North Wales Golf Club
Teeing up with my boys on a new course is always special. They play rather less than me – indeed were fresh from our tour of Ireland last spring! One minute they are brilliant playing shots I cannot imagine and the next they are letting me take advantage.
A day of contrasts
We started dry with a solid, though playable, breeze but within 15 holes we were the only players left on the course. By the eighteenth the flag was removed from the club flagstaff lest it blow down. Yet last summer they had had almost 2 months without rain so mats were in use on most tees and some fairways were threadbare. Not even links courses can survive burned out grassroots. A great shame because this is a lovely course with huge variety and something different on every hole.
The first offers a 90° dogleg left into an inviting green. As elsewhere all the greens and surrounds were in great condition with inviting pin positions and visually interesting contours. The first few holes lie inland and are bounded by the railway but build towards a number of great holes along the dune tops. The views are spectacular and the tee shots can be forbidding, in one case inviting you to have faith in the prevailing wind and take a tiger line over the beach. I can imagine it is glorious in midsummer but today the wind is picking up and we were exfoliated by sand from the beach as we steadied ourselves for our shots.
Our skin was rubbed raw and sensitive by the wind and was then cleansed by the pressure washer rain. Any shot hit slightly off centre was exaggerated beyond belief. Strokes hit downwind made you feel like a hero. The excitement of links golf
The fourteenth green returns you to the clubhouse so we had to bend every sinew to push back out for 15. This is a good, tough, hole in the best of conditions but had to be played as these closing holes have some of the most dramatic dunes . At the next I hit a pretty good four iron but left myself 60 yards short of the green. Par 3 144 yards. The next is a shorter par 3, 132 yards so half a sand wedge? 18; I hit a three wood past the pin 385 yards distant. I know how Rory must feel although I did miss the eagle putt! All part of the fun of the fair
During the open week after a friendly spring it will be a beautiful place to play backed by mountains and with sea views to Conwy a delightful place to play. Classic links land, enormous variety, inviting greens, good changes and elevation dramatic dunes over the closing holes. As with many courses of this type you can get away without having to use your driver on many holes but you do have to plot your way around.
The club were very welcoming and very generous donating our green fees to Alzheimer’s Society. Thank you all very much.