Winter Golf, Woodlake Park, Wales



Off The Beaten Track – Manifesto

In which the purpose of the task is expounded and our Hero introduces his travelling companions


The aim of this series of blogs is to unveil some of delights of Welsh golf. There are 2492 golf courses in Wales, 1 for every 12 people and each of them unique (golf courses, not people). Some of them are incredibly unique. Some are more unique than others. This series will show each course through the eyes of some ordinary Welsh golfers. Some of them are more ordinary than others.

The cast of characters include some or all of the following;

Bryn – our hero – serious golfer – handicap 21 – will never be less than that because in the words of his brother, “ He thinks far too much”.

John – brother – younger – less serious golfer – handicap 12 – would rather hit a drive 301 yards than make an eagle putt – will never be less than 12 because he believes thinking about your shot, the line, the wind, the distance, is basically cheating. He would rather eat 4 golf balls than lay up on a shot of less than 250 yards. Always in a hurry.

Pensioner Steve – older (not wiser) – slow (not steady) – unofficial semi-professional golfer – living off the regular income from winning Saturday ball school money – handicap 17 – but I would bet on him against Rory McIlroy or Tiger Woods if they played for cash. Always cold.

Andy – cousin – younger – wild – golf is an expensive hobby as it costs as much in lost golf balls per round as it does in green fees – handicap hovering between 10 and 28 depending on the wind, the course, the level of alcohol in his blood stream. Always optimistic (for some reason).

Dai Copy and Dai Proper – twins – Dai Proper the eldest by 7 minutes – good players but you can’t put them in the same group. Always twins.

Dai Snips – barber from somewhere in the Rhondda valley – nothing else is known about him, not even his handicap. An enigma, possibly. 

There is no hard and fast rule about which courses should be included except these three hard and fast rules;

1. ‘The annual green fees of each course we visit should be less than the price of a four-ball at Celtic Manor on a Saturday in July.’

2. “If we don’t have to drive up a single track lane to reach the clubhouse, we don’t play it.”

3. “If there aren’t sheep on the course, or evidence of sheep on the course  – it’s not a real course and we don’t play it.”