The Top 10 Golf Courses in Cardiff

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Golf in the Welsh capital

A total of 29 golf courses fall under the CF postcode area which has given us plenty to ponder when compiling this list.

Cardiff and the surrounding region features a large variety of courses, from championship links, to beautiful parklands, to rugged valley moorlands.

Combined with Cardiff’s infamously lively nightlife, a Cardiff focused golf tour is one certainly worth considering for your next golf break.

Our only regret here is that we could only pick 10 and this has meant leaving out some real gems. In the interest of fairness, we’ve included a few near misses at the end of this article.

So, without any further delay, from 10 to 1, here are our picks for the top 10 golf courses in Cardiff (CF postcodes).

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10. Wenvoe Castle Golf Club

Nestled in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wenvoe Castle Golf Club offers a golfing experience crafted by the master designer, James Braid. This highly regarded club boasts several standout holes that combine to form a memorable round. The Tenth, the signature hole, teases golfers with a drive towards a lake before a dogleg approach to a green guarded by trees and bunkers. The Eighteenth provides a fitting conclusion, a straight drive down the fairway leading to a green set against the stunning backdrop of the clubhouse.

This historic club also offers modern amenities. Beyond golf, the clubhouse, with its tasteful renovations, serves as a popular venue for weddings and social events. The patio offers panoramic views of the course, perfect for unwinding after a round. With the championship-standard course, rich history, and welcoming facilities, Wenvoe Castle Golf Club is a must-visit destination for golfers and visitors alike in the Cardiff region.

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9. St Mellons Golf Club

St Mellons Golf Club, located on the edge of Cardiff, is a splendid blend of golfing challenge and verdant beauty. The course, woven into the countryside, boasts traditional golf architecture and unique holes that add to its appeal. Standouts like the water-guarded Seventh and the long, tree-lined Sixteenth hole, provide both a challenge and visual delight to golfers.

An intriguing aspect of St Mellons is its rare design feature known as a 'figure of eight' layout. This unique design means that the front nine holes circle the clubhouse in one direction, while the back nine loop around in the opposite direction. This unusual feature, reminiscent of the famous Old Course at St Andrews, is a treat for golf architecture enthusiasts and gives a distinct charm to St Mellons.

With its carefully crafted course, unique layout, and scenic location on the Cardiff outskirts, St Mellons Golf Club is a must-visit for those seeking a unique golfing experience during their Cardiff golf tour.

St Mellons Golf - Course History

8. Glamorganshire Golf Club

Glamorganshire Golf Club, nestled in the picturesque seaside town of Penarth, offers a delightful golfing challenge. The course is notably historic, as it was here, in 1898, that Dr. Frank Stableford developed the scoring system that bears his name, now used worldwide.

The course itself beautifully blends challenging golf with striking seaside views. The Fifteenth hole, known as "Cromwell's Walk," is a highlight. A par three, it requires a precise shot to navigate a challenging green surrounded by bunkers, offering an unforgettable playing experience against the backdrop of the Bristol Channel.

What truly sets Glamorganshire apart is its inventive and challenging design, combined with the stunning natural beauty of the locale. Whether it's the course's undulating fairways, strategic bunkering, or the constant test of wind coming off the sea, golfers will find a round here to be both a rewarding and memorable experience.

Adding to the historical significance and golfing challenge, Glamorganshire Golf Club is a must-visit for those embarking on a Cardiff golf tour, providing a unique link to golf's past and a scenic challenge for the modern golfer.

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7. The Vale Resort (National Course)

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Just a stone's throw from the heart of Cardiff, The National Course at The Vale Resort is an ideal destination for golfers seeking an exceptional course close to the city. It boasts over 650 acres of Welsh countryside and challenging championship golf that tests even the most skilled players.

Notable holes like the challenging Fifth, with its water hazards, and the strategic Fourteenth, with a significant lake, make for an exciting game. The course artfully combines a demanding golfing challenge with breathtaking views of the Vale of Glamorgan.

The Vale is also just 10 minutes Cardiff's vibrant city centre, making it an ideal choice for a weekend tee time. Its easily accessible location, coupled with the high standard of the course, ensures a memorable golfing experience. The National Course at the Vale Resort is a must-visit for those seeking a challenging, scenic, and convenient golfing experience during their Cardiff golf tour.

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6. Cardiff Golf Club

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Situated on the northern outskirts of Wales' vibrant capital, Cardiff Golf Club is a captivating fusion of rich golfing history and breathtaking natural splendour. As one of the region's top-ranking courses, it provides an engaging, yet accessible golfing experience that lives up to the honour of representing Cardiff's namesake club.

Its roots date back to the late 19th century, intertwining Cardiff Golf Club's legacy with the evolution of golf in Wales. This prestigious course has been the stage for countless tournaments and events, engraving its name in local and national competitive golfing history.

Exceptional design and meticulous maintenance characterise the course, cementing its status as a standout golfing destination within a region renowned for superb courses. A harmonious blend of difficulty and reward, the course demands precision and strategic acumen from golfers, with its sloping, often narrow, tree-flanked fairways. Its assortment of intriguing, well-defended par threes adds to the exciting challenge. Moreover, boasting some of the region's finest parkland greens, the quality of play remains consistently high.

Cardiff Golf Club's central location means it's readily accessible to golfers from across Wales and further afield. Accommodation is versatile, with numerous options available, though we typically suggest The Village Hotel for convenience and quality.

Experiencing Cardiff's energetic city life and welcoming hospitality is a must. Indulge in a variety of dining options, enjoy local pubs, explore modern bars, and if you're inclined, dive into the nightlife. Contact us with your needs, and our devoted team will design a personalised package for your perfect golf break. Including the exceptional Cardiff Golf Club on your Cardiff itinerary promises an unforgettable golfing experience.

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5. Radyr Golf Club

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Since its foundation in 1902, Radyr Golf Club has firmly established itself as one of South Wales' most esteemed parkland courses. Often hailed as one of golf architect extraordinaire Harry S. Colt's "Little Jewels," Radyr stands as a testament to the remarkable vision and creativity of one of history's greatest course designers.

The course, situated within tranquil rural parkland, provides stunning panoramic views over the bustling city of Cardiff and the distant Bristol Channel. These awe-inspiring vistas set the scene for a truly extraordinary golfing experience.

Radyr's course undulates gently across the landscape, presenting golfers with a visually captivating environment in which to play. Its meticulously groomed fairways and greens are a matter of pride and draw admiration from clubs across the region. The thoughtful layout, where aesthetics meets strategy, offers both a challenge and a delight for those who venture down the fairways.

Radyr Golf Club, steeped in history, has been privileged to host numerous prestigious National and County events, including the Wales Amateur. As recently as 2015, it served as the venue for the Welsh National PGA Championship. These high-profile events underline the superb quality of Radyr Golf Club, solidifying its standing as a must-visit location for golf enthusiasts in the region.

Radyr Golf Club's commitment extends beyond the course itself, with a focus on delivering outstanding service and unwavering dedication to its members. This commitment is recognized in the form of the 59 Club Service Excellence Award, demonstrating the club's commitment to maintaining outstanding standards both on and off the course.

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4. Whitchurch Golf Club

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Nestled just north of Cardiff City, Whitchurch Golf Club has long been an emblem of golfing excellence in Wales. The club occupies a stunning elevated position that offers breathtaking views of Penarth Head, the Somerset Coast, and the Bristol Channel, complemented by the historic Castell Coch on the Wenallt Hills.

Established on Pentwyn Farm in 1915 and expanded in 1922, the club has largely preserved its early design. Whitchurch Golf Club has proudly hosted prestigious events like the Welsh Professional Championship and the Girls British Open Championship, and it's been named the best golf club in the Wales in Bloom competition and the best inland golf course in Wales by "Welsh Club Golfer".

The club has nurtured talents who've represented Wales at all levels, notably Nigel Edwards, who's participated in four Walker Cup matches against the USA, and captained the victorious team in 2011. A splendid blend of history, natural beauty, and golfing challenge, Whitchurch Golf Club is an essential stop on any Cardiff golf tour.

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3. Southerndown Golf Club

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Southerndown Golf Club is one of the most unique and breathtaking courses in South Wales, maintained by greenkeepers with both 2 and 4 legs!

The elevated site of the club provides stunning views across the Bristol Channel and the Ogmore River Valley, with sand from the seashore giving the turf a links-like character. With no trees or artificial water hazards, just bracken, gorse, and strategically placed bunkers, the course is absolutely natural and challenging. The ever-present wind and sheep are also serious hazards in their own right.

Originally laid down by Willie Fernie in 1905, the course has undergone numerous improvements over the years by renowned golf course architects such as Herbert Fowler, Willie Park Jr., and Harry Colt. However, not much has changed in over a hundred years, with the course remaining true to its natural and challenging character.

The opening hole is a most challenging two-shot hole, and it's followed by two more, which are equally tough. The four par threes at Southerndown are noteworthy, especially the 5th hole, known as "Carter's Folly" – it's expertly bunkered and calls for an accurate iron shot.

Southerndown has hosted a number of important events including the Girls Amateur, Men's Home Internationals, Wales Amateur, Piccadilly Masters and the Martini International. The most notable current event is the Welsh amateur competition, called the Duncan Putter, an annual 72-hole competition, which has seen Peter McEvoy and Gary Wolstenholme emerging as winners.

Southerndown Golf Club is a must-visit for any golfer looking for a unique and challenging experience in South Wales. With its stunning views, natural character, and rich history, the fact that this fantastic course only reaches 5th on this list says a whole lot about the embarrassment of golfing riches on offer in South Wales.

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2. Pyle & Kenfig Golf Club

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We move onto Pyle and Kenfig Golf Club, a true links course with a rich history of hosting prestigious events. Located in Bridgend, this course was founded in 1922 and originally designed by Harry Colt, with the back nine being later redesigned by Philip Mackenzie Ross.

One of the striking features of Pyle and Kenfig is the breathtaking view of the Welsh mountains, Rest Bay, and the Bristol Channel, which can be seen from various points on the course. The famous Royal Porthcawl might be just next door, but Pyle and Kenfig holds its own as one of Wales's best links courses. The layout of the course is unusual for a links course, with two loops of nine holes. The original front nine is solid, but the back nine, routed through the dunes, is simply outstanding.

Pyle and Kenfig is a fair golf course that rewards good shot-making, without any tricks up its sleeve. The key to scoring well at this course is solid driving. If you can avoid the trouble and find the fairways, scoring well will be a real possibility. From the regular tees, the course measures 6,122 yards against a par of 71. However, step back onto the medal tees, and it's a different proposition - 6,728 yards with the same par of 71.

The Valley Hole, the 525-yard par-five 11th, is where the dunes come into play, and from here on in, it's sheer entertainment. The view from the 14th tee, a 416-yard par-four, towards the Gower Peninsula is stunning, and the last three holes (all long par fours) are amongst the best closing holes in golf. They will severely test the mettle of the very best golfers.

Pyle and Kenfig has hosted several important events in recent history, including the Amateur Championship in 2002 (with Royal Porthcawl) and the Girls Home Internationals in 2003. In 2006, the club played host to the Men's Home Internationals, and Scotland emerged as the victorious team.

Pyle and Kenfig is a must-play course for any golfer visiting Wales and pairs well with the likes of Royal Porthcawl and Southerndown. Its stunning views, outstanding design, and history of hosting important events make it a unique and memorable true links experience.

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1. Royal Porthcawl Golf Club

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If you're looking to play the best during your visit to Wales, then Royal Porthcawl Golf Club should be at the top of your bucket list. This world-renowned golf course is a golfer's paradise and has been consistently ranked as the unrivaled number 1 in Welsh golf.

Located in a serene spot east of Swansea and west of Cardiff, Royal Porthcawl Golf Club offers a unique golfing experience that is unlike any other. The club was founded in 1891 and has since undergone several modifications, primarily by renowned architects such as Harry Colt, F.G Hawtree, J.H. Taylor, and Tom Simpson. The result is a course that combines the classic links-style golf with distinct heathland characteristics.

The layout of the course is such that the first four and the last six holes represent classic links golf, with the sea in sight all the time and classic links bunkers that will challenge even the most experienced golfers. In contrast, the holes in the middle section of the course rise up onto higher ground, providing breathtaking views of the Bristol Channel.

The course measures 7,065 yards from the back markers, but what sets Royal Porthcawl Golf Club apart from others is that position from the tee is just as important as distance. As Gary Wolstenholme discovered during his game with Tiger Woods in the 1995 Walker Cup, controlling and positioning the ball better can make all the difference.

Being fully exposed to the wind, the course presents a unique challenge to golfers. The Bristol Channel acts as a funnel for Atlantic gales, and with an absence of trees and dunes, the wind plays a powerful role. The holes loop back on one another, playing in various directions, making it an exciting and challenging golfing experience.

In 2014, the Senior Open Championship was hosted at Royal Porthcawl, making it the first Major Championship to be staged in Wales. The event was a one-man show, with Bernhard Langer cruising to a 13-stroke victory over nearest rival Colin Montgomerie. Three years later, the event returned to Royal Porthcawl, and Langer once again emerged victorious, claiming his third Senior Open title.

The recent project undertaken by Mackenzie & Ebert has further enhanced the beauty and challenge of the course, with the full restoration of the carry bunkers at the par three 4th hole and the huge cross bunkers at the 16th. Some new bunkers have also been added to ensure that the course poses the right questions for the modern-day elite players.

If you're looking for a golf experience that combines luxury, beauty, and challenge, then Royal Porthcawl Golf Club is a must-visit. With its rich history, stunning location, and unforgettable layout, it is no surprise that this course has been consistently ranked as one of the best in the world.

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General FAQs

  • Who are Golf South West?

    Founded in 2015, we are the West Country golf travel specialists. We provide our clients with bespoke golf tours and stay & play golf packages for small groups and golf societies alike.

    We are both a domestic golf tour operator working directly for our clients and regional golf DMC who act as an agent for international outbound operators hoping to have their clients experience the beautiful West Country and it’s golfing delights!

    We work closely with our venues to ensure our customers receive the best value available for golf travel within the West Country.

    Our expert team are on hand to ensure you receive the very best service, choice and advice when planning your next golf break. We are proud to announce our nomination for Best Inbound Golf Tour Operator for England at the 2022 World Golf Awards.

  • Which regions are covered by Golf South West?

    Golf South West is the West Country’s premier golf tour operator covering the regions of Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Bristol, Gloucestershire, Dorset, South Wales and Hampshire.

    We also work with selected, popular golf resorts across the UK including those under the management of Marriott, plus 4 time Ryder Cup host The Belfry, Celtic Manor and many more.

    If you are planning a golf break, we are the only call you need to make.

  • What is the best way to get in touch?

    We are available by phone 0117 256 5966 (Monday – Friday, 9am to 5pm), WhatsApp, email, enquiry form or via social media channels.

  • Why choose Golf South West as your tour operator?

    GSW is run by golfers and endorsed by golf professionals across the South West of the UK.

    We are a fully insured, experienced and recommended golf tour operator, who are backed by Protected Trust Services, meaning your booking is secured and safe. We offer tours to an exclusive and unrivalled selection of venues across the South West of England and Wales, including some courses which can be tricky to access. We are also proud members of Golf Tourism England and IAGTO, who only work with only the best and most reputable companies in the industry.

    You can rest assured that as a client of Golf South West you will not only receive the best service, advice and choice, but you will also find the best value golf breaks in available in Cornwall, Devon, Bristol, Dorset, Somerset, Hampshire and many more!

  • What is Protected Trust Services?

    Protected Trust Services Limited (PTS) provides security for client and consumer funds through market-leading software and innovative management. PTS prides itself on customer service, flexible thinking and cost-effective solutions for its members.

    PTS offers a unique and comprehensive solution for businesses to trade through a secure trust account using a performance-enhancing software system developed by PTS.

    Protected Trust Services guarantee 100% financial protection to the consumer, ensuring total consumer confidence.

    Any bookings made via Golf South West Ltd from the 1st July 2021 are protected under the PTS Trust. Bookings made before this date will continue to be processed through our original system. If you have booked with us before, please ensure you have the up-to-date bank details to make your payments. If you are unsure, please speak to your Golf South West representative.

    View the PTS brochure for more information on the protection this affords you as a client of Golf South West.

  • How do GSW keep money safe?

    We are extremely proud of the service we provide and a large part of this is ensuring our client’s money is safe. Our practices comply with the 2018 package travel directive meaning that your money is safe with both ourselves and the venues your choose to visit.

    The money for your golf break is paid into a trust account run by an independent partner, so you have peace of mind that no matter what happens, your money is being looked after.

  • What happens if we can’t go on our planned trip?

    Deposits are non-refundable, but they are transferable to a new date or break. We aim to be as flexible as possible and will treat each situation on a case by case basis.

  • Can we make changes to our break?

    Managing a group can be a thankless task and changes to the group leading up to your break are an accepted element. We make changes as stress free as possible (just see our reviews for evidence of this!). Changes can be made up to 6 weeks prior to your break. Some changes are unavoidable so for legitimate reasons we will endeavour to make last minute changes after this period, but as we would have paid our venues at this point, this would be at the discretion of the venue(s) you are visiting.

  • Why book with a tour operator?

    Good question, could you not do this all yourself? The answer is yes you could. You are able to locate the ideal hotel with the accessibility you need to the clubs you plan to play. You could go back and forth with your target venues and line up the tee times.  You could also contact each venue individually to advise them of group number changes and requests during the build up to your trip.

    Alternatively you could;

    – Talk to us about the trip you are planning.

    – Receive quotes for perfectly crafted package meeting your ideal requirements.

    – Secure the booking with small deposits staged in a way to make your life easier as an organiser.

    – Have your funds fully insured and independently held by PTS, our client trust provider.

    – Have changes made to whole tours with just one call or email.

    – Receive exclusive extras such as free places.

    – Pay less with our packages than going direct to venues.

    Why can we do this?

    Quite simply we have spent years (since 2015) forging strong relationships with hotel, golf club and golf resort venues across the South West. We are the expert tour operator for the region and are know for our high quality and personal service to our clients (just see our Google and TrustPilot reviews).

  • Who uses Golf South West?

    The majority of our clients are UK based domestic travellers. We deal with groups of any size, from single travellers and couples, to large golf societies.

    We also are the favoured golf DMC for the South West of England and preferred regional partner of Golf Tourism England. We regularly work with tour operators from Europe, America and elsewhere to provide bespoke tour packages allowing overseas travellers to experience the beautiful West Country.

  • How are package prices displayed on our website?

    Prices on our our website are displayed in two ways. The first is on our Resort pages where pricing tables show the from prices for low, mid and high season golf stay and play package rates at golf resort venues.

    The second is on our example tour package pages. There are often 4 prices shown here, two for low season and two for high season. The struck through price typically shows the highest price the tour can be and is often active over weekends in that season. The offer price is typically a mid week price.

    Every tour quote we offer is bespoke and will vary based on a number of factors including the date, availability, group size, room type, time of day for the tee time, etc… Our package pricing is a guide to the cost of the package and is not a firm price. Please enquire for an exact cost.

    We aim to provide as accurate a price as possible and therefore try to avoid using shoulder/mid season pricing or twilight green fee rates when displaying rates. You may find an intermediate price for breaks in months of April & October at certain venues.

  • Why are golf resort prices the same as elsewhere?

    Put simply, all tour operators work from the same contracted rate card when it comes to stay and play golf resort packages. When it comes to golf tours, that is a different matter, but golf resorts are a level playing field.

    If you find a vastly different price, it’s likely you’ve been misquoted and usually this does come back to bite.

    The question this poses is why book a stay and play golf break with Golf South West if you can book direct or with one of the large operators and receive the same price?

    Benjamin Franklin once said “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after
    the sweetness of low price is forgotten.”

    We have a small team so booking through us means you receive a personal service. You are more than just a number to us, we are a tour operator where you will likely get to deal with the same contact throughout the process, who will get to know you and your group and respond efficiently to your queries.

    We know our venues and the people who work there. This ensures a smooth process from initial enquiry to the end of your stay.

    Financially you have an extra layer of protection as your money is securely stored in an independent trust account and is fully insured when it is released to the venue(s) you are visiting.

    We are fortunate to have some exclusive “extras” with selected venues across the South West. We offer 1 in 16 free on every trip AND run an exclusive voucher scheme for our stay and play client bookings.

    We often feel we add further value to our clients when it comes to our bespoke golf tour packages, but you can rest assured that when making a stay and play golf resort booking, Golf South West will offer you an extremely high level of service, financial protection and may even offer you a saving or an exclusive extra!

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