Best Golf Courses In Wales

The top golf courses in Wales include some glorious traditional links as well as the 2010 Ryder Cup host venue

Royal Porthcawl green and bunkers pictured
Royal Porthcawl
(Image credit: Kevin Murray)

Wales may be a slightly smaller golfing nation compared to others in the United Kingdom and Ireland but the country more than packs its punch with some phenomenal links courses, beautiful parklands and even a Ryder Cup host. Wales may have just four courses in the Golf Monthly Top 100 courses rankings for the UK and Ireland but the country has a further eight courses in the Next 100 (courses ranked between 101-200). 

The best golf course in Wales is two-time Senior Open venue and 2025 Women's Open host Royal Porthcawl, which is a sublime and testing links situated on the south coast. The country is, of course, also home to 2010 Ryder Cup venue Celtic Manor - which has three courses and an exceptional hotel, making it a popular destination for a high quality golf trip. Other highlights in Wales include the glorious links courses of Royal St David's and Aberdovey, and the spectacular clifftop vistas on offer at Nefyn Golf Club.

Many of the best golf courses in Wales feature stunning views of either the sea or the valleys. Wales is also one of the most affordable parts of the UK to play golf with some of its best courses costing less than 50% compared to the best golf courses in England and the best golf courses in Scotland, which can command green fees of £200+ during peak times.

Best Golf Courses In Wales

Below we list the 12 best golf courses in Wales, all of which either feature in the Golf Monthly UK&I Top 100 Courses rankings or the Next 100...

Royal Porthcawl

Royal Porthcawl Golf Links pictured

(Image credit: Geoff Ellis, golfworking.co.uk)
  • Location: Porthcawl, Glamorgan
  • Founded: 1891
  • Designed by: Charles Gibson and Ramsay Hunter
  • Top 100 ranking: 22nd
  • Green fee: £150-£220

You should aim to make your score on the front nine of this traditional links, as the course ramps up the challenge later on with four par 4s over 400 yards in the last six holes. Wind can be a strong influence here especially as the course dodges about, so holes face in all directions. Perhaps one of the very best things about Royal Porthcawl is that with no towering dunes in the way and a wonderful tract of land that slopes gently down towards the beach, there are great sea views to be savoured from almost every part of the course. The clubhouse is also a particular delight, an echo of a previous age.

- Full Royal Porthcawl Golf Club review

Royal St David's

Royal St David's golf club pictured

(Image credit: Getty Images)
  • Location: Harlech, Gwynedd
  • Founded: 1894
  • Designed by: Harold Finch-Hatton and William Henry More
  • Top 100 ranking: 45th
  • Green fee: £60-£135

The undulating fairways, deep bunkers and hard, fast greens of Royal St David’s are watched over by the majestic Harlech Castle on the town side and a tall dune ridge on the coastal side. The back nine certainly has more drama than the flatter front nine at Royal St David's. Overall, this is a strong links that places demands on good positional play and a willing acceptance of the odd rogue bounce. The dormy house is very comfortable and there are some terrific packages for golf and accommodation.

- Full Royal St David's Golf Club review

Aberdovey

Aberdovey GC pictured

(Image credit: Getty Images)
  • Location: Aberdovey, Gwynedd
  • Founded: 1892
  • Designed by: James Braid
  • Top 100 ranking: 78th
  • Green fee: £55-£85

The design of this historic links has evolved under the guidance of Harry Colt, James Baird and Herbert Fowler among others. Dunes frame the holes and the course’s rugged, natural feel has been enhanced in recent years by the re-introduction of rough-edged bunkering. Memorable holes include the blind par-3 3rd to a punchbowl green and the par-3 12th to a plateau green perched above the dunes and beach. The club boasts that this hole is “is one of the hardest par 3s in British golf“. It is all about the tee shot here, as the green is relatively flat, allowing birdie opportunities for those who have found the dance floor from the tee.

- Full Aberdovey Golf Club review

Pennard

Pennard GC pictured

(Image credit: Getty Images)
  • Location: Pennard, Gower Peninsula
  • Founded: 1908
  • Designed by: James Braid and CK Cotton
  • Top 100 ranking: 98th
  • Green fee: £75-£85

Golf has been played here since 1896 with the course benefitting from a major James Braid makeover in 1908. This South Wales golf course on the Gower Peninsular has the nickname ‘Links in the Sky’ as it is 200ft above sea level. As you may imagine, the course has splendid views and many elevation changes. This elevated location means that wind will often be a very significant factor, and there are also sloping fairways in places which will enforce the need to improvise and be creative. In terms of the individual holes, there is much of interest all the way. Another feature of the golf course at Pennard is the ruined 12th-century castle which gives its name to the 7th hole.

- Full Pennard Golf Club review

Conwy

Conwy Golf Club aerial photo

(Image credit: Getty Images)
  • Location: Conwy, North Wales
  • Founded: 1890
  • Designed by: Jack Morris
  • Top 100 ranking: Next 100
  • Green fee: £40-£100

This club was founded in 1890, but golf had been played on the site before then. During the First World War its course was requisitioned for military use, and so a new layout was crafted utilising the adjoining land. During the Second World War parts of this course, including the area behind the 2nd green, were where the pre-fabricated harbours for Operation Overlord were constructed. Peacetime therefore brought about another redesign of the course. This 2nd hole is now called Mulberry Landings and is a tricky par 3 with a two-tier green defended by six bunkers. The present layout is flat links which was the first Welsh course to host final Open qualifying for The Open, in 2006.

- Full Conwy Golf Club review

Tenby

Tenby Golf Club and the ocean pictured

(Image credit: Rob Smith)
  • Location: Tenby, Pembrokeshire
  • Founded: 1888
  • Designed by: James Braid
  • Top 100 ranking: Next 100
  • Green fee: £45+

Welsh former Ryder Cup-winning captain Dai Rees loved the 3rd hole at Tenby Golf Club so much that the club named it after him. This stroke index-one 382-yarder has dunes and thick rough along the right of the fairway on the drive. Then the approach shot is to a steeply sloping green raised on a plateau - heavily contoured greens are a feature of this traditional links course. So, too, are blind shots and pot bunkers.

- Full Tenby Golf Club review

Ashburnham

A hole at Ashburnham Golf Club pictured

(Image credit: Getty Images)
  • Location: Burry Port, Carmarthenshire
  • Founded: 1910
  • Designed by: JH Taylor
  • Top 100 ranking: Next 100
  • Green fee: £35-£70

The venerable old links at Ashburnham's opening and closing duos play in a separate corner, between which the course follows a classic out-and-back routing. The closing quartet constantly changes direction to keep you on your toes as you try to get home with your score intact! This beautiful links along the south coast of Wales staged what is now the DP World Tour’s flagship event, the PGA Championship, in 1959 and 1969. It produced two famous winners in Dai Rees and Bernard Gallacher, and subsequently hosted the 1976 Martini Tournament, won by a young Sam Torrance. All three went on to become Ryder Cup captains. The club continues to host important events, and the JH Taylor design is a fine and very enjoyable test which offers exceptional value for money.

Celtic Manor - Twenty Ten

Celtic Manor Twenty Ten course pictured

(Image credit: Kevin Murray)
  • Location: Caerleon, Newport
  • Founded: 2008
  • Designed by: Ross McMurray
  • Top 100 ranking: Next 100
  • Green fee: £95-£191

The Twenty Ten course opened in 2008, and was designed specifically to host the Ryder Cup, the first course to be purpose-built for the event. Colin Montgomerie's European team won in dramatic fashion thanks to Graeme McDowell's decisive victory over Hunter Mahan. Nine of the holes on the Twenty Ten came from the former Wentwood Hills course at the resort, and nine were freshly constructed. The new design succeeded in its aim to provide dramatic risk-and-reward matchplay holes. Water features on half the holes so there really is danger around every corner. It's a supremely fun course to play and the resort makes for a great golf break, with three golf courses in total and superb facilities.

Southerndown

Southerndown Golf Club pictured with 3 sheep and flowering gorse

(Image credit: Getty Images)
  • Location: Ogmore, Bridgend
  • Founded: 1905
  • Designed by: Willie Fernie, Herbert Fowler, Willie Park, Harry Colt and Donald Steel
  • Top 100 ranking: Next 100
  • Green fee: £55-£85

Southerndown is not only one of the top golf courses in Wales but the top 'limestone-heathland-links' in Wales, if not the world. This is was how the club describes its course as and this most unusual terrain has created an intriguing style of course. A limestone outcrop provides the basis for acid-loving heathland vegetation such as heather, bracken and gorse, as well as making the land free draining. Sand blown up from the seashore over centuries has added a links-like feel to the opening eight holes with springy turf reminiscent of a links course.

Pyle and Kenfig

Pyle and Kenfig GC pictured with the sea beyond

(Image credit: Getty Images)
  • Location: Waun-y-mer, Bridgend
  • Founded: 1922
  • Designed by: Harry Colt and Philip Mackenzie Ross
  • Top 100 ranking: Next 100
  • Green fee: £65-£100

Harry Colt designed the original links course at Pyle and Kenfig, but the Second World War reduced it to only nine holes. After the war, fresh linksland was used to bring the course back to 18 holes, and Mackenzie Ross designed this new nine-hole loop. The Colt nine is the easier half, before the layout starts to thread its way through the dunes for Mackenzie Ross’ holes. The three closing holes, all long par 4s, can be brutal.

Nefyn and District

Nefyn & District Golf Club pictured from above


(Image credit: Getty Images)
  • Location: Morfa Nefyn, Gwynedd
  • Founded: 1907
  • Designed by: JH Taylor and James Braid
  • Top 100 ranking: Next 100
  • Green fee: £26-£66

Nefyn & District is one of the top golf courses in Wales even though it is two courses. Sort of. It has two layouts, the Old and the New. The club has 28 holes, and each layout uses the same opening 10 holes, before going their separate ways for the back eight. The opening holes cling to the edge of the headland, and the Old has some dramatic, much-photographed clifftop holes along the Lleyn Peninsular. Both layouts require blind shots and have superb panoramas, with the sea in view from every hole. On a clear day, you can see the Wicklow mountains across the Irish Sea.

Machynys Peninsula

Machynys Peninsula Golf Club pictured

(Image credit: Machynys Peninsula Golf Club)
  • Location: Llanelli, Carmarthenshire
  • Founded: 2005
  • Designed by: Jack Nicklaus
  • Top 100 ranking: Next 100
  • Green fee: £30-£75

The modern links of Machynys Peninsula was opened in 2005, a big-budget creation and the brainchild of Gary Nicklaus who brought to it his father’s flair for bold design on a grand scale. The course is a modern take on the seaside theme with the main adversaries lakes, large bunkers and testing greens rather than the dunes and pot bunkers of a traditional seaside course. It has already hosted some important championships, and the course is blessed with a wetlands setting that means drama all the way.

What is the best golf course in Wales?

The best golf course in Wales is always a tough debate with most favouring either Royal Porthcawl or Royal St David's. For us, Royal Porthcawl is the best golf course in Wales, which is why it ranks as high as 22nd in our UK and Ireland Top 100 Golf Courses list.

How many golf courses are there in Wales?

There are 186 golf courses in Wales, according to the R&A's 2019 Golf Around the World release. Of the UK/Ireland nations, England is top with 2,270 courses, Scotland is second with 614 golf courses and Ireland is third with 494.

Is Wales good for golf?

Wales makes for a fantastic golf destination due to the quality of courses on offer and the fantastic value to be had. Wales is significantly cheaper to play golf in than neighbouring England, yet its courses pack a punch with some stunning links courses on the sea to beautiful parklands that feature panoramic views.