Dolgellau Golf Club is a 9-hole course which by its own admission claims to be the "most beautiful golf course in the world". If you make the effort to hunt this gem out you are inclined to agree with their claim, the location of the course is simply stunning and this is without question a big part of its appeal. But what else does Dolgellau have to offer?
Well aside from the extremely friendly welcome, and the relaxed formality of simply turning up and playing without having booked, this is a course that on beautiful summers days can be cherished in the memory forever, for it is a time to be at one with nature.
The course starts with three fairly straightforward, but well designed holes in a quiet corner that set an atmosphere of peaceful tranquillity. It then offers six more holes set against a background of spectacular views of Cader Idris and the Mawddach estuary. It is this part of the nine that offer charm and a simple pleasure for it is not the challenge of long shots and booming drives that you play Dolgellau, but for the experience of delivering accurate and crisp approach shots to greens that are perfectly proportionate in size and quality to the length and breathtaking backdrop of the course. Relish the panoramic 7th fairway, the elevated par 3 tee-shot to the 8th green below and the challenging tee shot to the tunnelled 9th green where the flora and fauna flow in front of you.
Throughout, Dolgellau offers brief glimpses of heather, gorse and bracken and this is pleasing on the eye. The fairways are in good condition and the greens well looked after where you are encouraged to roll the putts at the hole. This is a perfect little warm-up to any trip to Mid Wales that takes in Royal St David’s and Aberdovey or even Nefyn to the north.
My advice is don't spoil the experience by taking 14 clubs in your bag, play with your 5 wood or maybe just your long irons and enjoy the course for what it is and soak up the very essence of why this is a Gem – a self assured little golf course with an artists landscape which does not disappoint those that take the trouble to pay this friendly club a visit. Article by Ian Henley – Top 100 Welsh Correspondent