Rob Smith enjoys a great value stay at one of the finest clubs in Wales

Royal St David’s Golf Club Stay and Play Review

Par 69, 6,403 yards

Superbly situated by the railway line under the sentinel watch of historic Harlech Castle, this Golf Monthly Top 50 links is a serious championship test at the same time as being a wonderful place to play golf. Residents can take their cars over the railway line and park right outside the excellent accommodation that is situated in the clubhouse.

The course plays to an extremely tough par of 69, and opens with a hat-trick of par 4s that let you really open up the shoulders.

A view from the Castle of the second green with holes 3 and 4 heading away

The course is separated from the beach by towering dunes, and it heads north where the 6th green offers up excellent views of Snowdonia in the distance.

The sixth green with the mountains to the north

The back-to-back and relatively short par 5s at 7 and 8 offer birdie opportunities, but these are counter-balanced by some extremely demanding par 4s. The course is also subject of ongoing and sympathetic gentle upgrades, perhaps most evident at the short 11th.

SI18 and the shortest hole on the course, the eleventh is greatly improved

From almost every location, you are watched over by Harlech Castle, itself more than worth a visit. If you feel able, it is only a 10-minute (ish) walk via the steepest street in the world!

The view from the 12th tee with the castle sitting imperiously on the hillside

The five par 3s are all very varied, and the longest of them is the blind 14th which is played over an opened-up waste area, another recent improvement.

Looking back from the 14th green

The closing loop of 5 holes, particularly the three par 4s, makes for a superb climax to the round, and the final green enjoys a fabulous site right outside the clubhouse.

The final green looked over by clubhouse and castle

Back in the clubhouse, the hearty Welsh breakfast is the perfect way to start the day, and the lunches are also very tasty and extremely well priced.

Rob’s ‘light’ clubhouse lunch of jacket potato with chilli and cheese

Tucked away in a self-contained block at the back of the Royal St David’s clubhouse are five very smartly appointed bedrooms, all of them en-suite. One is a single, the others all doubles/twins, and a full Welsh breakfast is included.

A view from the castle over the clubhouse, course and dunes

For an added experience of golf with a difference, it is also great fun and very easy to take the train down to lovely Aberdovey Golf Club, while just over the road from the dormy house is the excellent Y Branwen pub and restaurant. Royal St David’s residents also enjoy discounted green fees, and the various stay and play packages offer exceptional value for a course and club of this stature.