Jeremy Ellwood returns to Wales' top-ranked links course for a couple of nights in the club’s cosy dormy rooms
Royal Porthcawl Stay And Play Review
Par 72, 6,580 yards
Greenfee: £135-£150 per round or £180-£205 per day
This two-time Senior Open venue on the South Wales coast is the star of Welsh links golf.
It is a superb, and at times dramatic, test which sets its stall out from the start with a fine trio of holes flanking the boardwalk and beach.
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 to the exhilarating slingshot 9th and the demanding back and forth duo at 15 and 16, both of which feature devious cross bunkers and uphill approaches.
The 18th sweeps back down to the clubhouse, with its green almost 50 yards from front to back.
Also play… Pyle & Kenfig (pandkgolfclub.co.uk), with its amazing back nine, lies just a long par 4 away from Porthcawl.
A number of our finest links offer dormy accommodation, and there’s always something exciting about stepping off the course and not having to drive anywhere.
The accommodation at Royal Porthcawl comprises nine ensuite rooms – six singles and three twins.
The rooms are cosy, comfortable and warm rather than grand and spacious, but they provide travelling golfers with everything they really need.
The old wooden clubhouse has a very special ambience, and staying at Porthcawl not only means you can park yourself here post-round, lapping up the glorious sea views, but also enjoy a full and hearty breakfast next morning gazing out over the 1st.
Where else… The spectacular waterfall and heritage site at Aberdulais Falls (nationaltrust.org.uk) has provided a link between nature and industry since 1584.
The Sunday night special provides one round of golf after 3pm, an overnight stay and breakfast for £140pp from April to October.
From November to March, an overnight stay with breakfast and two rounds on consecutive weekdays costs £160.
Take junction 37 off the M4 and follow the A4229. The course lies just north of the town.
Buggy hire: £30 per round Trolley hire: £5 per round Power trolley hire: £14.50 per round Club hire: £39 per round (includes trolley and a sleeve of Pro V1s) Driving range: Yes Putting green: Yes Short-game area: Yes Pro shop: Yes Changing rooms: Yes Sky TV: No Price of a pint: From £3.80
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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 across the whole spectrum from courses and Rules to equipment and instruction. He also edits The Golf Club Secretary Newsletter, a highly regarded trade publication for golf club secretaries and managers, and has authored or co-authored three books and written for a number of national papers including The Telegraph and The Independent. 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 well over 950 golf courses worldwide in 35 countries, right across the spectrum from the humblest of nine-holers in the Scottish Highlands to the very grandest of international golf resorts, but 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
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