As you approach the eye-catching modern club house with practice facilities to your left, you are immediately aware that this is a premium venue which has hosted several prestigious championships even in its young history of 10 years.
On a modern links course such as Machynys Peninsula you pray before your arrival that the wind won’t be rearing its ugly head! This Nicklaus designed course can be a real brute in the wind, especially as it measures over 7000 yards! Luckily for us we arrived on the first tee comforted by the benign conditions that greeted us, which would allow an opportunity for good scoring.
The first hole, 369 yard, par 4 breaks you gently into the round but there is water lurking on the right. Water is a featured heavily on several holes and can catch out a wayward drive or an over aggressive tee shot.
Many holes have subtle doglegs which give you the headache of choosing to play conservatively to the corner with a long iron or hybrid, or taking the ‘Tiger’ line with a driver. Get over aggressive with your club selection or line off the tee and you will be severely punished by water or deep rough which outlines the course.
If you play with some caution in mind, you can give yourself a number of birdie opportunities. The surfaces of the greens are very undulating but pure of roll, which makes these greens a pleasure to putt on, if you don’t have much imagination on or around the greens you will definitely struggle around this track.
There are a number of run off areas around the greens which will test even the best of short games, leave the 60 degree in the bag and get out a straight faced iron is my advice. All of the greens are protected by well positioned bunkers and though they’re not traditional links style pot bunkers, they’re certainly deep enough to get your attention!
The signature hole for me is the par 4, 411 yard, 16th hole. With a stunning view of the Bury Estuary in the foreground, this hole is an uphill slight dogleg left which requires a high draw to avoid the bunkers on the right, but miss it left and you’re in the thick stuff. Take driver and you can leave yourself a wedge into a raised green and have a genuine look at birdie, play more conservatively and you’ll leave yourself a hideously difficult uphill approach with a long iron. A truly great match-play hole.
All in all, Machynys Peninsula is one of the most picturesque and challenging courses in Wales with a superb set up from the academy to a stylish club house which dominates the foreground. If you haven’t had the pleasure of playing this championship gem, why not put your skills to the test? Browse our website to check out some of our latest Machynys packages
Major champion, Darren Clarke, has been honoured with the European captaincy for the 2016 Ryder Cup at Hazeltine. He will butt heads with Davis Love III who captained the USA in 2012 at Medinah where we saw, arguably, the greatest sporting come back of all time to Love III dismay.
Clarke is yet to name his vice captains but his wealth of experience as both a former player and vice captain will surely pay dividends come 30th September 2016.
We look forward with great anticipation to see who will make both teams and who will be lucky enough to get a captains pick!
We hope our very own Welshman, Jamie Donaldson, makes the team for a second consecutive time and hits the winning shot as he did in 2014 at Gleneagles!
GOSW is proud to announce it's runner-up place for Wales' Best Inbound Golf Tour Operator 2014!
GOSW is pleased to announce the release of some new Cardiff golf break packages. Why not check them out for yourself?
The Senior Open is set to return to Royal Porthcawl GC in 2017 following the success of this years event. 2 time Masters champion, Bernard Langer, displayed some outstanding golf which many described as some the best golf of his career even at the age of 57, on his way to a 13 shot procession over his nearest rival Colin Montgomerie.
Two time Masters champion, Bernhard Langer won, the Senior Open at the Royal Porthcawl on Sunday - the German's 87th professional title but the first major to be staged in Wales.
After a week of warm sunshine, praise from the players and over 43,000 spectators enjoying the event, Royal Porthcawl has certainly not taken a step backwards in striving to be added to the Open roster.
Tom Watson is quoted as saying "I played my first practice round on Monday and, from the first hole on, it was just one great hole after another and one great green complex after another. I really fell in love with it immediately. It's a great golf course."
Tiger was here in 1995 – if the Open doesn’t come here, then at least we may have the chance of seeing Tiger again in 12 years time, albeit in the Senior Open !
Royal Liverpool, Hoylake will be hosting this year’s Open Championship for the first time since 2006 where Tiger Woods won his 3rd Claret Jug. This was Arguably Tiger’s best ball striking week to date, hitting his driver only once all week, combining strategic golf with imperious iron play from tee to green.
He survived the challenge from the European Major hopeful, Sergio Garcia whom he played with in the final round. After missing the cut at the US Open earlier that year, it was Tiger’s first win since the death of his father, Earl. He comes into this year’s Open Championship once again off the back of a missed cut, but this is as a result of back surgery and lack of competitive golf as opposed to a family loss.
Tiger is somewhat of a links specialist and being a previous winner at Hoylake he will feel confident of claiming his 15th Major and 4th Claret Jug regardless of what his current form suggests. Only a fool would write off an athlete like Tiger Woods, don’t count him out!
Henrik Stenson has been playing his way nicely into form over the last couple of months and remember this time last year is when he began his extraordinary run of form that lasted for 6 months where he won numerous times, claiming the FedEx Cup on the PGA Tour and the Race to Dubai title on the European Tour. It would be hard to match what Stenson did last year from the Scottish Open onwards but I’m sure he would take a first Major win at the Open Championship as a consolation prize.
Both Stenson and Kaymer are one’s to watch at Hoylake, along with Garcia who has had a stellar season to date and has a good Open record. Can Sergio finally break his Major duck? I think this might actually be the week where we see El Nino (The Kid) make some history and claim his first Major.
Rory McIlroy has also had a solid season so far, if conditions are calm he will have a great chance with his towering ball flight. Luke Donald’s form has been bubbling away nicely, much like Sergio he is looking to win his first Major and Hoylake sets up well for good ball strikers and solid iron play which is what Donald’s game is based on. Another player to watch is Welsh hopeful, Jamie Donaldson; he has lots of experience on links courses and even won on the historic links of Royal Portrush where he captured his maiden European Tour title at the Irish Open back in 2012.
Don’t forget that I correctly predicted that Martin Kaymer would win the US Open last month. For this years Open Championship I’m going with Sergio, he has to win one of these things sooner or later, why not at Hoylake?! My outsider is Stenson, I think he will have a good week and might even win. Let see if I can get 2 in a row!
Looking forward to another great Open Championship and hoping that one of our European boys can claim the coveted Claret Jug!
Tom Watson, the eight-time major champion, will play in Wales for the first time at this year's Senior Open Championship at Royal Porthcawl. The 64-year-old, who won the Open Championship five times, says he will be fulfilling a lifelong ambition to play the famous Welsh links course.
"It's actually been on my bucket list to play over there before I can't play golf any more," said Watson.
By confirming his appearance in the event, held on 24-27 July, Watson joins 2010 Ryder Cup captains Colin Montgomerie and Corey Pavin, as well as past Senior Open champions Fred Couples and Bernhard Langer in the field.
Ian Woosnam, the 1991 Masters champion, will also be there, and Watson revealed the Welshman has been singing Porthcawl's praises as the event gets ever nearer.
The Senior Open is played in Wales for the first time next month.
Household names such as Monty, Woosnam, Watson, Couples et al will all be playing.
Why not come and see the event for FREE by combining it with one of our 3 special golf break packages.
You play the first day, see how it should be done in the Senior Open the second day, and then try and apply some of their magic on the last day. The packages can be found on our home page.
Included with this update is a new interactive map that allows you to explore the different golf courses, hotels and packages available in South Wales.
You can also view all the golf courses in greater detail and see what pre-set packages are available for that golf course. If you would like to stay longer or simply build your own itinerary then you can use our step by step custom fit build you own break facility.
We look forward to welcoming you to the Greens of Southern Wales