Like many GB&I courses, Porthmadog began as a 9 holer in 1905. By 1911 it is thought James Braid stopped in to complete an 18 hole course which pushed more into the dunes. Although two holes have long since been lost to the vagaries of weather; both greens can still be seen. What remains is a course of two halves. The front covers more parkland terrain which has a tendency to be wet. The back runs through linksland, some of it terrific stuff which includes the All Wales 12th.
A short par 4, the 10th is probably reachable in the right conditions. On the day it was a solid drive and a hooded 7 wood! The lovely rolling terrain is in evidence in this pic.
On the 11th I was blown into gorse bush! This goes down as one of the most harsh experiences I have had on a golf course. After pulling myself out of a gorse bush and letting the hail and wind die down, we proceeded to play the 11th, a good par 3 up the hill and over severe ground. The 12th is a very clever and great hole. To get a view of the difficult green one has to challenge the beach. Anything less than bold will more likely than not result in a blind approach. The approach.
A view back toward the 12th tee from the 13th tee. This vantage point also shows the 13th green. We played an alternate hole which was blind. Either version of the 13th is very good.
This is what I think is the normal 13th tee. The two poles mark out the line between dunes. This is a highly entertaining version of target golf.
The old fashioned 14th plays blind over a dune to an enclosed fairway. #15 turns back and plays over tumultuous land into a saddle of a dune.
A closer look after a fine drive.
The golf, while still quite good, is less compelling from here in. That is your quick look at Porthmadog. It certainly isn't worth a great detour, but it does have a stretch of holes that would make any club proud. Certainly the 12th is a hole very golfer would want to play. If you do make your way here, just play the back twice and you will walk away quite satisfied with the £40 green fee. If this isn't possible, I am not sure the links holes can make up for the dreary front 9. 2008