West Wales golf courses: highlights gallery

West Wales offers an excellent mix of golf from clifftop, hilltop and parkland to links courses both old and new

(Image credit: Kevin Murray)

There’s something for everyone when it comes to West Wales golf courses, from clifftop, hilltop or parkland layouts to links courses both old and new

Neath

This wonderful James Braid course perched high above the valley floors offers some wonderful panoramas and stirring holes, like the 15th that takes you from the upper level to the lower level in one fell swoop.

That top of the world feeling on Neath's 9th hole

That top of the world feeling on Neath's 9th hole

Langland Bay

There’s more of Braid’s handiwork to be found in this delightful clifftop course set above Langland and Caswell Bays on the Gower peninsula. There are sea views from 15 of the holes and a good mix of sterner tests and scoring chances.

Looking down the 5th hole to the par-3 16th green beyond at Langland Bay

Looking down the 5th hole to the par-3 16th green beyond at Langland Bay

Pennard

It’s long been labeled ‘The Links in the Sky’ and once you’ve played it, you’ll understand why, as it plays over the most natural of links terrain set high above Oxwich and Three Cliffs Bays on the Gower peninsula.

Pennard enjoys a dramatic setting perched above Oxwich and Three Cliffs Bays

Pennard enjoys a dramatic setting perched above Oxwich and Three Cliffs Bays

Machynys

This ten-year-old Nicklaus creation is a links with a difference as the main adversaries are lakes, large bunkers and testing greens rather than the dunes and pot bunkers of a traditional seaside course. Highlights the variety to be found among West Wales golf courses.

The Nicklaus creation at Machynys offers a modern take on the links theme

The Nicklaus creation at Machynys offers a modern take on the links theme

Ashburnham

Holes change direction constantly down the closing stretch. The final four head east, west, north and south in that order, with the 16th a delightful par 3 to a shallow green ably defended by a ring of front bunkers. One of very few courses to host the PGA Championship more than once.

Ashburnham hosted the PGA Championship in both 1959 and 1969

Ashburnham hosted the PGA Championship in both 1959 and 1969

Tenby

Tenby’s excellent links, which flanks the town’s South Beach, sets its stall out from the testing opener, before taking you on an immensely enjoyable ride through rolling fairways, tall dunes, pot bunkers and occasionally testing green complexes.

Looking back along Tenby's links and the South Beach towards the town

Looking back along Tenby's links and the South Beach towards the town

Trefloyne

Trefloyne is a lovely restored country manor with a wonderfully relaxed feel. It’s had its own 18-hole parkland course with views out over Tenby and Carmarthen Bay for the last 20 years, and makes a nice contrast with nearby Tenby.

Trefloyne offers a parkland golfing experience close to Tenby

Trefloyne offers a parkland golfing experience close to Tenby

Newport (Pembs)

Once a lovely little nine-hole links course created by James Braid back in 1925, Newport has grown into an 18-holer with its own four-star hotel in recent years.

James Braid created the original nine-hole links at Newport in Pembrokeshire

James Braid created the original nine-hole links at Newport in Pembrokeshire
Jeremy Ellwood
Jeremy Ellwood

Jeremy Ellwood has worked in the golf industry since 1993 and for Golf Monthly since 2002 when he started out as equipment editor. He is now a freelance journalist writing mainly for Golf Monthly across the whole spectrum from courses and Rules to equipment and even instruction despite his own somewhat iffy swing (he knows how to do it, but just can't do it himself). He also edits The Golf Club Secretary Newsletter, has authored or co-authored three books and written for a number of national papers including The Telegraph and The Independent. He is a senior panelist for Golf Monthly's Top 100 UK & Ireland Course Rankings and has played all of the Top 100 plus 89 of the Next 100. He has played well over 900 courses worldwide in 35 countries, but put him on a links course anywhere and he will be blissfully content. On his first trip to Abu Dhabi a decade ago he foolishly asked Paul Casey what sort of a record he had around the course there. "Well, I've won it twice if that's what you mean!" came the reply...