"Royal Porthcawl has a long standing and extremely fine reputation. It’s one that continues to grow at an extremely fast pace and shows no signs of relenting. This historic golf club was established in 1891 and granted Royal patronage in 1909 some 14 years after moving to its present location. And what a location!"
Top Links of Wales
In the excellent book, True Links by esteemed authors George Peper and Malcolm Campbell, the writers claim that of the 30,000+ golf courses in the world there are only 246 true links.
Golf Empire founder, Ed Battye, has played all of these links courses in Wales and below he lists them in order of his personal preference. Many of the courses also have a golf course review.
"Golf courses such as Tenby are very few and far between. For me they capture the absolute essence of links golf. They provide not only a true test of the game but give you much more than that; they provide a memorable and scintillating golfing experience."
"Pennard is one of those fantastic links golf courses that has a little bit of everything. Its remote and rugged location on the Gower Peninsula mixes strategy and quirkiness to good effect and boasts a handful of truly excellent holes. The high cliff-top setting also provides some of the best views you're likely to see from a golf course."
"My round at Aberdovey was played in possibly the worst weather conditions that this golf course reviewer has ever experienced on a golf course. Persistent rain from daybreak and a forecast that showed it was set in for the day meant it certainly wasn’t a morning for playing golf."
"Conwy, the third oldest course in Wales, is a first rate championship links on the spectacular Caernarvonshire coastline wedged between sea and heather-clad mountains. It mixes challenge with charm to produce an exhilarating links golfing experience."
"Royal St. David’s is regarded as one of the best links courses in Wales and has a reputation for being a fearsome test of golf. The numbers certainly back that claim up. The par of 69 from the championship blue markers has an SSS of 73 and the maximum yardage of 6,629 includes a number of brutish par fours; seven of them over the 430 yard mark!"
"The links at Ashburnham contains some wonderful golf holes on a sandy tract of land that has played host to many notable championships. As recently as 2014 it was chosen as a qualifying venue for The Seniors Open and I can imagine that when the wind howls across this narrow stretch of linksland it will provide a test to the very best."
"There’s so much good stuff to talk about at Pyle & Kenfig it’s not hard to see why it’s regarded as one of the best courses in Wales and a personal favourite of many. Due to its proximity ‘P&K’ is often compared to Porthcawl and whilst there are many similarities, particularly the green complexes, it doesn’t quite match its Royal neighbour."
Borth & Ynyslas - 3.8
Prestatyn - 3.7
North Wales - 3.7
Swansea Bay - 3.6 (part links)
Porthmadog - 3.5 (part links)
Pwllheli - 3.5 (part links)
Rhyl - 3.5
The below courses are not listed in the above book as 'True Links', however, they do have strong links characteristics.