The new bunkering on the 4th
The opening stretch at Aberdovey is a real cracker! The first plays along the main coastal dune line and over some wonderfully rumpled land. The second plays off the coastal dune and continues through more of that rumpled land finishing in a fantastic green site set into the “middle dunes” that run right across the property to the rail line. The Cader hole (3rd) is a brilliant little par three that would be world famous if the sand crater it used to play over was restored. The combination of blind shot over the dunes played into a punchbowl green is a must see. Finally the fourth plays off the middle dunes and hugs the coastal dune finishing against the dune creating another wonderful four.
The routing is a figure eight and the next seven holes go away from the coastal dune. They are built over the section of property that is fairly featureless. The holes are good, but without much undulation, never quite equal the opening or closing holes. There are some brilliant bunkers in play on the 8th and a great green site on both 9 and 11th which make for some clever holes, but largely you are anticipating a return to the dunes. The small fronting dune on the 11th green was creative complication that I really liked.
The 12th to the top of the dunes
The 12th is one of the more famous holes on the course where a short three plays atop the coastal dune to a high plateau. This is the best look you get of the beach and the can on the course. The next set of holes hug the coastal dune and are quite solid. Finally the 15th moves back to the interior for the finishing run, completing the figure eight routing, but fortunately the green finishes right up against the “middle dunes.” The 16th is the most famous hole since it doglegs around the rail line on the left. To reach the green you must play over the rail line and bend the shot back towards the green! The landing is very rumpled and the backdrop on right is the middle dunes. The green site is in a beautiful setting framed on three sides by dunes. I thought it was a great hole.
The 17th plays over the same rumpled land as the 2nd landing and finishes out to a green on flatter land. The final hole plays off one last low isolated dune near the rail line which affords a great view out to the 450 yard finisher which is framed at the side by the clubhouse. All in all this was a great golf course and one I really enjoyed.