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
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.
At The Clubhouse
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
Golf buggies, as well as electric and pull trolleys are all
available for hire.