Wales Day Four: Wonderful Porthcawl, Peculiar Pennard

Royal Porthcawl in the sea mist.

I’m rushing to leave the wonderful Fairyhill Hotel this morning on a three-hour drive to Aberdovey, up the Welsh coastline, so this is more photo-oriented than written. Yesterday we played Royal Porthcawl, a links outside Cardiff that is regarded as among the best 100 courses in the world. Truthfully that might be low — Porthcawl struck me as a course the equal of many of the bigger, more famous links, rivaling even the likes of Turnberry. In other words, it is a must see, a straight-forward links where the ocean is always present and the golf is spectacular. We caught it on a foggy morning, but the mist blew out soon after we started.

The closer at Porthcawl

The afternoon was spent at Pennard, a links that I think was more weird than wonderful. Tee shots over greens, fairways that sloped to oblivion and slow players in front of us. There were, however, a couple of great holes, and the setting is almost unrivaled. They call it the “Links in the sky,” which reminds me of the Pink Floyd song, “The Great Gig in the Sky.” Not sure why though.

Pennard's ruined castle on the 7th hole.

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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

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