Tag: visit wales

L – Llanymynech

GB&I Golf Course Reviews – Z to A

I am going to showcase one golf club a day in GB & I over 26 days – in reverse alphabetical order.  It is my ode to some great and in some cases, unknown golf.  Full write up’s can be found on golfgurugroup blogspot. 

Look out for the daily influx of unique, quirky, amazing golf courses across the GB & I.

For more innovative and fun golf, please subscribe to my social media channels @sarah_thetravellingladygolfer on Instagram @golfgurugroup on Twitter and Facebook for innovative and fun golf media and marketing.

LLanymynech Golf Club

High Cottage, Pant, Oswestry, SY10 8LB

Wales or England?

One of the quirky things about Llanymynech is one doesn’t really know where it is!  So much so that hole number four, a dog leg left par four of only 323/340 yards is where you tee off in Wales and putt out in England.  An elevated tee box encourages the brave to go over the trees in a straight line to the green.  Or take on the acute corner and get on it two.  Either way this SI9 hole is quite playable.

Llanymynech is actually in Wales

However as the only way to get there by car is through England, it carries an English postcode.

LLanymynech almost plays a cluster of holes at a time differently.  Arguably giving you more variety in just 18 holes.

Some holes are parkland, whereas others play more like heathland, especially as you climb to the top of the hill and enjoy the views below.  I loved the fairways.  Each time I have been they played really well.  The par 3 third is a pretty hole with lots of shrubbery and small sculptured bushes laid out in front of you.  If you miss the 134/153 yard green short, you could be in trouble!  

Then you get the 18th

Again with an elevated tee with a mound right in the way as you take your drive.  In reality that mound shouldn’t be in play, but you know, sometimes, it just is!  In stark contrast the 9th is a relatively open hole but is the hardest hole on the course being a par 5 at 419/546 yards, SI 1.

I was playing Llanymynech during a society day a few years back and won the longest drive on the 13th hole.  I do recall the rest of the players, mainly male, being a bit fed up. I did agree with them as the distance between the two tees was a bit too much at over 60 yards!  Mind you, I did prefer the back tee box position being high, whereas the forward tees were on a lower level.

Another unique feature about Llanymynech

Is when you’re at the top of the hill you can see up to as many as five counties.  These counties are Powys, Dyfed, Clwyd, Shropshire and Staffordshire.  There is a map at the top so you can identify which landmarks you are seeing as you brave the highest part of the course.  Naturally, it is absolutely beautiful on a warm summers day and absolutely miserably on a cold wet one! 

As any good golf course will agree

Ongoing maintenance is essential.  Being forward thinking, instead of using the sods of tuff to create vetted bunkers, LLanymynech are using EcoBunkers.  A synthetic bunker system with a longer life.  When I go back, it is my mission to take a close look at these new bunkers!

Offa’s Dyke is a site of Special Scientific interest, roughly running the boundary between England and Wales.   King Offa was the Anglo Saxon King of Mercia from AD 757.   As Llanymynech also borders these two countries, it is no surprise that Offa’s Dyke also makes an appearance around the golf course.  Again adding to its interest in topography and its heritage.

M for Mount Juliet

N – Newport

GB&I golf Course Reviews – Z to A

I am going to showcase one golf club a day in GB & I for the whole of the alphabet.  It is my ode to some great golf.  Full write up’s can be found on golfgurugroup blogspot or on golfgurugroup website under the Travelling Lady Golfer tab. 

Look out for the daily influx of unique, quirky, amazing golf courses across the GB & I and subscribe to my social media channels @sarah_thetravellingladygolfer on Instagram @golfgurugroup on Twitter and Facebook. 

Newport Golf Club


Newport Golf Club stands 300 feet above sea level with a yardage from 5814 to 6500. Located in Llwyni Wood the golf holes circumnavigate the woodland. In the middle of the course whilst capitalising on the beautiful established trees and gently undulating terrain.

Founded in 1903 Newport Golf club started life, like so many, as a nine hole course situated at Ladyhill Farm.  Interestingly, the ladies section was also founded that same year.  A couple of years later the course was extended to 18 holes.  But that wasn’t the end to the clubs evolution with a relocation to its current site in 1912. 

Mature oak trees

Are the first thing you notice as you start to play Newport GC, it is no coincidence that the club logo is an Oak tree!  Certainly this mature parkland course is one that screams history, with one pondering, if only the trees could talk.

Regarded as one of the finest parkland courses in South Wales the current site of the golf course has grown and matured nurturing this natural look. It also far reaching views across the landscape and over towards the Bristol Channel.

Parkland courses

Are often overlooked when visiting the UK in favour of links golf, but playing such a grown up course has its own considerations.  The greens are not level y any stretch of the imagination, the course, whilst doest take on massive elevations. Does add interest with its gentle topography and then there’s the mature statement trees!

The first time I played Newport was in an Open and I was blown away by the golf course.  Naturally I had to return again to see if it was a one off experience.  I’m pleased to say, it wasn’t.  Each time I’ve been back to Newport, it seems to get better.  Driving off the first tee with the club house on your left really sets you up for the rest of the game.  A good indication of what was to come was laid out for all to see right in front of you in unashamed openness.

It is true there are no major hills, no major doglegs but don’t be fooled.  Some of the holes are long and require good placement from the tee and subsequent shots into the green.  Playing with males, I noticed there were a lot of narrow exits off the tees from the back, which didn’t come into play so much from the forward tees.  However, on occasions neatly trimmed hedges did come into play for the tee shot.  Often the landing zone for the tee shot was reasonably wide, but as holes snaked around, placement was key.  Whilst the greens were quite large, front to back, some had thought provoking slopes on them to catch even the best of putters!

Hole number 14

A relatively easy par 3 of 126/164 yards caused lots of hilarity if you weren’t straight onto the green with your tee shot.  A pearl necklace of bunkers protecting  the green from the front and both sides.  The established trees ever present.  The trees were not always thick forest lining the fairways, instead leaving gaps to enjoy those views and give you some reprieve for any wayward shots!

Whilst the mighty oak does dominate many a hole, the woodland is diverse and includes birch and beech too.  Bearing in mind its maturity, the golf club also has a natural history group who monitor and report the flora and fauna of the golf course, working in harmony with the green keepers.  It is a shapely course, with woodland, sloping greens and the odd ditch or hump across the fairway.  There were also some very long holes which could suit the big hitters.

O for The Oxfordshire

P – Porthmadog

GB&I Golf Course Reviews – Z to A

Over the next 26 days, I am going to showcase one golf club a day in GB & I.  It is my ode to some great golf.  Full write up’s can be found on golfgurugroup blogspot or on golfgurugroup website under the Travelling Lady Golfer tab.

Look out for the daily influx of unique, quirky, amazing golf courses across the GB & I on offer.

Porthmadog Golf Club

Morfa Bychan, Porthmadog, Gwyneed, LL49 9UU

Two unique 9 holes merging to form the traditional 18 holes of golf.  This James Braid design dates back to 1905 and is somewhat unusual.

Situated in Morfa Bychan, just 3 miles from Porthmadog the genius is the front nine, whilst not a parkland is best described as heathland.  With the back nine being the links we all know and love.

Starting life as nine holes

With Lord Harlech as the inaugural President it was changed to 18 holes around 1910.  About the same time as a new land lease was signed.  To put things into perspective, the new lease had such stipulations as golfers had to be well behaved – still applies to todays game, naturally!  They were not allowed to play golf on Sundays and would be up for paying compensation if a sheep, cattle or any other animal was killed.  There was not helping themselves to game, rabbits, hares or wild fowl either!    An ode to the changing landscape was a caveat to not allow Llyn Samson water levels to diminish!  As it now forms part of the estuary, this gives you some idea of the changes from just over 100 years ago!

When playing Porthmadog, I remember playing along the estuary, it was windy and the ball wasn’t playing my game!  I got up to the 11th green and took stock of where I was.  The estuary was in full sight, a light grey bluish colour, with whispy off-white and green long grasses waving in the foreground.  To my left was the most beautiful white washed stone built cottage nestled into the valley.  I remember remarking to my playing partners that I’d love to live there; wild, rugged and with a great golf course on my doorstep – who wouldn’t!

Vista views can also be enjoyed on the 13th as you can see as far as Harlech Castle on a good day.

The James Braid

Characteristics are still in play, especially on the back nine.  In the mid 1980, as with a lot of golf course at this time, changes were made to Porthmadog.  The front nine was given a re-vamp on holes 4, 5 and 6.  Locals have, maybe tongue in cheek, labelled this as ‘Amens Corner’.  Don’t be put off as you stand on the 14th tee looking at the two large mounds which seem to close together as you realise your drive needs to go through the gap!

A friendly club who welcome you with Welsh hospitality

If you’re after a unique experience add Porthmadog to your list.  If you’re on holiday it’s a great course to get a bit of everything and satisfy those golf withdrawal symptoms.  And whilst on holiday in the beautiful North Wales Countryside, think about the Ffestiniog and Highlands Railway steam trains as they chug along as a subtle reminder of yesteryear.

Playing Porthmadog makes you think differently about your round and also about club selection from the differing front to back nine holes.  A heathland, a links, dunes, brooks, big greens, great views towards Snowdonia over Cardigan bay- Porthmadog has it all.

Green fees from £40

Q for Queen’s Course, Gleneagles

S – Southerndown

GB&I Golf Course reviews – Z to A

Over the next 26 days, I am going to showcase one golf club a day in GB & I.  It is my ode to some great golf in the UK and Ireland.  Full write up’s and more images can be found on golfgurugroup.blogspot or www.golfgurugroup.com Travelling Lady Golfer tab.  So there is no missing out on that extra little bit of information, if needed.

 Feel free to share them to help others.

Southerndown Golf Club

Ogmore by Sea, Bridgend, CF32 0QP

Formerly the Ogmore Down Golfing Society was first registered in August 1905.

Originally designed by Willie Fernie with later modifications by Herbert Fowler, Willie Park and Harry Colt who was in town to design Royal Porthcawl, down the road.  Lending his hand to holes 7, 8, 17 and 18.  All capitalising on the natural terrain of this unique setting.

Laid out on a huge limestone outcrop this hill top course was crafted 360 million years ago.  The course offers part sandy links and part acid-heathland, and a combination of the two in some cases, making it one of the driest in Britain.

This elevated limestone plateau rises 300 feet about the Glamorgan Heritage coast.  With wind whipping up the Bristol channel and depositing sand over the centuries, has helped create the links style of play, despite it being a mile from the actual shore line.

Located in

The South West area of Wales near Ogmore-by-Sea and Southerndown, near Merthyr Mawr Sand Dunes.  A favourite haunt of mine as a child, sand sledging down those dunes when we lived nearby. 

As you take on one of the hardest opening holes, according to Henry Cotton (and me!) hole number one is bracken covered on both sides.  Glancing right as you ascend the hill towards the green is Ogmore River valley.  

Once up on the plateau, it does seem to level out a little, but this doesn’t make the play any easier.  With pot hole bunkers, grass bunkers, bracken and gorse in play it is sometimes sensible not go for the big hit.  Placement of the ball is key as the wind whips around at the top.  With generally wide fairways, the playing corridors are defined by the low gorse and bracken, with the latter not at all easy to play from!


Location and geology all have a major influence on the golf course, but being common land it is freely grazed by sheep too.  The sheep seem to enjoy the grass and are a constant reminder of the openness of the location and the hard job those greenkeepers must have! 

The truth is, sheep have been grazing this piece of land long before golf came along.  As it is common land there are no fences to keep the sheep at bay.  Using natural methods and some clever thinking by providing the sheep with a smorgasbord of lush grass away from the fairways has worked to encourage them to graze elsewhere.  Having their own turf nursery at Southerndown is another sensible way forward. 

Sheep Help

In June 1995, a tee shot found its way somewhere towards a sheep’s backside to the surprise of the golfer – and the sheep!  After fits of giggles watching the sheep walk calmly towards the hole before shaking the ball free some 30 yards closer to the hole.  With good ‘sheep’ luck like that, the golfer went on to win his match.

Without going into a blow by blow account of each hole, I also wanted to mention the closing hole.  A pretty tee shot view towards a split fairway with gorse either side.  The middle bit is not at all inviting so chose which side you are going to go to the green from on this Par 4.  Bearing in mind the approach shot is slightly down hill to a large green in front of the club house.

Green fees from £50

S is also for Semaphore

So this is what on earth I am doing with those golf clubs for each letter!

Flag semaphore is a semaphore system conveying information at a distance by means of visual signals with hand-held flags, rods, disks, paddles, or occasionally bare or gloved hands  Or in my case golf clubs. Information is encoded by the position of the flags; it is read when the flag is in a fixed position

T for The Island

V – Vale of Llangollen

GB&I Golf Course Reviews – Z to A

Over the next 26 days, I am going to showcase one golf club a day in GB & I.  It is my ode to some great golf in the UK and Ireland.  Full write up’s and more images can be found on golfgurugroup.blogspot or www.golfgurugroup.com Travelling Lady Golfer tab.  So there is no missing out on that extra little bit of information, if needed.

Feel free to share them to help others.

Vale of Llangollen

Holyhead Road, Llangollen LL20 7PR

In the county of Denbighshire and regarded as one of the best inland golf courses in North Wales, Vale of Llangollen is a sight for sore eyes.

It is one of those places that you don’t really give it the justice it deserves until you round the building and overlook the Vale beneath with the golf course carefully mapped out in front of you, enticing in its appearance.  With the Welsh hills stretching out in the distance this is a perfect backdrop to this inviting course.

Located in an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, golfers have been enjoying this scene since 1908 where it started life as a nine hole course, extended to the full 18 holes, in the 1960’s.  Vale of Llangollen is located within Pontcysyllte area which in itself, being a UNESCO site is in bed with such greats as the Taj Mahal, the Pyramids and the Great Wall of China.  This designated heritage site cited as a ‘masterpiece of human genius’,  is impressive in its pedigree.  Does this alone make Vale of Llangollen unique in its pedigree as a golf club?

The River Dee is present, although not necessarily in play.  It is most noticeable on three holes; with the 9th being regarded as one of the best holes in British Golf at 418/436 yards (SI 5/1).  Sure enough as you stand on the elevated tee, it doesn’t show its true colours until you see where your drive might land.  Favouring the large tree on the right, you can just about tuck in before the fairway twists left keeping the River ever present on the right before finally allowing you a glimpse of the green.  A par 4 for men and a par 5 for ladies add to the male vs female friendly battle.  Other holes which enjoy the River Dee are the 15th and 16th

Hole number 14

A 146/167 yard par 3 SI18 has a narrowish exit with large trees towering over you as you take on this otherwise non threatening par three.  Add in the other tee box sitting next you though, and one might feel as they can’t mess it up ‘in front of a crowd’.  But get used to the crowd you must.

The finishing hole is a crowd busting one too.  An uphill par three often requires a bit more club than the distance of 115/153 yards (SI16/12).  A ditch runs across the fairway and the green slopes back to front, so on the green in one is the only option to make a par.  All this in front of the elevated patio with golfers watching your every move from their vantage point.  It’s a nerve jangling finishing hole, but definitely worth a bit of banter in the clubhouse afterwards.

The times I visited Vale of Llangollen we met with friendly people in the clubhouse. In fact they believe in their club so much that one member signed up his child for membership at only 5 months old to help out the club doing Covid times.

Llangollen is a pretty nice to visit too, with the River dissecting the town. Famed for hosting the International Music Eisteddfod, a unique annual celebration of world music and dance since 1947.  Castell Dinas Brân has been shadowing over Llangollen since it was built in 1260 by Gruffyd Maelor II the Prince of Powys Fadgo.

W for Wallasey Golf Club

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