Harlech, Gwynedd, LL46 2UB

Founded 1894 - Course Type Links - Par 69

  • Rooms -
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Price From - £167


A former president of Royal St David's put it perfectly: "Harlech is a magical place". So it is. Deep in Merlin country, the course is in the shadow of the towering castle built by Edward I in the 13th century to keep the Welsh in check. It is a matter of historic irony that those majestic ramparts now form the backcloth of a golf course that subjugates Englishmen or, indeed, any visitor.

Royal St David's - like Royal Porthcawl - would be counted in any list of the world's best courses. When the castle was built, the sea lapped the rocks beneath it but over the centuries retreated to leave the expanse of natural linksland that was never meant to be anything other that a great golf course. Only twice do successive holes proceed the same direction so the wind invariably spreads trouble among the dunes and although it is not long, it has been described by professionals as the world's toughest par 69. Host to a throng of championships in its time including the 2001 Wales Seniors Open and favoured by all manner of men – in 1934, King George V was Patron and the Prince of Wales was Captain – Royal St David's has rewarded many a long journey with a unique experience.