Prince Amongst Wales of Courses
They say balance is a crucial component to any decent golf swing. That may be so, until you tackle Royal Porthcawl in mid-autumn. Put simply, a Welsh beast of a course. Faced with 50mph winds, standing upright proved more challenging than walking tall amongst the French in our annual Wryter Cup battle.
On the first tee I found myself aiming directly into the choppy grey Bristol Channel. Fearing that would be the last I saw of my shiny new Titleist, I watched in astonishment as howling gales spun the ball 45 degrees back into the heart of the fairway. And that’s when the problems began.
A GPS proved useless when a full blooded 3-wood from 135 yards came up short, yet a pitching wedge from 150 yards in the opposite direction somehow found the green.
As a rule, I hadn’t a clue what club in my bag to play next. It was crazy wind, but not crazy golf.
Royal Porthcawl is a sensational championship course, right up there in my links Top Ten. Every shot punched off the back foot, with ridiculously intimidating carries and greens like sprawling estates with a feel not dissimilar to the top of a recently varnished coffee table.
Links golf at its very best.