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Cardigan Bay

Played by NCG: Cardigan

Cardigan was first known as the Cliff Hotel Links when it was a nine-holer, these days we have a championship layout which is in Wales' top-20 tracks
 

Reason for a Cardigan Golf Club review

Some ‘me time’ for three family members on a holiday that included 10 children under six in a party of 19. Plus some nice reports from my family members who are from mid Wales.

Where is Cardigan Golf Club?

Cardigan on the west coast of Wales, north of Fishguard and south of Aberystwyth.

 

What to expect

Views of Cardigan Bay and the Teifi Estuary from every hole, the part links part meadowland course is situated high above the shores and can be a real test when the wind blows. Thankfully, for our visit, it was a gentle zephyr at 7am which barely got above 10mph.

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, the don’t entertain them here.

Finally, I was rushing off after the game but genuinely wish I had had the time to enjoy the clubhouse – a variety of historic putters from some Welsh great – sit above the bar. And the people in it who were particularly friendly.

Favourite holes

The par-4 4th, played through a funnel of gorse, was my pick of the 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 stroke index 1 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 tee, will be caught by the views across the estuary to Poppit Beach.

My best bit

Cardigan 16th

Thankfully the ground can help you at the 16th and a slightly underhit tee shot might make its way down to the right level.

And, for once, the putt went in. It was one of those that comes along every six months, where once you’ve hit it, you know it’s going in.

What to look out for

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.

And by the 10th tee a small outhouse…

When I go back

I won’t get spooked by the gorse that lines the opening fairway and have a bit of faith that the next four hours are going to be filled with tight, pokey tee shots.

It isn’t. There is ample opportunity to get the driver out, the par 5s are reachable with the right wind, or lack of any wind, and you finish with one which is always a treat.

For more information, visit the Cardigan Golf Club website.

Click here for the full Played by NCG archive

Mark Townsend

Been watching and playing golf since the early 80s and generally still stuck in this period. Huge fan of all things Robert Rock, less so white belts. Handicap of 8, fragile mind and short game

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