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
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