A really enyoyable downland links course


Southerndown Golf Club

Southerndown Golf Club

Date Reviewed
October 16, 2014
Reviewed by Ed Battye
I was really impressed following a recent visit to Southerndown Golf Club.

It’s unlike many courses I have played before and really has its own identity. Set slightly inland from the sea on very high ‘downland’ ground the course has all the playing characteristics of a true links with some superb and spectacular looking holes traversing wonderful sandy ground where sheep roam freely.

Regardless of what type of course this is (I think I settled on downland links) it’s a real joy to play and although trouble lurks, mainly in the form of gorse and bracken, the width and relative lack of rough ensure that it is the strategy of the course that presents the challenge and is the order of the day.

The ground game is often required on this exposed and very natural course which dramatically climbs uphill at the first hole before twisting and turning across gentle undulating land for the majority of the round before gradually descending over the final few holes. With the firm fairways it’s an easy walk and I seemed to fly round on my visit.

In my opinion the best holes come at the second (a strong par four with a glorious backdrop), the fifth (a par three across a valley to a pronounced plateau green), the seventh (another par three which is played downhill to a narrow green) and the 13th (a visually appealing par five).

There are however many more fine holes with the double green shared by the 10th and 16th a positive highlight along with the split fairway down the 18th showcasing an unusual design feature.

Not much is hidden at Southerndown. There is the occasional blind drive but most of the bunkers are laid out before you and this allows the golfer to plot their way round or risk taking on the hazards in order to set up shorter shots into the green.

Southerndown is a bit quirky at times and great fun but also undoubtedly provides an excellent test of golf. I can imagine this being the case for 12 months of year too based on the condition of the course in October 2014.

If you are heading to South Wales this course must be high on your list of priorities to play. I felt it was a real treat to play here and came away with a wide smile on my face having done so.

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