By Dave Finn as published on pages 60 and 61 in the Summer 2017 Issue of Travel Life Magazine
Croeso i Gymru (Kroy-sore ee Gum-ree) – Welcome to Wales
It’s hard to imagine that Wales was once voted the Undiscovered Golf Destination of the World, but no more – the secret is out! After hosting the Ryder Cup at the Celtic Manor in 2010 and The Senior Open Championship at Royal Porthcawl in 2014, quiet Wales has asserted itself as a world-class golf destination and yet, it remains the place to go if you’re seeking an unspoiled, unpretentious, unhurried golf vacation.
Escaping from the hustle and bustle of London, it took us slightly over two hours to reach the Wye Bridge and cross over into Chepstow, home to what is considered the oldest surviving stone castle in Britain and our first stop in in Wales. Shortly after crossing the border we found ourselves driving through the 400-acre, former deer park that surrounds the St. Pierre Marriott Hotel and Golf Club, a Marriott unlike any I’ve stayed at before. Impressive was the word that sprang to mind when we first saw the 14th-century manor house and 11th century church that sits at the heart of this resort. Within minutes, we were escorted to our room overlooking the 9th green and the 10th tee box of the ‘new’ course, and I felt like we had ‘arrived’.
Porthcawl, Wales – On July 24th Wales will welcome their first ever major golf Championship when the 2014 Senior Open takes place at the Royal Porthcawl Golf Club. Wales has hosted many national and international events including the Walker Cup, four European Tour Welsh Classics and The Amateur Championship six times, but a Major has always eluded them, until now.
Porthcawl dates back to 1891 and comes with a fine pedigree. It is currently ranked #1 in Wales and #86 in the world according to the Top 100 Golf Courses of the World. From the clubhouse, you can see the beachfront views to the south and across the Swansea Bay to the rugged coastline of the Gower Peninsula to the northwest.