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Tony_Muldoon

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Cardigan (pictures) New
« on: August 28, 2007, 04:43:50 PM »
Cardigan golf club is situated at least 2 hours drive away from Tenby or Aberdovey and is therefore Ďwell off the beaten trackí.  What a shame because it offers top class golf with all world views.  When viewing these pictures remember the sun was high overhead and this flattens everything out. Thereís nothing flat about the course, fairways or greens.

Sometime in the not too recent past it was given a makeover by Hawtree and Co and the only book reference to it that I can find is the Peugeot guide who give it 15/20 Ė about right I would give it a (revised) Doak 6.


Clwb Golff Aberteifi.


Unfortunately Google earth has no detail on this part of Wales, but the course lies high above the Teifi estuary and cliffs overlooking Cardigan Bay.  The nearest thing Iíve seen to it would be Pennard and similarly wind is always in play here.  Unfortunately the higher the course climbs the less links like is the turf but in addition to some very interesting terrain thereís also gorse and some keen bunkering used most sparingly - only 34 in all.  The routing is not out and back but moves across the hillside in a really clever way.  In addition thereís a really magnificent finishing stretch of holes that is made all the more memorable by all world eye candy.

A strong opener, 425 yards SI 4, with a blind drive across a hump, with no bunkers in sight.

The humpty bumpy fairway leading looking back from the green




2nd  alos has a blind drive to an attractive green 371 yards.


3

Featuring a green 52 yards long, choose your club carefully in the cross wind!


4
Playing slightly down hill


5
Starts sharply uphill, 90 degree dogleg to 44 yard Green.  Only 388 yards and bunkerless but stil SI 2




6  
180 yards uphill.  A par 3 that doesnít need bunkers? Great stuff.  I was joined by a couple of students for this hole and one chipped back and forth across that green!!!!



7
487 yards but the land falls from R-L and the bunkering around the green is set up to catch any sling hooks into the green. Precision would be needed.


8
Antother lovely uphill one shotter, this time the wind is behind


9
Crests a hill and then plays down hill 512 yards.  Also the way the course has worked up to this point we had our back to the sea and now we get our first view of the estuary.


10. Only 154 yards this time, again uphill.


11
 A long par 4, 457 SI 3, played downhill and a foretaste of things to come!  Turf definitely medowish here.


12 Back up hill, gathering green


13 510 yards of natural golf with a great green





As you can see I had a beautiful  day , was really delighted by the course, playing about as well as I can and I had no idea that things were about to get even better.  
14
This is first tee that sets you up to take in the views (thereís a little 9 holer that plays on and off that island in the picture belonging to the local hotel.).  My photoís canít do it justice.


Having taken in the views you look down to play the hole. What can I tell you about this apart from I so enjoyed playing it I forgot to take more than one picture.  452 yards SI 1.  

Iíve been told off on here by Tom Doak for exaggerating the fall of a hole on a previous thread so Iíll try and be more conservative in my estimate here.  My guess is that the hole falls about 10 000 feet, a tee shot (straight into the prevailing wind) has a hang time of just under an hour and you hold your breath all that time because youíve got nothing to relate where your ball is going except miles and miles of sky.  Impossible to photograph but the most exhilarating shot Iíve ever had the chance to take.  The correct line must flirt with the gorse on the left but you tend to align yourself with the OOB on the right.  What a mix, danger and thrills all the way. A magnificent golf hole.



15  A more conventual hole of 370 yards, but beware the gorse on the left where the wind will take any long hook.



16 More all world views

Attention back to the golf and looking down to the green right in the centre of the picture (the green on the RHS is the 15th).  Another chance to launch a ball into outer space with a massive fall.  195 yards with a 46 yard green.  My 4 iron flushed straight into a 1 club wind finished 15í past the pin.  If the flag is on the rear highest section you just canít risk going long.  Another great and stunning hole.  How itís SI 15 is beyond my understanding.  That means all 4 one shooters play in directions 90 degree to each other.



17
A classic links hole.  At 321 some might consider trying to drive it especially as thereís only one bunker. But what placement. Any tee shot that fails to hold the top left hand side of the fair way will bolt down toward the bunker, on the RHS of the picture.


From the bunker you will face a blind shot to a 52 yard green.  Lovely stuff.



18 back to the clubhouse with 526 yards of rumpled fairway and a great setting just below the clubhouse.





Highly Recommended and worthe a detour or using it to link golf in North and South Wales.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2010, 06:05:04 PM by Tony_Muldoon »
Let's make GCA grate again!

Mark Bourgeois

Re:Cardigan (pictures)
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2007, 04:56:51 PM »
Wow, wait till Bunkerman sees this!

But no wee Cardigans nipping at the heels of sheep as they scurried across a fairway?

All I know of Pennard is what I've seen in pics, but this certainly looks like a links in the sky.

Mark

Adrian_Stiff

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Re:Cardigan (pictures)
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2007, 05:19:40 PM »
Nice pictures Tony... looks like golf 50 years ago.
A combination of whats good for golf and good for turf.
The Players Club, Cumberwell Park, The Kendleshire, Oake Manor, Dainton Park, Forest Hills, Erlestoke, St Cleres.
www.theplayersgolfclub.com

Tommy Williamsen

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Re:Cardigan (pictures)
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2007, 10:36:59 PM »
Nice pictures but this is what I expected.

Where there is no love, put love; there you will find love.
St. John of the Cross

"Deep within your soul-space is a magnificent cathedral where you are sweet beyond telling." Rumi

Ed Tilley

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Re:Cardigan (pictures)
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2007, 03:31:08 AM »
Thanks Tony,

Thanks for the photos. Some time back, I played a little 9 hole course not far from there. I think it was called Nevern. That also was fantastically rustic with some very interesting holes and wonderful views. We were on a trip to Ireland and the ferry from Fishguard was delayed so we took the chance to play 9 holes.

Wales really is a beautiful country. If only the weather was like these pictures more often.

Ed

Tony_Muldoon

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Re:Cardigan (pictures)
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2007, 04:05:48 AM »
I wonder if you are both talking about Newport Links a 9 holer by Braid.  The website has images but only of local scenery and says next year it will become 18.  I had hoped to get there but time didn't allow.

http://www.newportlinks.co.uk/gallery.htm


I did get to play Cwmfhydneuadd Golf Club - but forgot to ask how you pronounce it.  Shame no google, because it's completely mad.  9 holes play down and up a valley mostly accross the same fairways as its so narrow.

Ed I think I was probably playing there while you were at Nefyn.  Who knows what the alleged Global Warming will bring. It would be a real shame if better weather led to these courses became too popular and catering for the golfing masses with all they demand.  I was able to check it out one day and then just turn up two days later in August.

Agreed Sean it would make a great approach to a longer hole but if the wind was howling off the sea from the right you'd think hard before trying to fly one all the way to that green.  Overall I thought the routing very good for a steeply sloping hill on top of a cliff.  The second best 'links in the sky' I've seen.

Can anyone do the math? Green Fee £27.50,  34 bunkers, quality 7/10.   (18(25%)+(180-34))/0.7 = >8SRA? ;)

http://www.cardigangolf.co.uk/cardigangolfclub.htm

Sadly Mark no live Cardigans.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2007, 04:17:36 AM by Tony Muldoon »
Let's make GCA grate again!

Ed Tilley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re:Cardigan (pictures)
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2007, 05:15:51 AM »
I wonder if you are both talking about Newport Links a 9 holer by Braid.  The website has images but only of local scenery and says next year it will become 18.  I had hoped to get there but time didn't allow.

http://www.newportlinks.co.uk/gallery.htm



That looks like the course I played. It's certainly in the right location. Interesting that they're extending it to 18 and building a hotel. I might need to pay it another visit. James Braid really is the King of natural golf.

Mike_Cirba

Re:Cardigan (pictures)
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2007, 08:11:49 AM »
Tony,

Thanks for posting!

I really like the way you have to really look to find the golf holes.  

Talk about laying light on the land!!

Tony_Muldoon

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Re:Cardigan (pictures)
« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2007, 04:39:43 PM »
I hope you can make it Sean I'd be interested to hear your take on it.  I guess it's less time from Tenby but we approached it from the North and then cut accross to the M4 which took about an hour and a half so I can't say for sure.

I have several articles form British mags about golf in Wales and it barely gets a mention.  The recent T&L Wales issue had never heard of it and I wonder why?  The assistant pro had  no idea (surprise) about the history of the place but I think it's been revised since all the classic travelogue books were written and so lazy journalists just rehash the same old courses.

If you do make it see if you agree that it could take about 2 more bunkers.   I felt that the second shots on the par 5's when laying up lacked challenge - room for a few cross bunkers that could become very interesting depending on where the wind was coming from?
Let's make GCA grate again!

Mark Bourgeois

Re:Cardigan (pictures)
« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2007, 04:53:16 PM »

If you do make it see if you agree that it could take about 2 more bunkers.  


You're baiting him now, aren't you, Tony?

Mike Benham

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Re:Cardigan (pictures)
« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2007, 05:31:25 PM »
Other than the view, I see many similarities, primarily the terrain, to Gullane.
"... and I liked the guy ..."

Jason McNamara

Re:Cardigan (pictures)
« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2007, 05:53:03 PM »
Tony and Sean -

Michelin (viamichelin.com) and GE both put Cardigan to Tenby at a smidge over an hour, course to course.  Ashburnham and Aberdovey are more like 90 mins, if those resources are to be believed, but you'd couple those with Pennard and (perhaps) Borth & Ynyslas anyway, right?

Jason

Jason McNamara

Re:Cardigan (pictures)
« Reply #12 on: August 29, 2007, 10:56:16 PM »
Just to clarify, Sean, I was thinking:

Aberdovey / B&Y
Cardigan / Tenby
Ashburnham / Pennard
P&K / Southerndown
RP / uh... Caerphilly Castle!

for someone doing the complete tour @ 36/day.

Thanks as always to you and Tony for all the pics.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2007, 10:56:34 PM by Jason McNamara »

Tony_Muldoon

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Re:Cardigan (pictures) New
« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2007, 01:36:38 AM »
I did get the quickest of looks at Borth.  Flattish ground in a very narrow out and back layout.  As luck would have it I bumped into the Captain who said that Colt had only done the holes at the far end of the course when the land was reclaimed after the war (1914-18 I presume?).




 

If the club had been a little further from the town the terrain becomes more dramatic.




Does anyone else feel Ashburnham has fallen from grace in recent years. I havent seen it but it seems like it used to be used to be more highly thought of and I wonder why?
« Last Edit: February 12, 2010, 01:48:06 AM by Tony_Muldoon »
Let's make GCA grate again!

Adrian_Stiff

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Re:Cardigan (pictures)
« Reply #14 on: August 30, 2007, 11:31:42 AM »
Tony

There is no question Ashburnham has fallen from grace.  I don't know, but my guess is that Ash was used a lot for little pro events and this is how its rep (not all that high anyway - just scraping top 100) was maintained.  Unless the club makes changes I think Ash's fate is sealed in a ranking sense.  Machynys is tough competition in this age of modern ideals.  And of course there is Porthcawl not far away for those events which are a bit more serious.  

Now that Machynys has been open a spell word has spread about and disappointment is the general concensus.  Most complain that there is far too much water and the terrain is rather blah.  I would still like to see it someday, but I am in rush.

Ciao
Huw Morgan has recently taken over as course manager at Ashburnham. I would expect a big improvement, Huw is a greenkeeper with a lot of respect for architecture. I have heard 'mixed' re Machynys, the not so good being from the 'very pure that exist on here' although plenty of our club members rave about it. The little 9 holer Sean mentions is St Davids, I played it eons ago, it hasnt changed.
A combination of whats good for golf and good for turf.
The Players Club, Cumberwell Park, The Kendleshire, Oake Manor, Dainton Park, Forest Hills, Erlestoke, St Cleres.
www.theplayersgolfclub.com

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