Located just eight miles to the south west of Swansea in south Wales, Pennard Golf Club was founded in 1896, or thereabouts, according to the record books. The course affords the visiting golfer some spectacular views across what is known as Three Cliffs Bay and the Gower Peninsula. From its elevated position more than 200 feet above the water, the reason why it is often known as “the links in the sky” becomes apparent. The terrain is classic undulating tight links land, playing hard and fast in the summer months through and around some fantastic dune complexes. Renowned for having some of the most beautiful greens in the country, Pennard is a year-round challenge. Some of the holes feel as if they are perched on the side of cliffs, and others are. The views from practically every hole, be it the cliffs, coast, the 12th century Pennard Castle or just the rugged dune land upon which the course rests, are simply spectacular.
Designed by James Braid and ably assisted by C. K Cotton, Pennard can best be described as ‘quirky.’ It has some wild elevation changes, and you are as likely to see the odd cow grazing away on the golf courses as you are a greenkeeper trying to manicure it in other ways. The nice thing about Pennard is that no two holes are the same, every one as unique as the next. Of the eighteen beautifully laid out examples of Braid’s original design, the Pro’s favorite is unquestionably the short par four, seventh. At 351yards, the drive must carry a deep ravine before finding the fairway grass. Once in position, the approach shot is played semi-blind to a green which sits in a dell surrounded by various small dunes for protection. A fabulous hole that has Pennard Castle looking over you throughout.
Tom Doak described Pennard as “One of my all-time favorites…”, And the club invited him to review the course in 2015 primarily to oversee the positioning and shaping of new revetted bunkers, work that has yielded excellent results. The course continues to improve and is arguably one of the best links’ in Wales.
Pennard Golf Club provides a stern test for handicappers of all levels and requires above all great accuracy from the tee to avoid the deep and varied rough. A visit to what the locals call the worlds’ toughest par 69 golf course should undoubtedly be on your golf vacation itinerary when visiting Wales or the northeast of England and the Consummate Pro will be happy to take you there.