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Vale of Llangollen Golf Club Feature Review

By: Melvyn Davies | Wed 21 Jul 2021 | Comments


Review by Golfshake Ambassador Mel Davies


The Vale of Llangollen Golf Club is just a few miles into Wales from the border, with Wrexham and Oswestry both short drives away.

It is Highly Recommended on Golfshake and is regularly considered to be the top inland course in North Wales.

The standard scratch of 73 makes it a tough challenge from the back tees, even to the many County and Welsh National competitions held at this magnificent location.

The river holes at 9, 15 and 16 are outstanding and the 9th is regarded as one of the best holes in British golf. The 18th makes for a memorable finishing hole which looks simple but can prove testing in front of all your newfound "friends" watching from the decking above.

Of course, with such a beautiful setting on the valley floor beside the River Dee and overlooked by the glorious Welsh hills, even a bad round will seem enjoyable.

Pre-Round Thoughts

Vale of Llangollen

Once again, this is a course I have looked forward to playing having driven past many times on our way to and from family holidays. The final few minutes’ drive had me excited by what lay ahead and let’s just say I wasn’t disappointed one bit.

As soon as you turn off the main road you get to see the course and its picturesque surroundings, and this really does have the WOW factor.

Having parked up and got our gear ready we headed for the pro shop, and were greeted by Matt Davies, the Head Pro. Matt has been the pro there for over seven years and has a well-stocked pro shop with a teaching room with GC2 launch monitor and simulator. Just a short walk away is the practice area and putting green so everything you need to prepare for your round is there for you.

Front 9 Overview

The front 9 kicks off with a real tricky hole - a 90 degree dogleg right par 5 - where picking the correct club is of paramount importance if you want to start the day off well. The green has a pond to the right and a ditch in front - what a starter!

Next up you have the first par 4 followed by another par 5 - find the fairway and you can score well but miss it and get counting. Trees line pretty much every hole and there is some real long rough in places where a hack out is the best you can do.

The first par 3 is the 6th hole, where a mid-iron is needed to find a well-protected green with bunkers short/left/right. The bunkers here are a great feature and can punish any poor approach.

The front 9 finishes with three great par 4s, each one in my eyes getting harder, with the 9th being a real beaut that sweeps gently round to the left, with the River Dee right and a two tiered green perched down below making correct club selection imperative. What a finish to a truly fantastic 9 holes.

Back 9 Overview

Vale of Llangollen

The 10th requires a good straight drive to give you a look at the green, while the 11th at 326 yards gives you two options - driver to get as close as possible but three great bunkers await or hit a long iron/hybrid and leave a wedge into the green. The 12th demands a well hit and positioned drive as trees await left and right that will almost certainly stop you getting to the green.

The 13th is probably the straightest hole on the course - trees all down the right and thick rough to the left mean finding the fairway is so important to get to the green in regulation - another fantastic driving hole (as pretty much every one is) with the hills providing a great backdrop off the tee.

The 14th is the second of the three par 3s here and a mid/short iron is needed to find a narrow green with bunkers left and right.

The 15th is the third and final par 5 and what a hole this is. It starts off with a tee shot that you can see the ball flight so well against the hills - a couple of little fairway bunkers await on the right (I found one) - while the river runs all down the left with trees lining the fairway on both sides, making for an absolutely gorgeous hole from start to finish.

16 and 17 are the last two par 4s, with the former probably the best driving hole on the course, heading straight towards the hills. The last and certainly by no means least is a wonderful par 3 at 153 yards slightly uphill playing back towards the clubhouse with the lovely balcony making this one of the best finishing holes you will see. Four bunkers surround the front of the green so getting the right club is a must. What a finish to what is now one of my favourite courses.

Hole Highlights

Vale of Llangollen

Where do I start? The driving holes are all stunning as you get to see the ball flight standing out like nothing else. The fairways all had a nice covering of grass meaning your ball always sat nice and the greens were all pure and of a really nice pace.

For me the signature hole would probably be the 9th, but I have to say the 16th and the last are right up there too. It’s just so hard to separate any holes from the others - to play here every week must be a joy to behold.

Post-Round Thoughts

All I will say is that I left here wanting to return as soon as possible. Great course, stunning views, scoreable for all levels of golfer, very friendly staff and members alike. The food and drinks were great and very well priced which again is great to see.

Verdict

The course is one that you could play and enjoy all year round. Great mix of holes, superb bunkering and greens as good as you’ll play on anywhere.

Overall Rating - 10

Course (Conditions) - 10

Course (Hole Variety/Layout) - 10

Course (Green Condition) - 10

Course (Challenge/Difficulty) - 9

Club Facilities & 19th/Clubhouse - 9

Practice Facilities - 8

Friendliness/Hospitality - 10

Pace of Play - 10

Value for Money - 9


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