Wales is a beautiful but overlooked golfing destination in our opinion! Some great seaside courses for not a lot of money, a mild and often sunny climate, and only an hour and a half from Manchester airport has meant that we are seeing more and more people asking for golfing vacations in Wales. As with Scotland and Wales we have focused our attention to where the best seaside courses are, and therefore offer tours to Llandudno and Harlech in north Wales. Both are towns set by the sea with plenty of hotels, bed & breakfasts, restaurants, pubs and bars, but Llandudno is slightly larger and Harlech is slightly quieter. The towns are divided by the large national park Snowdonia, which offers a magnificent backdrop to some of the courses. Below is a selection of the courses and hotels we work with but please do contact us if you are interested in something not listed!
Conwy Golf Club was founded in 1890 but nearly disappeared after two world wars left it in ruins but by planting marram grass and building a road tunnel to ease the traffic the club survived and later thrived. The 41st Curtis cup will be hosted here in 2020 and we can certainly see why! After a 1st hole that allows one to warm up a bit you are then treated to a selection of impressive holes, several follows the shoreline, and especially the last few requires some serious planning, with plenty of coarse lining the undulating fairways on the 16th and 17th you may find yourself dipping into your bag for another ball, or 2 or 3…
On the west shore of Llandudno, opposite Conwy Golf Club and next door to Maesdu golf Club is the well-established seaside course North Wales. Although fairly short, the back nine are only a par 34, it requires some serious thinking, the fairways are narrow and the greens often well protected. The club has links to Royal Liverpool, one of its founders was Harold Hilton, Hoylake member and Open winner in 1892.
Maesdu, which means Black Meadow, was founded in 1915 and was designed by James Braid and Tom Jones and has some fantastic views over the estuary and towards the Snowdonia National Park and mountains. With a railway line and plenty of water hazards this course is deceptively difficult and we recommend a visit to Maesdu as part of your stay in Llandudno.
Royal St Davids
The beautiful St Davids sits at the foot of Harlech Castle and the Snowdonia mountains, nestled between the sand dunes of the Tremadog Bay. The club was given Royal status in 1908 and has hosted several big tournaments. A tough but fair course it is the back nine most golfers struggle with, the prevailing wind make the tee shots hard, and if you find the fairway you’ll find that you still have a long way to go, several of the par 4 are over 430 yards!
Playing Nefyn is a bit like playing golf at the edge of the world, literally! Set on the cliff edges that points out into the Irish sea this club has three sets of nine holes which can be played in different order but most will opt to include the Old as those are the holes that are most spectacular. You can see the sea from every hole here, and on a clear day across to Ireland and the mountains in Wicklow. With hints of Pebble Beach and Old Head Kinsale, but at a much lower price, Nefyn is a course we think all visitors to Wales should play at least once!
Aberdovey is often ranked high in lists over golf courses in Wales, partly because of its setting at the foot of the Snowdonia mountains. The first nine are flat traditional seaside holes whilst the second nine are in the dunes, in our opinion it is those last nine that is worth travelling to Aberdovey for, simply superb stretch of golf, with the signature number 12 worth a special mention.
This is actually a combination of parkland and seaside, but we think it’s a nice little neat course with excellent value for money. It’s the second nine most people come here for, starting with a blind tee shot on the 10th, aim for the markers and hope for the best! Perhaps most memorable is the 14th, nicknames The Himalayas, don’t forget your camera as you might want to take a photo or two here!
Lawton Court Hotel
Lawton Court Hotel is a small, family run hotel in the centre of Llandudno on the seafront. It has 35 recently renovated rooms, all en-suite, with TVs that have Sky channels, coffee/tea making facilities, toiletries, hair dryer and free WiFi access. The hotel also has a licenced bar and its own parking area.
St Georges Hotel
The 4-star St Georges Hotel opened its door in 1854 and many royals and prime minsters have stayed here since then. The 81 bedrooms and suites are beautifully decorated and very comfortable, most have king sized beds that can also be twin bedded. There’s a variety of different rooms that has everything from jacuzzi baths, balconies and roof top terraces, but all have TVs, bottles water and coffee/tea making facilities and luxurious bathroom toiletries. The Terrance Restaurant serves excellent food and the bar serves not only drinks but a fabulous afternoon tea if you fancy trying something different.
The Sunnyside Guesthouse has 20 newly refurbished rooms which are all en-suite. A very friendly welcome, a great Welsh breakfast are some of the reasons why we recommend a stay here for those of you that would prefer something a bit cosier and simpler. The Sunnyside has a licenced bar and free WiFi and is centrally located.
Byrdir House is the middle of Harlech and is a small and cosy bed & breakfast run by the very friendly Adam and Tracey Hammond. Built into the rock face this B&B was recently renovated after having been left derelict for a few years, originally a sea-captains house it is thought that it has been used as a guest house for nearly 100 years. As such it is a quirky house and not suitable for guests with mobility issues, but if you want to stay somewhere authentic and quirky, this is the place for you!
At the foot of Harlech Castle sits Y Branwen Hotel, directly opposite Royal St Davids golf course, and next to the spectacular waterfront. This old pub is now a very good restaurant and has 7 refurbished bedrooms, all en-suite, with either super king sized or twin beds. Luxurious Egyptian cotton bedding, Welsh toiletries and a light and stylish decors are some of the reasons why our clients like to come here, often again and again!