Cardigan Golf Club Course Review

Even without its stunning views, the cliff-top course at Cardigan Golf Club is an excellent test of golf

Cardigan Golf Club - Feature
The elevated course offers breathtaking views over Cardigan Bay
(Image credit: Cardigan Golf Club)

Cardigan Golf Club Course Review
GF
Round: £38-£47
Par 72, 6,445 yards
Slope 123
GM Verdict With panoramic views over the beautiful Cardigan Bay, this unclassifiable course is also a fine test of golf
Favourite Hole The final and beautifully positioned par 3 on the course with its tricky, undulating green, the 16th

The remote location of this beautiful course on the west coast of Wales throws up some of the loveliest sea and coastline views in British golf. And while the vistas are striking, it is also a testing but very rewarding hilltop course. Originally a 9-holer, it was extended to a full 18 in the 1970s by Fred Hawtree.

Cardigan Golf Club - Hole 3

A view over the third green with Poppit Sands beach beyond

(Image credit: Cardigan Golf Club)

Despite its elevated position, the layout here is predominantly links with perhaps just a hint of parkland and maybe a touch of moorland. The course opens with a handful of par 4s, the first two of which head directly southward towards the town. The views are already wonderful, and they stay just as good all the way.

Cardigan Golf Club - Hole 6

Looking back over the par-3 sixth with Cardigan Island in the distance

(Image credit: Cardigan Golf Club)

The first short hole is slightly uphill and comes at the 6th.

Cardigan Golf Club - Hole 10

The view from the green on the short tenth

(Image credit: Cardigan Golf Club)

Having started with five par 4s, the next doesn’t come until the 11th as you play an exciting sequence of 3-5-3-5-3. Wherever you are on the course, there are far-reaching views that can make concentrating on your game a real issue!

Cardigan Golf Club - General

Looking down from the course and in towards the town

(Image credit: Cardigan Golf Club)

Depending on the wind direction and strength, there are two super-tough par 4s at 11 and 14, each close to maximum distance and working its way gently from right to left.

Cardigan Golf Club - Hole 16

(Image credit: Cardigan Golf Club)

The final short hole comes at the 16th, arguably the course’s signature hole as it is played from an elevated tee down to a rollercoaster green with the beautiful bay beyond. 

Cardigan Golf Club - General

It would be hard ever to tire of the views on offer at Cardigan

(Image credit: Cardigan Golf Club)

The 17th is the final par 4, this one slightly uphill and perhaps reachable by the really big hitters. The course finishes with a par 5 that some may find in two if the wind is from the south. There is a bunker either side, just short of the green, waiting to catch those who don’t quite make it.

Cardigan Golf Club (opens in new tab) is a delightful place to play, even though it can be particularly demanding when the wind is up. However, when this is the case, or if your game is off, you simply cannot help but enjoy the ride. It ranks alongside the best clifftop courses in the UK&I. It is also a very friendly club, and the green fee, as at a good number of Hidden Gems, is excellent value for money.

Rob Smith
Rob Smith

Rob Smith has been playing golf for more than 40 years and been a contributing editor for Golf Monthly since 2012 specialising in course reviews and travel. He has now played 1,150 different courses in almost 50 countries. Despite lockdowns and travel restrictions last year, he still managed to play 80 different courses during 2021, 43 of them for the first time. This included 21 in 13 days on a trip to East Lothian in October. One of Rob's primary roles is helping to prepare the Top 100 and Next 100 Courses of the UK&I, of which he has played all but nine. Rob is a member of Tandridge Golf Club in Surrey where his handicap hovers around 16. You can contact him at r.smith896@btinternet.com.