Having never played a proper Links course before, we were very much looking forward to this experience. So when waking at our hotel (about a 5-10 min drive from the course, where you will receive a discount if playing golf at Machynys) and hearing the rain pouring down, our moods were a little dampened… at least it wasn’t windy!! The course is easy to find and the SatNav picked it up no problem.
The club house awaits you at the end of the long driveway where there is a bag drop area and plenty of car parking space. We got there in time to have a little practice on the range, always nice to be able to hit off grass when warming up and also a good putting green and another area for short game practice.
The staff were very friendly and notified us of anything we needed to know. Do make sure you have soft spikes though as this is a soft spike only course. We were given course guides and as we were to find out, this for us was a saviour. We do have a rangefinder but for anyone that doesn’t use one or have a GPS device, a course guide is essential as there are no 150 yard markers on the course to judge your distances from.
The course itself, even with the amount of rain they’d recently had was in superb condition. Ok, so the fairways were drenched in places, but there was no standing water as such, like you get at some places, and preferred lies were in force so it made no big difference. The greens were fantastic, we couldn’t get over how fast and true they were even with all that rain….hats off to the green keepers!
Even though it was very much a traditional Links style course, around the greens had an American style feel to it with the large run off areas. The rough was very well maintained, not too long where you’d end up spending the full 5 minutes looking for your ball, but enough to make you have to think about whether to chip out or risk going for it. We can’t really comment about the bunkers as we found that there may have been not enough sand, but this I think was again purely down to the amount of rain and had saturated them. They were however, in good condition and clear of stones.
The views from all over the course were stunning, especially the back 9 holes where a few of the tees were a short chip away from the Carmarthenshire Bay.
This is very much a thinkers course, and yes, if you’re playing off the back tees you’ll need some long carries to clear water, but if you’re playing off any of the other 4 tees available, any standard of golfer could enjoy and appreciate it. We would liked to have seen a ranger sent out every now and then though as a four and three quarter hour round for a two ball is far too long, this could’ve been resolved had a fourball allowed the two balls behind to play through.
There was a distinct lack of bins and ball cleaners on the course, we don’t know whether this has anything to do with a visual aspect, but balls cleaners when it’s dry come in very handy. That really is the only thing missing, even the sun came out for the second half of our round and whereshalliplaygolf.com would recommend Machynys as one of the top courses we’ve played and a must play when visiting Wales. To view more images of our round with some descriptions of a few of the holes, visit our Facebook page.