Located at the southern end of Snowdonia National Park on the west coast of Wales, Aberdovey Golf Club sits on a boomerang-shaped piece of land that hugs St. George’s Channel and the Irish Sea, and is sandwiched between the Cambrian Mountains on its inland side. Founded in 1892, the links were made famous by golf writer Bernard Darwin who fell in love with this piece of Welsh coastline describing it at one time as the golf course that “his soul loved best of all the courses in the world.” The original designer is unknown, but what is known is that Braid, Fowler, and Colt all had a hand in the layout that exists today.
Aberdovey Golf Club is a classic, untamed links in the ‘old style,’ meaning that it hasn’t been altered or augmented significantly for the modern game except for some lengthening of tees. It is an out and back links, running alongside the railway line that deposits golfers at the nearby train station to this day. It is a fair course, not tricked up in any way, but with some deceptive hazards that need to be navigated during your round. There are some beautiful views from elevated tee boxes across the Irish Sea, and this is well worth a trip on any golf vacation.
The blind par three 3rd hole named ‘Cader’ is infamous at Aberdovey. While unsighted par threes are not everyone’s cup of tea; this is one of the best in the world. At 173yards from the medal tees, it is obvious to say that club selection is crucial, as it is, but there are so many other elements to consider. The punchbowl green will gather most decent shots, but short, or long will present nightmares — a super test.
The finishing straight at Aberdovey needs special mention. The 15th through 18th is a superb stretch of holes that includes a long par five at over 500yards, a risk and reward 288yard par four, and two holes where the railway line and an out of bounds, comes very much into the reckoning. Aberdovey Golf Club is a good test and as with all courses, but especially links’, the conditions play a massive part in your round. When the wind blows across the links here, it is a good challenge. The four par three holes all play in a different direction, and the orientation of the course means that more often than not, you are playing in a crosswind. We at The Consummate Pro enjoy teeing it up at Aberdovey, getting to grips with the early designs from these architects.
Aberdovey Golf Club presents one of the most traditional links courses in the whole of the British Isles. It provides an enjoyable test for handicappers of all levels and is certainly worthy of inclusion on any golf vacation when visiting Wales. Dormy House accommodation is available at the club and is a great way to further immerse yourself in the history of this beautiful golf club. The Consummate Pro will be delighted to bring you there.