The Harlech links of today follows much the same routing and design as when it was first laid out in 1894. Over the years there have been numerous subtle changes to bunkering and the addition of new back tees, and new fairway routings adopted at the 3rd, 8th and 17th, but overall today’s golfers are still experiencing the same basic challenge, a course that offers both a great test of championship golf for men and for women, and a wonderful place for a game with friends.
Harlech has always been noted for its large greens, punishing rough, and a spectacular homecoming through some of the most imposing dunescape in Britain, with some drives (and some carries) to match. It is a course with numerous, very challenging ‘half-par’ holes that can be either a three or a four, or a four or a five (or worse) depending on the weather. Five short holes mean the overall length is not by modern standards colossal (c6660 yards from the very back tees), but it’s worth noting that until the recent global handicapping changes the Mens’ Scratch Score off those back tees was five over par!
Unlike many links courses, Harlech is not an ‘out and back’ design but rather an intricate routing that constantly exposes the golfer to different wind directions, requiring mastery of every club in the bag. The course also offers from every hole some fabulous views both of Harlech castle and of the Snowdonia mountain range, although the growth down the years of the enveloping sand dunes means that you will have to visit the back tee at the 16th actually to see the sea.
If you’d like to know more, and to read an entirely independent assessment of the Harlech links from one of the golfing world’s most respected sources, do follow this link to the article about Harlech on the website Golf Club Atlas