The Coastal Way: Golfing Greats

Running along the entire sweep of Cardigan Bay, from Aberdaron in the north to St Davids in the south, the 180-mile/290km Coastal Way is one of three Wales Way national touring routes. Rather than a rigid set of directions, each ‘Way’ is a jumping-off point for exploration, with plenty of opportunities to venture off the main path and create your very own personal journey. 

On this three-day itinerary we’re highlighting a few of The Coastal Way’s great golf courses. With so much on offer you won’t have time to play them all, so pick the clubs that suit your skill level and playing style.

Unless otherwise stated, the featured golf courses are 18 hole.

Day 1

Start out at Porthmadog, a best-of-both-worlds course comprising a front nine of undulating heath followed by a back nine of classic coastal links. Next, it’s on to Royal St David’s, sitting in the looming shadow of mighty Harlech Castle. With wicked sea breezes, towering dunes and thick rough that lies in wait for wayward shots, it’s built a deserved reputation as the world’s toughest par 69.

Further south along the coast another classic links golfing encounter awaits at Aberdovey, an inspiring collaboration between its designers and Mother Nature. Sandwiched between the Dyfi Estuary and Snowdonia’s mountains, it’s an elemental links experience that demands a well-stocked golf bag and the ability to improvise.

Royal St. David's Golf Club, Harlech
Royal St. David's Golf Club, Harlech

 

Suggested overnight: Aberdovey.

Day 2

Begin at Borth & Ynyslas. Founded in 1885, it stakes a claim to being Wales’s oldest club and offers a timeless out and back links challenge. Nearby Aberystwyth Golf Club’s 18 hole course was designed by six times Open Champion Harry Vardon, complete with sweeping views over Cardigan Bay. Established in 1990, Penrhos Park Golf Club at Llanrhystud near Aberystwyth is a relative newcomer on Ceredigion’s golfing scene, but its hilly terrain, water hazards and natural features combine to make a big impression. 

Aberystwyth Golf Club
Aberystwyth Golf Club

 

Carry on down the coast to Cardigan Golf Club, a splendid seaside blend of links and parkland that has drawn comparisons with the USA’s famous Pebble Beach. The views across the bay can take the breath away, but watch out for the thick gorse that lies in wait for players who get too caught up with the scenery.

Suggested overnight: Cardigan or Newport.

Day 3

Start out by the sea at Newport Sands. Beginning life in 1925 as a nine-holer designed by legendary course architect James Braid, it’s now 18 holes of championship challenge with some world-beating views over Newport Bay. Next head a short distance inland from Fishguard to Priskilly Forest, an immaculate (and very green) nine-hole parkland course that pairs picturesque golf with cosy country house accommodation.

Newport Sands golf course with epic views across Newport Bay
Newport Sands golf course with epic views across Newport Bay

Finish your golfing journey at St David’s City Golf Club. The most westerly course in Wales, this compact but captivating nine-hole, 18-tee links comes with giant-sized views across Whitesands Bay and Ramsey Island.

at St David’s City Golf Club
St David’s City Golf Club

 

Suggested overnight: St Davids.

Onwards along the Coastal Way

From Snowdonia Mountains and Coast the Coastal Way runs through Ceredigion to north Pembrokeshire. Don’t miss out. Follow the road all the way.