Before the Ryder Cup dominated South Wales, just outside Chepstow a fine hotel and golf resort was making its mark on the golfing map – and it still does. The Marriott St Pierre boasts 36 holes, a spa, a gym and numerous other sporting facilities. It is the original 18 holes, however, that makes it a must for the travelling golfer.
The Old Course at St Pierre winds its way through ancient trees. Completed in 1962, the designer Ken Cotton made the most of the natural landscape, which has a distinct rural beauty – the course sits on two levels with a fantastic elevated drive from the 7th tee connecting the different sections. It remains in good condition for most of the year unlike many of the courses in rain-soaked Wales.
The closing holes, in particular 15, 17 and 18 are difficult and hazardous. The greens for both 15 and 17 back onto a lake, while the 18th is a brutish par-3, requiring a long-iron or fairway wood to a small green – a tough shot after a tough 17-holes.
The course has evolved for the better over the years, and, although the middle of the back nine is not so inspiring, the front half enjoys spectacular views of the estate and the Severn estuary, while providing a test of golf you would expect from a Marriott venue.
Best Hole: Unusual to finish with a par 3. But what a par 3 to finish with.
Green Fees: £58 April 1 to October 31 all week
Address: St Pierre Park, Chepstow, Monmouthshire, NP16 6YA, Wales
Tel: 01291 635 205