DISTANCE FROM HOLIDAY COTTAGES: 24 miles
TYPE OF COURSE: Links
LENGTH: 6916 yds
“One of the best seaside courses in the country”
Ashburnham golf course, the demanding seaside venue where the great Welshman and winning Ryder Cup Captain, Dai Rees won the PGA title in 1959, has long been regarded as one of the best links courses in Britain. Indeed it won that rating from no less authority than the immortal Harry Vardon. He twice played the course, enjoying himself immensely and was compelled to record soon afterwards that “The course I like best in Wales is Ashburnham”. His sentiments have been endorsed by more modern professionals. Bernard Gallagher, Europe’s former Ryder Cup captain won his first tournament, the 1969 Schweppes, at Ashburnham, and it was here that Sam Torrance also gained his first title, the 1976 Martini.
Overlooking Carmarthen Bay, the course has it first two and final two holes inland near the clubhouse. Holes three to eight strike out, parallel to the sea, straight into the prevailing wind and holes nine to fifteen run back with the wind directly behind.
With out-of-bounds and assorted trouble on the right in both directions there is no peace for the slicer. Neither are the fairways of a generous width and the fact that the current course record is no lower then 70 bears witness to the credential of the challenge.
The course that you tackle today is basically the layout, which the redoubtable J. H. Taylor designed in 1910 after paying a visit to suggest further alterations to a course then 14 years old. He returned three years later to inspect progress and suggest further alterations. The results pleased the great man, who commented with great pride: “It stands comparison with many of the best seaside courses in the country”. Ashburnham celebrated it centenary in 1994 by staging the British Home International Team Championships.