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: James Braid
Opened for play: 1905
White: 6 ,326 yards
Yellow: 5,992 yards
Red: 5,395 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 pro shop.
Golf buggies, as well as electric and pull trolleys are all available for hire.