Royal Porthcawl Golf Club: Course Review, Green Fees, Tee Times and Key Info

The greatest strength of Wales’ finest links is that it has 18 fresh and different challenges serving up sea views at almost every turn

Royal Porthcawl Golf Club 14th hole
This aerial view of the 14th green at Royal Porthcawl makes it look particularly hard to hit
(Image credit: Kevin Murray)

Top 100 Courses UK & Ireland 2023/24

(Image credit: Future)

Royal Porthcawl Golf Club Key Information

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Header Cell - Column 0 Header Cell - Column 1
AddressRest Bay, Porthcawl, Mid Glamorgan, CF36 3UW.
Phone Number+44 (0)1656 782251
Green Fees£195 per round April to October (£145 Sun only after 3pm)
Visitor TimesNo stated restrictions
ParMen: 72 black, blue, white, yellow; Ladies: 75 red, 73 bronze
Slope RatingMen: 141 black, 139 blue, 136 white, 134 yellow; Ladies: 142 red, 138 bronze
Designed byRamsay Hunter, Harry Colt, Hawtree & Taylor, Tom Simpson
Golf Monthly Verdict

Royal Porthcawl green and bunkers pictured

(Image credit: Kevin Murray)

Royal Porthcawl presents a superb and, at times, dramatic test, setting its stall out from the start with a fine trio of holes flanking the boardwalk and beach on the left.

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.


- It's almost universally regarded as the finest golf course in Wales

- If you like your links golf with sea views aplenty (not always the case) Porthcawl scores highly in that regard

- Staying in the dormy house and waking up to glorious views sets you up perfectly for a great day's golf


UK & Ireland Top 100 Golf Courses 2023/24 - 21

This two-time Senior Open venue on the South Wales coast is, for many, the undisputed star of Welsh links golf. It's also a permanent fixture towards the upper echelons of the Golf Monthly Top 100 golf courses in the UK and Ireland rankings.

It presents a superb, and at times, dramatic test, setting its stall out from the start with a fine trio of holes flanking the boardwalk and beach on the left. Exceedingly closely in the case of the 2nd where the OOB fence sits worryingly close to the green.

You then turn back via a dauntingly long par 3 with a thought-provoking green and a fine par 5 where the final approach plays steeply up to a narrow target.

The golfing treats come thick and fast, from the tiny but well-defended par-3 7th – think Postage Stamp at Royal Troon for trickiness beyond yardage - to the exhilarating slingshot 9th.

With holes heading in multiple directions, there’s superb variety throughout. The back nine can be particularly challenging with a number of demanding par 4s. Among them are the back and forth duo at 15 and 16, both blessed with devious cross bunkers and uphill approaches.

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 18th sweeps back down to the clubhouse. Its 50-yard-long green means that merely finding the putting surface will not always be enough.

Harry Colt, J.H. Taylor and Tom Simpson are among those to have helped shape the layout over the years. Martin Ebert has overseen further recent improvements to keep Porthcawl in the thoughts of those organising golf’s premier events.

Bernhard Langer won both Senior Opens here in 2014 and 2017, which perhaps tells you all you need to know about the strategic test. The fact that his winning scores were 14 shots apart – 18-under and then just 4-under – tells you just how stiff that test can be when conditions dictate.

Royal Porthcawl Golf Club

The 2nd is one of three holes hugging the beach at the start (Photo: Geoff Ellis)

What The Top 100 Panel Said

Paula Crabtree UK&I Top 100 panel
Paula Crabtree

You are rarely playing several holes with the same wind direction so you have to constantly assess the strength and impact it will have on most shots. The bunkers are excellently placed and will gather the ball from 30-40 yards away in true links style. I played it in a two-club wind and still thoroughly enjoyed my day – need I say more. I will be back.

Richard Healy UK&I Top 100 panel
Richard Healy

A well-framed course with views of Swansea, Gower and Somerset across the Severn Estuary. The initial three holes hug the beach and coastal path before you turn inland and climb to a higher elevation where more gorse comes into play. The par 3s feature various directions, elevation changes and lengths - one short, two medium and one long, each to tricky and challenging green complexes. The par 4s are all different in nature, with no two the same and a good mix of lengths and challenges.

Royal Porthcawl Golf Club location

Royal Porthcawl Golf Club Green Fees

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April to October - 2023£195Welsh breakfast or lunch included on weekdays
April to October - 2023 - twilight£145Sunday only after 3pm
Winter 2023/2024TBCRow 2 - Cell 2

How to book a tee-time at Royal Porthcawl

Royal Porthcawl Golf Club Scorecard

Royal Porthcawl Golf Club scorecard

(Image credit: Royal Porthcawl Golf Club)

Best Courses Near Royal Porthcawl


Golf has been played here since 1896 with the course benefitting from a major James Braid makeover in 1908. The club understandably trades on its 'Links in the Sky' name as there are plenty of linksy humps and bumps here despite the course floating some 200ft above the Bristol Channel. Looking down on the estuary from the 6th and 7th, you will completely understand why.


The star attraction at Celtic Manor is, of course, the Twenty Ten course where Europe just got the better of the USA in the 2010 Ryder Cup. After a relatively quiet start, it comes alive in the middle section by the River Usk where water is a constant threat, nowhere more so than on the 14th which kinks between two lakes. Make four here and you’ve done very well.

Best Places To Stay Near Royal Porthcawl

Royal Porthcawl Dormy -  Book now at
The club has its own accommodation on site and it's a great place to wake up in the morning with the 1st tee just yards away. There are six single and three twin rooms. Each room is furnished with an en-suite bathroom, TV and wireless internet as well as tea- and coffee-making facilities, which are replenished daily.

Rose And Crown, Nottage - Book now at
The Rose And Crown is a classic inn situated in the charming village of Nottage in Porthcawl. It has free WiFi, free parking, a bar and a restaurant. The restaurant provides quality food in informal surroundings. A full English breakfast is served every morning. All bedrooms have their own bathroom, some with a bath.

Royal Porthcawl Gallery


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  • 2019/20 - 23
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  • 2015/16 - 22
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  • 2011/12 - 29
  • 2009/10 - 31

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Royal Porthcawl the best golf course in Wales?

Yes, according to most golfers and observers. Wales is a small golfing country with just 143 clubs affiliated to its national governing body. Its top-rated courses are generally those found around its coastline. In Golf Monthly's Top 100 UK&I course rankings there have typically been three or four Welsh clubs over the years, which may sound a small number but is actually proportionally about right given its small number of clubs. In our latest rankings, Royal Porthcawl (21st) is comfortably the highest-ranked, with Royal St David's (49th) and Aberdovey (87th) also featuring further down.

What is the cheapest way to play Royal Porthcawl?

In the main season, the cheapest way is to take advantage of the twilight rate of £145 after 3pm on a Sunday against the full fee of £195. Out of season, from November to March the green fee reduces to £125. The cheapest way of all is to enter one of the club's open competitions. For example, the Spring Open costs £420 for a team of four to include bacon rolls and coffee on arrival plus lunch. However, they are hugely popular so very early booking is essential.

Jeremy Ellwood
Contributing Editor

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. He is an expert on the Rules of Golf having qualified through an R&A course to become a golf referee. He is a senior panelist for Golf Monthly's Top 100 UK & Ireland Course Rankings and has played all of the Top 100 plus 91 of the Next 100, making him well-qualified when it comes to assessing and comparing our premier golf courses. He has now played 1,000 golf courses worldwide in 35 countries, from the humblest of nine-holers in the Scottish Highlands to the very grandest of international golf resorts. He reached the 1,000 mark on his 60th birthday in October 2023 on Vale do Lobo's Ocean course. Put him on a links course anywhere and he will be blissfully content.

Jezz can be contacted via Twitter - @JezzEllwoodGolf

Jeremy is currently playing...

Driver: Ping G425 LST 10.5˚ (draw setting), Mitsubishi Tensei AV Orange 55 S shaft

3 wood: Ping G425 Max 15˚ (set to flat +1), Mitsubishi Tensei AV Orange 65 S shaft

Hybrid: Ping G425 17˚, Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Orange 80 S shaft

Irons 3-PW: Ping i525, True Temper Dynamic Gold 105 R300 shafts

Wedges: Ping Glide 4.0 50˚ and 54˚, 12˚ bounce, True Temper Dynamic Gold 105 R300 shafts

Putter: Ping Fetch 2021 model, 33in shaft (set flat 2)

Ball: Varies but mostly now TaylorMade Tour Response