Nefyn & District Golf Club is located on the Lleyn Peninsula in Northern Wales. The course began as a village 9 holer in 1907, and then extended to eighteen holes in 1912. Legends James Braid and J.H. Taylor remodelled the course in the 1930's, and added an additional 9 holes. However for many years the course only had 26 holes, and players all played the first 10 holes, and then chose which loop of 8 holes they wished to play to complete their round...
The 'new' course comprises the original outward holes, plus the new inward holes, and is often played by members. The 'old' course also includes the original outward holes together with the older inward holes which play over a spectacular peninsula rising hundreds of feet above the Irish Sea. This loop is commonly played by visitors, and is the main reason Nefyn is so well known.
In recent years further changes have been made to ensure all 3 loops are 9 holes. Of particular interest are the changes made to the Old back nine on the peninsula, with a new hole added at hole no 11.
I can certainly understand why members don't play the old back nine as much as visitors. The peninsula is very popular with the general public for walking dogs, photography, or walking to the famous pub at the bottom of the cliffs ( Tee Cock ). The result is a stream of non golfers walking through the middle of some very tight golf holes. I found it very disconcerting, as they appeared so unaware of how lethal a golf ball can be..
The old front nine starts beautifully with a glorious opening hole which requires a decent drive, and then an accurate long iron or rescue to a green set below you. The backdrop of cliffs and sea grabs your attention from the start.
Holes 2, 3, & 4 all hug the coastline- hit a slice and you are in the sea. They are good strong holes, and the cameras will be working overtime.
Hole 5 is a short par 3, with it's tee on a small rock promontory sitting above the sea. From this tee you hit uphill to a pretty hole protected by 3 bunkers on the right.
Holes 6, 7, 8 & 9 then run inland. Each are good holes, but they dont have that special appeal that clifftop holes have. However I thought the short downhill approach on hole 8 was excellent- with 6 bunkers ringing the front of the green, it was another 'Kodak' moment!
Hole 9 is a medium length par 3 uphill to a green sit into the hill- it was another good hole.
The back nine starts with an unusual hole which asks players to hit tee shots short of a steep rise at the end of the fairway, and then hit a short iron blind up over the rise which is covered in heavy rough. Ladies may struggle to carry the ball high enough to survive the hole, so a stroke round is not a good idea.
Hole 11 is a recent addition- a delightful par 3 across the valley where the side winds wreak havoc.
Hole 12 ups the ante with another slightly longer par across the clifftops. With the winds blowing this is a tough hole for anybody.
Hole 13 is a highlight of the round. The tee shot must carry a gaping chasm diagonally to reach the fairway, and the player must choose how much to take on. A good drive leaves a short to mid iron in to a green nestled into the rocks. Par is a good score here.
Hole 14 is a downhill par 3 from an artificial tee up by the lighthouse. It took us a while to find the tee- but fortunately the lighthouse keeper called us up! I thought it was a pity that artificial grass was used on such a grand course..
The shot itself is perhaps a little reminscent of Pebble Beach's 7th hole as it is sharply downhill with the sea as a brilliant backdrop. But where else do you tee off from a lighthouse over a green and rocks to a green down below by the cliffs?
Hole 15 is a par 4 which asks for an accurate uphill tee shot to the same fairway as was used on the brilliant 13th hole, and then a short iron in to a green set above you, not far from the cliff edge. At this point in the round many golfers will take a break- heading down the cliff walk to the very popular beachside pub for lunch, or a cleansing ale!
Refreshed the golfer heads back up the cliffs and resumes the round with the strong, scenic par 3 sixteenth hole. It is a downhill shot to a green near the cliff edge.
Hole seventeen is a letdown. It is a very tight par 5 with the landing area only wide for golfers to walk single file. With cliffs to the right, and public walking randomly down the track on the left side, and with a stiff cross wind in play- even the more accomplished golfer will worry about turning over the tee shot and causing damage. It is too dangerous for my liking, and the golf hole is the weakest on the course.
The closing hole is a short uphill par 4 which returns you to the clubhouse. It is a nice hole, and a necessary anti climax after all the excitement preceding it.
Nefyn will not host any Open Championships. It is not a championship layout. But it is great fun. You may shake your head at some of the crazy holes, but you wont stop talking about it. Every golfer should play Nefyn once in their lives!
Nefyn & Districts GC is a Travelling Golfer 'must play'.
Other Golf Courses in the Area
Other golf courses in the area worth considering are:
Royal St David's GC
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