Situated in Morfa Bychan, just three miles from the harbour town of the same name, Porthmadog Golf Club is a fantastic addition to any North Wales Golf Tour. Established in 1905, Porthmadog boasts an extremely friendly and welcoming membership – an important factor for any visiting golfer – as well as an excellent James Braid designed golf course, the back nine of which is surely among the most memorable in the country thanks in large part to the spectacular setting of the holes.
Porthmadog is quite unique in the sense that it is described by many as a course of two contrasting halves. The opening nine holes are heathland in character and allow the golfer to settle into their round before entering the back nine which will surely linger long in the memory.
The opening two holes of the back nine are a hint of what’s to come in the second half of the round, as they take the golfer out towards the coast where the course transforms into a much more linksy affair, and where it is at its most beautiful, and its most entertaining.
Stunning views of the Cardigan Bay coastline and the Snowdonia mountain range are on offer from plenty of excellent vantage points around the back nine, not least of which the 12th tee, which marks the start of a fantastic trio of holes.
The 12th is arguably one of the most memorable par 4s in Wales, with a sandy beach running down the entire left hand side of the hole and lots of links quirkiness to boot. More on the 12th below...
The 13th is a testing par 3 with a blind tee shot into a green which sits in a bowl, surrounding by wicked slopes which can either feed your ball towards the hole, or leave you with a devilishly difficult up and down; such is the nature of links golf. Things don’t get much easier immediately after the 13th either, as the par 4 14th is the toughest hole on the course. Get your drive away between two giant mounds known as the “Himalayas” and you’re still faced with a lengthy approach into a well protected green.
Although much has remained largely unchanged at Porthmadog since its inception, subtle changes are carried out on the course on almost a yearly basis in order to keep up with the demands of the modern golfer and with the amazing back nine in mind, this is certainly a course worth considering on any Welsh Golf Break.
In summary, the opening nine at Porthmadog, while certainly not perfunctory, serves as a pleasant warm up for the amazing back nine which is without doubt what keeps golfers coming back to Porthmadog year after year. Pack the camera for this one!
Designed by: Robert E Cupp
Opened for play: 1990
Previously hosted: European Open (1993 & 1994) – PGA European Tour Qualifying School Venue – Five-time European Challenge Tour Host - Open Championship Regional Qualifying (2014)
White: 6,322 yards
Yellow: 6,011 yards
Red: 5,399 yards
Signature Hole – No. 12: Par 4, 358 yards (White Tees)
The 12th is without doubt the signature hole at Porthmadog, thanks in large part to its links quirkiness and the spectacular views that can be enjoyed from both the tee and the green. A championship tee perched right in the corner of the property makes the hole a totally different animal and is generally reserved for prestigious championships held at the club, but even from the forward tees the hole offers a really fun “Go for it or not?” conundrum!
Long hitters will fancy a crack at the green, while those opting for the more sensible approach will have to measure their tee shots well and try and leave themselves a good look at the semi-blind green; a view that is less and less visible the further right you go.
Either way you choose to play the hole, the approach must be accurate as the green is well protected by one of Porthmadog’s most fiendish bunkers at the front, and long coastal grass on the banks behind the green. Even if you fail to make your par, your disappointment will soon be quashed by the amazing views along the walk to the 13th tee!
There is ample opportunity to warm up before your round at Porthmadog. Two practice grounds and a practice net offer the chance to loosen any stiff muscles and practice full shots, while a putting green will ensure you can get the pace of the greens before taking to the course.
Porthmadog boasts a large, modern and friendly clubhouse, giving golfers ample chance to have a coffee and bacon roll before heading to the 1st tee, or indeed a meal and a few well deserved drinks after their round. Consisting of a comfortable lounge bar, a golfer’s bar and a large patio area, the clubhouse at Porthmadog complements the excellent golf course well and thanks to a great location between the 9th green and 10th tee, golfers can even pop in quickly to grab a bite to eat or some drinks from the pro shop.
Golf buggies, as well as electric and pull trolleys are all
available for hire.
To start the lady in the pro shop was very friendly and welcoming. The clubhouse is very nice with good food and drink options, can’t fault the clubhouse or shop itself, however the round experience went rapidly downhill. We were made aware when checking in that the whole of the course was playing preferred lies. As soon as we teed off it was clear why. The fairways looks diseased beyond repair, to the point they have been practically dug up. Even finding a preferred lie was nigh on impossible. The condition was horrendous. The greens were playable and in ok condition. But ruined by the scruffiness of the rest of the course. As for the course as a design, the front 9 is borderline dull. With the exception of the island green 6th. However as seen with other reviews, the back 9 saves it. The stretch between 12-16 is excellent (fairways aside.) Overall, the club itself is friendly and welcoming, however I would highly advice people to save their money until the fairways are repaired and playable. If we had only been made aware of the problem prior to playing we would of switched courses or even cancelled. To be charged for a full price round when in such horrific condition is borderline theft. And for that reason I would certainly not return any time soon.
Fantastic trip to North Wales. Played Royal St David’s, difficult course but stunning links golf, followed by Nefyn & District, the point was spectacular and Course was in great condition, an experience not to be missed. The final day was at Porthmadog and again the course was in good shape with the greens in excellent condition A contrast of heathland/Parkland on the front 9 followed by good links golf on the back 9. All the clubs were very welcoming from the pro shops to the clubhouse and the Lion Hotel in Cricceith was friendly, helpful and perfectly situated for the stay. The weather was perfect, sunshine ☀️ and gentle breeze throughout, this topped off a fantastic North Wales Golfing experience. Thank you Jack at your golf travel for organising and booking the great weather to go with the amazing golf.
Great golf course with 9 parkland and 9 links holes Great views and the staff were fantastic
A course of two halves! Front 9 a little quirky with fairways in generally poor condition. Back 9 much more interesting and challenging.
Absolutely fabulous for the views alone. The course was in excellent condition and we all agreed it was the best of the 4 courses we played
2 different 9s, the front more parkland the back links like. Fairways have suffered with the lack of water but the greens made up for that.
Golf course was still suffering in places from the hot summer of last year but in general was still good...was very windy which made it hard to play as quite a few blind shots of the tees... but really did enjoy as was a real challenge,, would play again...
Last 9 holes ever so much more fun, beautiful and harder
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A - Yes
A - Yes
A - Saturday and Sunday mornings 8-10am are reserved for members only
A - There are 2 bars on site
A - BT and Sky Sports
A - There is complimentary car parking