Royal Porthcawl Golf Course Review

Royal Porthcawl overlooks the Bristol Channel on the Glamorgan coast between Cardiff and Swansea. To give you an idea of the quality of this fabulous course, it has hosted the Amateur Championship, Walker Cup, Curtis Cup, European Team Championship, home internationals and a number of professional events including the Dunlop Masters. It is not a typical links course - for a start there are no dunes, so you get great views of the sea on every hole. The 18 holes point in all directions, so you are going to face all sorts of wind puzzles.  

It features one of the toughest finishing stretches in Europe, starting at the 15th, a 466-yard par 4. There is an elevated tee with bunkers left, right and in the middle of the fairway, and the drive is usually hit into the wind. The green sits on a ridge and requires a second shot played with pinpoint accuracy.  

The 16th is a 430-yard par 4 and, again, accuracy is the key. A series of cross bunkers come into play at 260 yards and a huge bunker guards the right side of the putting surface.  

The 17th is a relatively straightforward, 502-yard par 5. The real difficulty comes with the drive, which is blind. The fairway is narrow, the rough is thick and there are gorse bushes to be avoided. If you keep it on the straight and narrow and can avoid the bunkers protecting the green, you will have a decent birdie chance. 

The final hole is a cracker, a par 4 that measures 459 yards and runs close to the sea. Bunkers and some serious humps and hollows define it as one of the best finishing holes in Wales, with a long approach played to rolling green that slopes from front to back.

Find out more detail or request a quote if you are interested in playing this course as part of your golf vacation package with the golf travel experts at

Derek Clements

Author, Derek Clements

Derek Clements is a golf journalist - he has covered many Open Championships and European Tour events, as well as The Masters. Born in Glasgow, he writes for The Sunday Times and Golfshake, and has also written for Today's Golfer, the Daily Mail, Swing by Swing and many other golf websites, magazines and newspapers. He has played golf all over the world and numbers Gleneagles, Kingsbarns and Aldeburgh as his three favourite golf courses in the United Kingdom. He lives in Suffolk, is a member of Waldringfield Golf Club and has a handicap of nine. He had lessons from the late Bob Torrance and has worked with Jean-Jacques Rivet, one of the world's leading golf biomechanists.