North Wales GC – 1894 (Tancred Cummins)
The popular seaside town of Llandudno needs no introduction as a tourist attraction. In golfing terms it has two courses on its West Shore, only separated by the railway line. North Wales Golf Club is the one on the outside, true seaside links with all the challenges that entail.
A windswept test in raw links style is more or less guaranteed. Rather like its near neighbour across the bay (Conwy) there are no towering sand dunes here to provide any shelter or protection.
North Wales you take as you find, and throughout the journey it contains the type of delicious holes that only this type of golf can provide, ones that the elements if you’re not careful can bamboozle you into submission.
Yet you do get a decent chance to score early points as the opening stretch of seven holes takes you inland and offers width and forgiveness, with a rambling brook only a mild cause for concern.
Around the turn sees the course reach the beachside with some stunning vistas, especially on a sunny day during a series of short to mid-length par fours.
The layout isn’t a long one by any means yet the elements give it some teeth and your route is punctuated all over by little pot bunkers which look fairly innocuous from distance but are far from it, your stance may have to get a bit inventive.
Similar to most links courses the greens here are large and reasonably flat, and offer you the chance to grab something back.
The closing holes feature some increasingly thick rough, highlighted by three very notable short holes all with raised and exposed tees.
Two of them run in succession at 16 and 17 and are true postage stamp like classics, a recipe for a fine finish, or card wrecking heartache, golf as it should be.
MG Pick….. 16th 151 yards Par 3
The raised tee looks across to near wilderness, with just the top of the flag stick flapping in the distance. As the green is surrounded by high mounds all around bedecked by thick rough, only the short grass will suffice and its usually into the wind which could mean the use of a very high club indeed. Hugely testing but great fun.
Bright and modern facilities in the clubhouse with its large bar and patio area. A private suite can cater for societies and corporate events. A well stocked pro shop, practice ground and putting green
Good old fashioned and traditional links land which serves up an enjoyable track that can be tamed on a calm day but will test you thoroughly on a rough one.
In 2010, (and sadly the photos have been lost) we came here on a very fortunately calm Saturday morning where I (editor,Phil) birdied the 13th with an outrageous putt from off the green, then parred the final five and shot a 75.
I’ve only ever broken 80 once since, so that day, North Wales had already cemented its place early in our Top 10 of Wales!