Top: Sea view from the 1st Green. Above: The amphitheatre-like green sitting in the dunes at 13
Pyle and Kenfig must feel like the forgotten brother of a famous actor or world champion, living in the shadow of the Royal course up the road that’s less than a 10-minute drive away.
But this is no ugly duckling of a course. Placed on any other coastline in Wales this track would surely attract all the accolades it deserves, especially the back nine where the holes weave themselves through the sand dunes – the highlights of which are the 13th and 14th with their amphitheatre-like greens. Pyle and Kenfig will be hosting pre-qualifying for next year’s Senior Open Championship, which shows the regard it’s held in by the R&A. You can bet the 13th and 14th will draw a large amount of spectators because of the wonderful viewing points from the fairway and greens.
The venue offers a hearty welcome and a packed bar – even if it was to watch the Lions play rugby – is always a good sign of how well supported the club is. If you want to enjoy the hospitality even more the club have just built a new Dormy House right on the course which comes with a full Welsh breakfast to start the day.
The course offers four teeing options from 6,860 yards from the blues to 5,464 yards from the reds. It’s like playing two different nines, but the front nine still has those hard-running fairways and plenty of gorse for you to either admire those stunning yellow flowers or curse as you try to extract your ball with a wedge. There have probably been a few wrecked scorecards on the finishing run of holes from the 219-yard par-3 15th, but if that fate should befall you – just turn around and look – now that is a view that would stop Dr David Banner turning green.
Looking back down the 7th
Looking down on the 14thUphill to the 17th Green
All golf photography taken on the day of play © James Mason