Arguably the oldest club in Wales, Tenby is unarguably an excellent place for golf - Rob Smith explains…
Tenby Golf Club Course Review
Tenby Golf Club is one of the oldest in the country and was at the forefront of the development of the sport in Wales. David Lloyd George owned a house in the town and was a regular on the links, and it was James Braid who designed the course as we play it today.
Although it opens with a gentle par 5, don’t be fooled - once you have crossed the pathway down to the beach and teed off at the 2nd, this is a serious test of golf.
The 3rd is an excellent par 4, stroke index one and played to one of the many wonderful green sites that are a real feature here.
The 4th has an even better setting, played over the mounds to a grassy dell that could have been made for a green.
The next takes you back inland a little and is followed by a tiddler over the gorse before two very strong par 4s. The 7th is adjacent to the railway, and the 8th is equally dangerous running alongside the Penally Butts shooting range.
The next tee is at the far end of the course and marks the start of another sequence of three testing par 4s.
If there is a signature hole at Tenby, then it is probably the excellent par-3 12th which needs no sand for protection as it is surrounded by hollows that make rescuing a par very tricky. Looking back at my scorecard I see that I managed a regulation par here which means the wind must have been helping!
There are more lovely views from this green, so perhaps the compensation if you 3-putt is that you get to spend more time here!
A short par 4 and short par 5 come next and offer birdie chances if the wind is helping. You then cross over the railway to a trio of holes that split opinion as they are somewhat different in nature from the pure links elsewhere. For what it is worth, I think they add welcome variety and are enjoyable.
The last of just three par 3s at seventeen offers some fine views over the course and beyond.
The closing hole hugs the railway line but has plenty of room on the right, and I came away feeling that Tenby is fully deserving of its status in the Golf Monthly Next 100. It is also the highlight of some strong golf that makes the area a fine and different choice for a golfing tour.
For most golfers, Tenby may be some distance from home - a part of its appeal - but the club has its own Dormy House that can host parties of up to fourteen making a trip to the area even more appealing.
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Rob Smith has been playing golf for 45 years and been a contributing editor for Golf Monthly for over ten years, specialising in course reviews and travel. He has now played more than 1,200 different courses in almost 50 countries. Despite lockdowns and travel restrictions in 2021, he still managed to play 80 different courses during that year, 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 seven and a half... i.e. not the new 9 at Carne! During the 2021-22 review period, Rob played 36 of the Golf Monthly Top 200. He is a member of Tandridge Golf Club in Surrey where his handicap hovers around 16. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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