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 everyone played the first 10 holes, and then chose which loop of 8 holes they wished to play to complete their round...
The 'new' course comprised 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.
The three nines are now known as Front, New & Old.
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 (Ty Coch Inn).
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..(note that in recent years changes have been made to the course to make it safer for pedestrians)
On this day we played the Front and Old nines
The front nine starts beautifully with a glorious opening hole. It requires a decent drive, and an accurate long iron 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 three, with a tee on a small rock promontory sitting above the sea. From this tee you hit uphill to a pretty hole protected by three 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 set into the hill- it was another good hole.
The Old 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 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 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, but boy is it spectacular!
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 for the tee on such a natural course..
The shot itself is perhaps just a little reminscent of Pebble Beach's 7th hole as it is sharply downhill with the sea as a brilliant backdrop.
In reality it is a unique hole- where else do you tee off from a lighthouse over another green to a green down below by the cliffs?
Hole 15 is a par four which asks for an accurate uphill tee shot to the same fairway as was used on the brilliant 13th hole. The approach is a short iron in to a green set above you on 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 a landing area only wide for golfers to walk single file. With cliffs to the right, public walking randomly down the track on the left side, and 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.(changes have since been made)
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, nor will it be known for great design or strategy. It is not a championship layout.
But it is great fun!
You may shake your head at some of the crazy holes, but you won't stop talking about it.
Every golfer should play Nefyn & Districts once in their lives!
Nefyn & Districts GC is a Travelling Golfer 'must play'.
Other Golf Courses in the Area
The Travelling Golfer offers group tours to the great golfing destinations of the world.
For further information see Golf Tours: Wales
Please enquire here: