Reason for a Tenby Golf Club review
I first wrote about golf in Tenby around 20 years ago for a now defunct golf magazine and have been doing so ever since without actually going. And everyone who ever goes has lots of good things to say about.
And I was on a family holiday with 19 of us, 10 of who were under six years of age, so this was our little escape for the week for my brother-in-law and father-in-law.
Where is Tenby Golf Club?
Tenby is to the west of Carmarthen Bay in Pembrokeshire. The seaside town is around two hours on from Cardiff.
What to expect
If you were to classify this as simply ‘holiday golf’ you would be doing Wales’ oldest course a huge disservice. It’s in the country’s top 10 best layouts and it’s one of the most natural links that you might ever find. The land rolls this way and that, there is the odd blind shot, slight changes in elevation, dunes, crumpled fairways, tees practically on the beach and firm, true greens.
You can open your shoulders and feel threatened by the gorse in equal measure and a good bit of links savvy is required around the greens.
The first four holes are pretty sensational. The opening hole is a juicy par 5 where you will seemingly have an awkward lie whatever happens off the tee, the 2nd features a brilliant, sloping green, the 3rd, named after one of its biggest fans Dai Rees, has an incredible putting surface raised on a plateau while the 4th is all about holding your nerve, both with your tee shot and approach to a punchbowl green.
My best bits
There were a few. Threading/slightly thinning a hybrid to eight feet at the 1st to leave myself an eight-foot eagle putt was nice. (It obviously didn’t even come close to going in.) Or watching my brother-in-law, who had rolled in four birdies, make a mess of the last two holes to let me in for an undeserved half. Then having al fresco Chinese takeaway overlooking the harbour at 10pm.
What to look out for
You’ll get your camera out on the 9th and 17th tees. The former (main pic) is at the very far end of the course and, ignoring the magnificent South Beach and Caldey Island (one of Britain’s Holy Islands with a history going back over 1500 years) to your right, there is, what looks like, a slither of links land in the distance. By no means the best hole but the walk and subsequent view from the 8th green to the next tee is a genuine treat.
The par-3 17th is part of a trio of holes that leave the mainland of the course and is a particularly inviting tee shot given its elevated position, framed green and what looks like the rest of the course behind it.
When I go back…
The par 3s at Tenby stand out for their variety and looks. The 7th at 118 yards is particularly fiddly, the 12th requires some hitting to make the carry with a mid iron while the 17th needs some judgement and nous to calculate the downward slopes.
When I go back I’ll hit one of them.
For more information, visit the Tenby Golf Club website.
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