Fairwood Park is a 6,658 yard woodland/parkland course situated on the Gower Peninsula, right next to the City of Swansea in South Wales. It was established in 1969, and was designed by the renowned Hawtree dynasty of golf course architects who proudly claim to be the longest, continuous golf course architecture practice in the world having designed over 750 courses since 1912. With over 15,000 mature trees and water coming into play on nearly half of its holes, Fairwood Park is an outstanding example of woodland/parkland golf at its best with wide, forgiving fairways which nonetheless punish the most wayward of drives by forcing the overly ambitious to take some ‘wedge medicine’ out of the trees with their 2nd shot!
As the flattest of all the golf courses on the Gower Peninsula, Fairwood Park can be enjoyed by golfers from right across the entire age spectrum, something that’s of particular benefit to those players whose main interest lies in golfing rather than mountaineering! In a nation characterised by hills and valleys, Fairwood Park is one of Wales’ least tiring rounds of golf.
From the yellow boxes, the first hole is a fantastic Par 4 opener that showcases the true beauty of woodland golf at its best, and at 435 yards it will certainly test the ability of most golfers to make par. There then follows the dog-leg right 2nd hole, with two large bunkers strategically placed either side of the fairway to catch errant drives, with a longer dog-leg left to follow on the 3rd where water comes into play for the first time. As opening holes go, you’ll be hard pushed to find 3 better anywhere else in South Wales!
One of the main points of difference between Fairwood Park and other courses within the County of Swansea is the abundance of water that comes into play on the golf course, particularly on the back 9. Perhaps there’s no better example of this than on the 10th, a Par 4 whose green is protected by a huge front lake stretching the entire length of the fairway. By the time you reach this hole you’ll know whether you’re having a bad day at the office, and if so then laying up in 3 is your only sensible option. But for those with a good long iron game this is a classic ‘risk-reward’ hole as an accurate 2nd shot will carry the lake and give you a strong chance of making birdie or par.
The 16th is Fairwood’s own version of ‘Amen Corner’, and one of the real feature holes of the course. This Par 3 is surrounded by water on three sides and leaves you with no option other than to go straight for the pin. Plenty of positive thinking is required here if your Pro V1 is to accompany you to the next tee. And a notable mention must also go to the 18th, one of the finest finishing holes at any course in Wales. A good shot off the tee here will reward you with a fabulous view of the heathlands and commons of North Gower and beyond, with more positive thinking again required if you are to avoid the strategically placed lake to the front left of the green, and the bunkers to the right.