The golf course at Porthmadog, in the north west of Wales, is a rare hybrid golf course. The front nine holes are essentially parkland, with wide fairways and greens and relatively straightforward lies. The back nine is one of the finest closing stretches of any golf course, with some superb links holes to be played out. Porthmadog is ideal for anyone looking for the best of both worlds.
Take your chances on the front nine, because this is where the scoring opportunities are. You will encounter three par five holes, but none of an overwhelming distance. The water hazards have been amplified on the front nine to increase the challenge, and it has drastically improved the attraction.
The back nine is where Porthmadog really springs to life. The rolling heathland brings you out towards the sea, where the gusts of wind get a little more fresh. The signature hole is the fourteenth, the famous “Himalayas”. The heaving natural bunkers obstruct your view of the fairway from the tee, making this 378 yard par 4 very tricky to negotiate. With a few blind shots and testing angles to be overcome, the back nine at Porthmadog presents classic links challenges with some twists.
As enjoyable and pleasing to the eye as the front nine holes are, people come back to Porthmadog to take on the back nine. It is one of the toughest challenges in Welsh golf, with any score under par meriting congratulations. The regulars even say it gets better every time they come back, with familiarity encouraging people to really take it on. Porthmadog is not one to miss out on.