Set in the Gower in Swansea, the course plays near the top of a head land being 250 foot above sea level its named ‘The Links in The Sky’. From the 1st tee looking behind you, you get the 1st glimpse of the coves and beaches of the Gower.
I like an idiot left my putter at home, I blame my putout for that! The team in the pro shop were great in helping me out and supplying me a putter for the round. In fact it’s the 1st time I’ve just a putter that’s shaft is centred and not on a hosel on the edge. I liked it!
To try and get familiar with the new putter for the round we headed to the putting green which was flat, I’ve said this before but from my experience of some of the other course I don’t get why a links course has a flat putting green. They do have a small chipping area, when I say small I mean small! I didn’t measure it, but is no longer than 30 foot and you can only chip from about 5 yards off of it so it’s not really a good facility from that perspective.
They did have a small range, 220yards long but you had to go and collect golf balls from the range if no one was hitting. Just bizarre!
With a quick 180 spin you are on the 1st tee, which is nice straight from a warm up onto the 1st tee.
The 1st hole is completely lack luster, I’m sorry to say it but when I looked down there I was just unimpressed and a little disappointed. We got tipped off the week before that using a white ball in the current state of the course is not great so was advised to use a yellow or orange ball which I did. There were a few more warning signs while I was tucking into a amazing bacon roll, a member who was being a caddy for an American group of golfers mentioned that they are looking for investment to the irrigation system..
1st tee shot hit the middle of the fairway and took a massive bounce and off it went into the rough! Great, punished for a good shot. As we progressed down the 1st hole and got onto the greens we noticed there were little electric fences around the green to prevent the cattle that get onto the course stamping on the greens! There were no animals on the course that day but I tripped up a few good times. If we filmed it I’m sure I’d be a one of those blooper shows by now! A few signs to remind golfers on the walk to the green would be a huge help.
The 2nd is a pretty little par 3 to a bowl of a green going over the dunes, before you progress deeper into the course.
The fairways were in a terrible condition, have a look at this: Some of the greens were in bad shape to.
This is one of the reasons you need a coloured ball, but it didn’t always help. The fairways are really undulating in some instance the mounds were taller than me. The photo does not really do it justice but take a look.
Ok some of you may be thinking that’s what links course are about, but Pennard took this to another level. Both myself and father were hitting the middle of the fairway or the flat part of a fairway and the ball was bouncing 90 degrees and running 30 to 50 foot. It just got ridiculous in the end.
As you move towards the back 9 some of the views are impressive, take a look for yourselves:
At this point the flow of the course was becoming frustrating, lack of signage meant it was tough finding some tees, and the position of the tees were a little all over the place. Usually right behind a green and one of them is 100 yards back down a fairway you just played.
The course for me just felt like a baron waste land, picking out the fairways was tough due to the state of the course. Despite this I played to 8 over my handicap, I mention my score here as I’ve not done that in any of the other reviews. The reason why I’ve done this is to show you that it’s not because I had a bad round that the review is a little negative.
In Summary Pennard is a links coruse set up on top of a headland, despite the back drop. I was unimpressed, underwhelmed and the course was unmemorable. It’s an expensive round and it’s ranked pretty high in Wales and has previously made it into the world’s top 100 links courses. However it just didn’t cut the mustard I’m afraid.
Favorite Hole: Barron Par 3 (I can’t remember the hole number)
It was hard to pick as the course was not enjoyable if I’m being 100% honest. However this par 3 was a challenging par 3. Small target and you can’t afford to be short, long, left or right. Club selection and execution of the shot were critical to make it. It’s a good testing par 3, a tad on the long side considering that if you miss the green you’ve lost a ball. I would hate to be a junior or someone that struggles with distance on this hole
Welcome/Hospitality: 7 out of 10
Practice facilities: 3 out of 10
Course condition: 3 out of 10
Greens: 5 out of 10
Flow of course: 2 out 10
Course Ranking in Wales (as per golf monthly at time of booking): 4
I’ll be posting the Rookie Rankings, later this week but i’m pretty sure you can guess the order.
Until Next Time, Happy Golfing