If scenery, drama and above all variety are what you seek from a golf course, then Porthmadog has it all. Rob Smith enjoys the ride…

Porthmadog Golf Club Course Review

In a recent Focus On article, I described the course at Porthmadog Golf Club thus… ‘The front nine and the 18th fall into the parkland category, but it is the links holes that knock these and possibly your scorecard into a cocked hat. Here, there is fantastic drama and fun, with stunning views as you roller-coaster your way through the dunes.’

Just a little way north of Golf Monthly Top 100 favourite Royal St. David’s, the course opens in a relatively gentle manner, albeit with a tricky stream on the first two holes that demands your attention.

The par-3 second crosses back over the opening hole

You then cross the road to play seven attractive parkland holes; two par 3s, two 4s and no fewer than three par 5s. It is advisable to bank as many Stableford points as possible on these! I particularly liked the dogleg 5th and the long 8th which works its way gently up the hill.

At just 148 yards, the sixth still poses several questions

Passing the clubhouse, you head into completely different territory and the start of a run of thrilling links holes through the dunes.

The tenth hole and the start of some dramatically different golf

Visually, the most spectacular hole on the course is probably the short, uphill par-4 12th which is all about careful plotting rather than brute force.

The par-4 twelfth is no real distance but has drama by the (golf)bagful

From the top of the hill, the view down to the not-so-short 13th is daunting but happily I made a single-putt par.

There really is a green down there somewhere, and it’s only 200 yards!

There is a blind drive at the 14th, and then a real award-winner at fifteen which is a strong par 4, albeit under 400 yards, played to a green that nestles idyllically in the sandbanks.

The fifteenth is a beauty played to a perfectly-sited green

The closing three lead you out of the dunes and back onto terra firma and the sanctuary of the clubhouse, and you will enjoy your post-round drink knowing that you have played somewhere that is very different indeed.

The green at the 403-yard closing hole is back in calmer waters

If both nines were like the front half you would have an enjoyable and perfectly decent course. Combined with the beauty and variety on offer coming home, however, you have a course that really deserves to be noticed.

The back nine at Porthmadog is packed with risk and reward

Porthmadog is quite out of the ordinary, and all the better for it. I very much recommend a visit so that you can make up your own mind about its completely contrasting nines!