Nestling in a lush green valley surrounded by the most glorious scenery, the course at Cradoc should put a smile on the face of any golfer…
Cradoc Golf Club Course Review
The friendly club at Cradoc is of a quite unusual golfing vintage in that it celebrates its 50th birthday this year. Jeremy Ellwood has written about it before, but in sorting out some pictures from my visit in 2013, I felt that it warranted a little more detail and further recommendation. The course may not quite be one of the nations's championship big names, it’s a lovely place to play and is certainly one of the best in Mid Wales.
I arrived for a full day’s golf on a sunny Summer’s morning just as the mist was rising from the lowest part of the course by the clubhouse. The first three holes are on level ground and loop back to base before you head up into the hills.
The 4th is a left-to-right dogleg where you begin your gentle ascent playing up to an elevated green backed by pine. The par-5 5th takes you to the furthest point of the course before you come back in the opposite direction via an excellent par 4 with a most impressive green-site in front of the Manor House that is the centrepiece of Penoyre Park.
The 8th is a short but narrow par 4 where big hitters may be tempted to go for the green. There is danger either side with a ditch crossing the fairway at the perfect distance to catch most golfers.
The front nine finishes with another dogleg where the temptation will be to take a short-cut by driving over the bunker on the corner.
Ten takes you up to the highest point on the course, and then there is a ski-run back down at the next two, a drive-and-pitch par 4 at eleven…
… and a very photogenic short hole that is perfectly framed by trees and has wonderful far-reaching views over the valley to the Brecon Beacons beyond.
The next hole completes your circumnavigation of the striking Manor House before you continue your descent back and forth to the clubhouse via a succession of interesting and enjoyable holes.
The closing four holes are all quite demanding and provide a strong finish to this fine course. These pictures do not do justice to the idyllic setting at Cradoc Golf Club as my visit was before I started to take photographs as a matter of course. Nonetheless, its beauty prompted me to take these few mementos and my recommendation would be to choose a blue sky day and go and play this lovely course for yourself.
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Rob Smith has been playing golf for 45 years and been a contributing editor for Golf Monthly since 2012. He specialises in course reviews and travel, and has played more than 1,200 courses in almost 50 countries. In 2022, he played all 21 courses in East Lothian in 13 days. Last year, his tally was 81, 32 of them for the first time. 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 seven and a half... i.e. not the new 9 at Carne! Of those missing, some are already booked for 2024. He is a member of Tandridge in Surrey where his handicap hovers around 16. You can contact him at email@example.com.
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