Tagged onto a visit to Bull Bay and Holyhead this venue at Rhosneigr was very much expected to be the poor relation, a course to make up the numbers. All I can say is; what a find!
Dating back to 1914 the club was formed as a collaborative project between a number of local notables who employed the famous Harold Hilton to create their course. The Second World War brought great changes as the course was fundamentally re-shaped. The requirements of the Royal Air Force meant that the course lost 14 of its original holes in 1943. Undaunted, the course was re-fashioned and 14 new holes were constructed. Total yardage is 6,330 with a par of 70 and SSS of 71.
As a bit of a links connoisseur I thought I had played all of the links courses in England and Wales so to turn up at this completely off-the-radar course, and stumble upon as true a links track as you’ll find, you can only imagine my surprise and delight.
It’s a low profile links – with maybe just a hint of heathland at times - and although extremely flat there is a lot of ground level movement in the land with a fantastic amount of subtle ripples, shallow swales and hollows. These really add to the interest and challenge, especially on short shots around the greens.
It is also a very consistent course in so much that its character remains stable throughout the round with the only exception being the last which is played on wetter, softer land.
The opening three holes are routed on a separate parcel of land to holes four through 17. As you play these holes on the original land, fairways rippling and meandering through small sandhills, the rest of the course is out of sight at the other side of a railway line. After the delight of this opening trio I was fearing, almost half expecting, to be faced with not much more than a field of flags on the other side. This couldn’t be farther from the truth with more of the same wonderful linksland now confronting you.
Holes four and five are both medium length two-shotters curving right-to-left with impressive, albeit understated, green settings whilst the sixth is the best short hole on the course; a real beauty with a green nestled at the foot of the dunes. The seventh is a sturdy par-five whilst the next dog-legs to the right; a feature that is repeated (in both directions) a few further times during the round and this certainly holds ones interest.
Holes one to eight are perhaps the best of Anglesey but the course is so consistent that the remainder of the round is enjoyable too and is where gorse becomes more of a threat from the tee.
I can’t speak highly enough of this course. Don’t get me wrong it’s not an outstanding links but it’s 100% enjoyable, offers a fine test of golf on lovely sandy turf with some real subtleties to it.
There are no absolute standout holes at Anglesey but they all come together exceptionally well. If you’re looking for a comparison I’d suggest the course is similar in quality (and at times style) to Borth & Ynyslas down the west coast. For those who’ve travelled to the North-East of Scotland it very much reminded me of the links nine at Newburgh-on-Ythan.
Eyemouth is an easy-going, golf course with many different sections but mostly plays along the clifftops of the beautiful coastline close to the England-Scotland border.
There is something about Elie that puts you under a spell. It is a truly magical links that, after just one round, has won a place in my heart and mind forever.