corner to give myself a 20-footer for eagle. Which then resulted in having to make a three-footer for birdie.
What to look out for
The 14th is called The Tunnel which, if you look to the right when you’re on the tee, you will recognise. Trains brought the coal from the pits and headed to the coast and you can still make out the exit of the tunnel.
We also played with a former captain and collier, Mike Lewis, who has hands like proverbial shovels, and, continuing the theme of the members getting their hands dirty, he built both the 6th hole and the new clubhouse. One of the greenside bunkers at this par 3 is what is claimed to be the first Astroturf bunker anywhere.
When I go back…
I’d stay for a pint and a bite to eat. And try to hit that 11th fairway…
For more information visit the Maesteg Golf Club website.
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