Looking out to the Gower Peninsula from Top: the 5th Green. Above: The 12th green
It seems that this tour of South Wales just gets better and better. It’s 8am on another gloriously sunny day and I ‘m welcomed by John Dixon who used to be a captain at Pennard, and his company and knowledge of the golf course is very much appreciated and enjoyed. If you get the opportunity to join a group of members on your visit I would jump at the chance. As I stated earlier, a course can be summed up by its members and they are a welcoming bunch at Pennard.
Standing on the first tee you look out to the typical hard-running links-type surface and as I watch the dew slowly being burnt off by the rising sun, the fairway has a warm, glistening, beckoning feel. Your tee shot will leave you a second shot to a slightly hidden green and it’s here that a bit of local knowledge is given and gratefully excepted. That inside information from John leaves me just on the side of the green with a very long putt for birdie, which I duly miss!
But today isn’t about building a score. Like I said about Royal Porthcawl, today is all about fun and enjoying a wonderful course that has recovered very well from the harsh winter that we’ve been through. But there’s one thing that the weather cannot affect and that’s the stunning vistas this track offers. John points out the Three Needles and informs me that Catherine Zeta-Jones once called it the most beautiful view in the world. I find it hard to disagree with her assessment.
Words never do justice to these types of views and moments in time. If you are with friends or family these experiences are often acknowledge with a nod and a gesture and eulogised over a tall glass of something cold in the clubhouse. I stand on the back tee of the 14th and just soak up a memory that will live long and (I hope) form part of the frames of my life that flash before me when it’s time to go to that other 19th hole and share a glass of the grape with St Peter.
I could list Pennard’s worldwide accolades – where the course ranks among the great courses in the world and here in the UK – but I’m sure if you go to their website you can read those for yourself. Let me put it this way: some courses you should play, some courses you need to play, and some courses have a history that you need to go and absorb. Then there are other courses that are a pilgrimage and I would put Pennard in that category. Not because of its history or standing. No, this is a pilgrimage for your soul.
Castle Ruins behind the 7th
Looking down the 17th Fitting finale at the 18th
All golf photography taken on the day of play © James Mason