Here at the Dragon Hotel we’re passionate about golf. Fans of the great game come from across the country to play South Wales’ great courses and to stay at the Dragon Hotel.
With that in mind, we’re starting a series looking at some of the best courses and links around Swansea. So here’s our run-down on one of South Wales’ most popular places: Southerndown Golf Club.
Where is Southerndown Golf Club?
On the B4524 road near Ogmore-by-Sea, Southerndown is a mile or so from Bridgend and offers some amazing views of the Bristol Channel. It’s easiest to get there by exiting J37 of the M4, joining the A48 southerly for just over four miles, bearing right onto New Inn Road and then taking the B4524 at Ewenny. Southerndown will signposted on your left as you travel down. If you get to the beach at Ogmore, you’ve gone too far.
You won’t have to wait very long before playing your first great hole at Southerndown. The first is only 366 yards but its steep slope makes it feel much, much longer and is renowned as one of South Wales’ (if not Britain’s) toughest holes.
Afterwards, things ease up a little as most holes play down rather than up. The course has four different par 3s each of which demands the utmost accuracy, especially the 5th, Carter’s Folly, which requires you to negotiate some very tricky bunkers with your iron.
The last four holes, each of them a par 4, are very challenging and a great way to end a round. The 18th in particular has split-level fairways and is one of South Wales’ most impressive finishing holes.
Why you’ll love it
Die-hard golfers adore Southerndown because it’s one of South Wales’ toughest courses. Its links-style course on limestone heath does away with aesthetically-pleasing trees and lakes – up here you’re at the mercy of the elements. It’s you, the wind and your technique.
That’s not to say that this is a barren, unappetising location; at Southerndown the lack of vegetation means that you’re afforded incredible views of both Swansea Bay and the estuary around Ogmore as well as pretty coastal vegetation. What’s more, you’ll love being watched by many of the area’s interested sheep.
The course plays as well as any other links in Britain and its firm turf is reliable all year round. In fact, thanks to its limestone base, good drainage, sandy soil and windy conditions, Southerndown is renowned as one of South Wales’ most durable and weather-resistant courses. Remember in the 2010 Ryder Cup when the Celtic Manor had to close because of rain? Southerndown stayed open.
Why you might not
If you’re one of those golfers who finds pleasure in locating your errant tee shot from the mire of the rough (or enjoy laughing at your fellow golfers doing the same), you might not enjoy Southerndown quite so much as others. That is to say that most of the fairways, kept wide by the courses’ hungry sheep, are reasonably wide. As a result, even the most errant drivers should stay in control. However, if you do miss the fairway it may take you a while to get your ball out of the fern.
Out there at the mercy of the elements, you’ll be forgiven for struggling a little with the wind on even the most settled day. What seems to be a harsh gale will actually resemble a light wind for members at the club.
Interested in trying out some challenging, ultra-scenic links golf? Here at the Dragon Hotel, we’re one of the best hotels near Southerndown Golf Club and can arrange individual golfing packages to suit you and your party. Let us take the hassle out of your booking – talk to us today about what how we can help.