The fantastic 9th at Porthcawl
There is always a certain expectation to going to see any course that is recognized as being one of the 100 Greatest Courses in the World. Royal Porthcawl exceeded all my expectations.
The opening stretch of holes that runs along the ocean features three truly exceptional par fours. Each is uniquely interesting, over undulating land and requires a different tactic to score. The holes turn inland with a stunning long three over a valley with a green cut between the dunes with a six foot false front. The first five and next three are two more compelling holes while the other two are solid but not exceptional. The front nine finishes on the best hole on the course, a magnificent middle four played diagonally over a beautiful valley and up to a wonderful plateau top green.
The back nine features a series of exceptional par fours with the 15th and 16th being the two that standout. The par threes on the back are both spectacular with the 14th being as good as anything I have ever seen. I have seen. It’s only the two fives that are a little plain, and in fact it’s the fives in general that are the weakness to an impressive collection of holes.
Colt and others like him have always believed that the threes and short fours should have excellent terrain and that the long holes should be the ones to traverse the plainer sections of a property.