Our selection of the top golf courses in Wales include some glorious traditional links and two courses with Ryder Cup connections

 A view from behind the green on the 173-yard 3rd hole at Aberdovey Golf Club. Credit: Getty Images.

A view from behind the green on the 173-yard 3rd hole at Aberdovey Golf Club. Credit: Getty Images.

Aberdovey
The design of this historic links has evolved under the guidance of Harry Colt, James Baird and Herbert Fowler among others. Dunes frame the holes and the course’s rugged, natural feel has been enhanced in recent years by the re-introduction of rough-edged bunkering.

Memorable holes include the blind par-3 3rd to a punchbowl green and the par-3 12th to a plateau green perched above the dunes and beach.

The club boasts that this hole is “is one of the hardest par 3s in British golf“.

It is all about the tee shot here, as the green is relatively flat, allowing birdie opportunities for those who have found the dance floor from the tee.

Celtic Manor The par 4, 6th hole with the 8th hole behind and the 12th and the par 3, 13th hole to the right, Credit: Getty Images

Celtic Manor The par 4, 6th hole with the 8th hole behind and the 12th and the par 3, 13th hole to the right, Credit: Getty Images

Celtic Manor
The Twenty Ten course opened in 2008, and was designed specifically to host the Ryder Cup, the first course to be purpose-built for the event. Nine of the holes came from the former Wentwood Hills course at the resort, and nine were freshly constructed.

The new design succeeded in its aim to provide dramatic risk-and-reward matchplay holes. Water features on half the holes.

Conwy is a traditional links

Conwy is a traditional links. Credit: Kevin Murray

Conwy
This club was founded in 1890, but golf had been played on the site before then. During the First World War its course was requisitioned for military use, and so a new layout was crafted utilising the adjoining land.

During the Second World War parts of this course, including the area behind the 2nd green, were where the pre-fabricated harbours for Operation Overlord were constructed. Peacetime therefore brought about another redesign of the course.

This 2nd hole is now called Mulberry Landings and is a tricky par 3 with a two-tier green defended by six bunkers.

The present layout is flat links which was the first Welsh course to host final Open qualifying for The Open, in 2006. Conwy Golf Club will host the Curtis Cup in 2020.

The much-photographed holes along the Lleyn Peninsular at Neftyn and District

The much-photographed holes along the Lleyn Peninsular at Neftyn and District Golf Club

Nefyn & District
Nefyn & District is one of the top golf courses in Wales even though it is two courses. Sort of. It has two layouts, the Old and the New. The club has 28 holes, and each layout uses the same opening 10 holes, before going their separate ways for the back eight.

The opening holes cling to the edge of the headland, and the Old has some dramatic, much-photographed clifftop holes along the Lleyn Peninsular. Both layouts require blind shots and have superb panoramas, with the sea in view from every hole. On a clear day, you can see the Wicklow mountains across the Irish Sea.

Pennard Golf Club

The links in the sky – Pennard plays over pure links terrain 200ft above sea level

Pennard
This South Wales golf course on the Gower Peninsular has the nickname ‘Links in the Sky’ as it is 200ft above sea level. As you may imagine, the course has splendid views and many elevation changes.

Another feature of the golf course at Pennard  is the ruined 12th-century castle which gives its name to the 7th hole.

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