Pennard Golf Club is located on the Gower Peninsula, near Swansea, in southern Wales.
It is one of the older golf clubs in Wales, with golf having been played on the site since 1896. A club was formed in 1908, and James Braid designed the course.
Pennard is called 'the links in the sky', and indeed it is a remarkable site for a golf course, with rolling linksy land on a headland 200 feet above the sea. The routing twists and turns over hill and dale- with blind shots, significant elevation changes, gorse ready to catch the errant shot, and the ever present wind literally in your face...It must get windy because there is a lot of sand up on this peninsula!
One quirk you will remember from Pennard is the electric wire fences surrounding the greens. One has to be careful, because they are live!
The fences are there to protect the greens from cattle which graze on the golf course property.
The greens are worth preserving- I thought they were one of the highlights of the course- understated, but beautifully shaped- many of the which were 'bowled' meaning any shot actually hitting the green was rewarded with a roll toward the flag. However approaches just wide of the putting surface were deflected...
The cattle weren't the only inhabitants on the property to avoid- one also has to watch out for wild ponies, riders and walkers- all of which have right of way on parts of the course. And local rules give relief from hoof marks, and cow pats...
One can easily be distracted at Pennard. The so called 'links in the sky' occupies a dramatic site with views to die for. The ruins of an old 12th Century Norman Castle dominate the front nine, but the views down through the cliffs to the valley below and the broad beach beyond constantly draw your eye. Meanwhile the course moves up and down, and all around- with no two holes alike.The back nine heads closer to the bluffs overlooking the sea, and is guaranteed to provide some memorable moments in any round of golf.
Favourite holes include:
- Penmaen- the mid length downhill par 3 fifth hole, with valley beyond.
- Admiral- the long uphill par 4 sixth hole with wonderful views off the tee, and clever punchbowl green
- Castle- the short par 4 seventh hole with tee shot framed by the old castle and church wall either side of the rumpled fairway, and a plateau green set above and left..
- Tower- the medium to long par 3 eleventh plays over a valley to a green set into the hill in an island of rough...
- Colonel- the long par 3 13th hole with the most astounding views off the tee..
- Boscos Den- the par 3 fifteenth hole is a shorter par 3 with a lovely natural green setting surrounded by humps, and swales. And the green is no different with three different levels. Miss the green and expect a challenging chip. Hit the green and you may still struggle for par!
- Great Tor- the par 5 sixteenth hole usually plays into the wind on top of the cliffs- breathtaking stuff!
- Helwicks- the double dogleg seventeenth hole is extremely tight and has gorse waiting for any errant shot
- Highway- the long par 4 closing hole requires 2 solid and accurate blows. It's a great way to finish.
Pennard should be on everybody's bucket list of great links golf courses to play. There are no weak holes. No two holes are alike. The views are magnificent. It has a really wonderful set of greens.
Pennard is a Travelling Golfer 'must play'.
Other Golf Courses in the Area
Other golf courses in the area worth considering are:
Royal Porthcawl GC
Pyle & Kenfig GC
The Travelling Golfer offers golf tours to suit your group. For further details see Golf Tours: Wales
Please enquire here: