James Braid, Ken Cotton, Donald Steel
Challenging traditional links with some great holes. Founded 1888. Good value
South Pembrokeshire. postcode: SA70 7NP
David Hancock
01834 844447
Rhys Harry
Green Keeper
Scott Williams
Access Policy:
Visitors welcome
Dog Policy:
No dogs
Open Meetings:
Open week- June
Fees in 1960s
Fees today


“I was told that Tenby was merely enjoyable holiday golf. It certainly is enjoyable but, with the addition of two fine fours at the end of this links course, one of which reminds me of the

The 9th Winter Tee

The 9th Winter Tee

ninth at Royal St George’s with its tucked-up green, it is an imposing 6677 yards off the blues (par 70 and SSS 73) and offers much more than holiday golf. Families holidaying in Pembrokeshire (described by some as “little England beyond Wales”!) may prefer the 6050 yard yellow tees.

The club does not claim that james Braid is the original designer and indeed golf was played over the links since certainly the 1870s, but he did twice advise on changes to the course. He and Harry Vardon played exhibition matches and being one of Wales’s earliest clubs it has

Fred Daly and Dai Rees at Tenby

Fred Daly and Dai Rees at Tenby

strong relationships with other ‘fine’ Welsh clubs like Ashburnham. Dai Rees the Ryder Cup captain had a close friendship with Tenby.

The course gets a bit congested in the middle but there are some great holes including the 3rd (Dai Rees), 4th (The Bell), 9th (Monk’s Way- particularly from the winter tee across the beach), 10th (James Braid), possibly 14th (Black Rock) and the 1st, named after a leading player of the Club of the name of Carew. I had to mention this, as my mother was a direct descendant of John de Carru of the nearby Carew Castle (now a protected ruin) with a working tidal mill (rather more renewable than the expensively subsidised wind farms that are springing up across the most attractive parts of our countryside at present!).

The 3rd Green

The 3rd Green

In 1983 Jim Arthur, the leading agronomist, was consulted and, in a critical report, recommended extensive change. To the Club’s eternal praise, it endorsed the necessary task of ripping out the thatch from the greens and the slitting of the fairways, and the condition of the course was saved after a difficult period of disruption.

The well-experienced Head Greenkeeper, Chris Jenkins, who took over around this time, has still occasionally suffered over the years with pressure to over-water and fertilise. Now, however, there is a regular programme in place to overseed with fescues and drive out the rye grass that was disastrously sown across the course following the 1976 drought that had wrought havoc with the then poorly maintained course.

Short 17th, Caldy Island behind

Short 17th, Caldy Island behind

Chris’s success is demonstrated by the lack of need for fungicides and the small budget from which he produces an ever-improving sustainable course.

There has been continuing controversy surrounding the three holes on the inland side of the single track railway: these are more of an inland nature but Donald Steel has improved their strategic design recently and, if the green staff are allowed to continue improving the grasses over a period of time with sustainable methods, these holes will blend in and, indeed, further enhance the challenge of this remarkably good value club and course.”

See  ” Tenby Golf Club, the first hundred years, 1888 – 1988″ by JJL Mabe.

Mini-Review by Lorne Smith  2010

Reader Comments

On August 30th, 2010 Paul Dolton said:

Hi Lorne, glad to hear you enjoyed the golf in south wales. Its got to be one of the best value destinations in the U.K. I played Tenby quite a while ago and have heard that some changes were forced upon them by a right of way. When I was there the three holes over the railway did seem out of place, as much for the change of ground conditions as anything else. The strange thing was at the far end of the course there seemed to be three holes ,not being used, roughly cut out on some excellent terrain. I even saw a photo of a golfer playing on them .Are they still there. Another hidden gem near Swansea is Clyne G.C. It has some fantastic moorland holes and like Pennard and Southerndown you have to share the fairways with the local livestock. Regards Paul

I guess the 8th and 9th are the holes you refer to at the end of the course and are two of the best.
I shall be visiting Clyne soon and your remarks are interesting. Regards Lorne

On September 25th, 2010 Eric Smith said:


Love the website and your review of Tenby reminds me of my own day there. Being my first links experience, I will always have a special fondness for Tenby. Once you reach the dip in the fairway at the third, the visuals really begin to get the blood pumping and the soul stirring.

So much fun in watching your ball react to the firm fescue turf at Tenby. I played there on September 15th and the course conditions were excellent. Just enough wind in play to make you hold your breath with the carry at the 10th! The greens in particular were very nice, very quick.

Probably my favorite aspect of the club is its location in relation to the train station, as the trip was also my first journey by rail. I disembarked in town, followed the street along the railway for about 500 yards, (mostly down hill!!) which led to the entrance to the club and my first night in Wales, staying in the Tenby Dormy House. A fantastic accommodation and one I’d highly recommend to anyone looking for the Fine Golf Experience. The staff and the membership were very nice and welcoming, making my visit one of my all time favorite experiences.

Dear Eric,
What a classic first links experience for you. Arriving by train, the right amount of wind and I am glad we helped you choose to stay in the excellent Dormy House.
Best wishes,

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