Rolls of Monmouth Golf Club Course Review

The Rolls of Monmouth Golf Club's beautiful parkland course is laid out over the former estate of Charles Rolls of Rolls-Royce fame

Rolls of Monmouth Golf Club - 18th hole
The long par-3 18th, with its splendid backdrop, is one of the toughest closing holes you'll face
(Image credit: Kevin Markham)

Rolls of Monmouth Golf Club Course Review

GF £38-£48
Par 72 6,733 yards
Slope 130
GM Verdict – A full-bodied parkland surging over rippling terrain.
Favourite Hole – The 224-yard par-3 18th has the manor house as a backdrop and promises one final big swing.

Rolls of Monmouth Golf Club - 9th hole

The 9th hole also has the manor house as a backdrop

(Image credit: Jeremy Ellwood)

Even the name flows like honey. The name ‘Rolls of Monmouth’ may refer not to the golf course’s landscape but to the splendid manor house behind the 18th green, once lived in by the family of Rolls-Royce acclaim, but it should. This is a sweeping, elegant parkland that rumbles oh-so-sweetly over the Welsh countryside and where, perhaps almost unbelievably now, Greg Norman was once the touring pro in the 1980s.

Rolls of Monmouth Golf Club - 11th hole

The short downhill par-4 11th is classic risk-reward

(Image credit: Jeremy Ellwood)

It is tranquil, isolated, teeming with wildlife and definitely ranks among the best golf courses in south Wales, especially of the inland variety. The drive in builds the excitement with mature trees revealing glimpses of the course and the manor house, which dates back to 1767. It is a jaw-dropping moment when you see it in its full glory.

Rolls of Monmouth Golf Club - 15th hole

The 15th hole in the soft, early-morning light

(Image credit: Jeremy Ellwood)

The course matches that same drama with graceful airs that quickly give way to the realisation you are playing a course of considerable scale and length. A 6,733-yard par 72 demands a day of strong approach play and that’s assuming you successfully negotiate the trees off the tee. The shortest of the four par 5s is 516 yards; the longest is 556 yards. The four par 3s are hardly tiddlers either, falling between 164 (8th) and 224 (18th) yards. That 18th hole, with a pond front right and water extending across the front of the green is an absolute terror of a signature hole. If you have a good scorecard going it could unravel in a single swing. The safest option may be to play short of the water… or to go long and take all of the trouble out of the equation. Whatever you choose, it is one of the best finishing holes you will play.

Rolls of Monmouth Golf Club - 18th hole

The tough 18th hole in the spring sunshine

(Image credit: Rolls of Monmouth Golf Club)

There is a lot of movement to the land without it ever being hilly and that presents plenty of challenges when it comes to finding fairways and greens… but it does mean you’ll face plenty of dramatic shots. The dense patches of woodland add extra body to the course and they make those towering sentinels chaperoning fairways all the more potent, especially as there is no fairway bunkering. The greens deserve a special mention: of varying sizes you will be fooled time and again by significant undulations that mirror the cavorting landscape. Any two-putt should be banked with gratitude.

Kevin Markham stepped into a campervan in 2007, and spent the next 14 months playing every 18-hole golf course in Ireland… 360 of them. He wrote two books on the back of those travels and has been working in the golf industry ever since, both as a freelance writer and a photographer. His love of golf courses has seen him playing extensively in Scotland, as well as across Europe. In total, he has played over 550 courses including most of Scotland’s top 100, and over half of Portugal’s growing number. He writes for the Irish Examiner newspaper, Irish Golfer magazine, and Destination Golf, and is a regular contributor to Golf Monthly. He has his own photography website – kevinmarkhamphotography.com (opens in new tab) – and spends hours on golf courses waiting to capture the perfect sunrise or sunset.

Kevin can be contacted via Twitter - @kevinmarkham