PORTHDINLLAEN, Wales — Playing golf and then swinging by the 19th hole for sustenance is the typical order of many a golfer.
But it’s certainly not the only way. In Japan, for example, its usually play nine holes, break for a nice meal, and then play another nine holes.
Then there is the Llyn Peninsula experience. Located in North Wales, along the Irish Sea coastline is Nefyn & District Golf Club, a 27-hole masterpiece with views of the water from each hole.
The Old nine is the most scenic and stretches out to the “Point,” the most picturesque part of Nefyn & District. Three holes — Nos. 4, 5 and 6 — play on the narrow promontory that pokes the Irish Sea and offers a unique vista.
But what help sets Nefyn & District apart is the Ty Coch Inn.
Just right of the Old’s third green and left of the seventh tee is a path and a makeshift parking area for golf carts. There is no signage instructing golfers, but word of mouth suggests taking a break at either point and walking down to the inn, which sits on the beach and is part of the Porthdinllaen fishing village.
While the Ty Coch Inn serves only lunch between noon and 4 p.m. daily, the experience is worth the time investment.
Built out of red brick — likely used as ballast from a ship out of Holland — in 1823, the building was originally a vicarage. In 1842, the building became an inn.
“It was turned into a pub for the boat builders and fishermen to go with the other four pubs that were here,” said Stuart Webley, Ty Coch’s current innkeeper. “There was a population of 99 to 100 people living in 22 houses between here and the end of the beach.”
The Porthdinllaen beach just outside the Ty Coch Inn. (Photo: Alex Miceli)
In Welsh, Ty Coch means red house, which is what the inn was called early on.
Now, as the only inn on the beach, Ty Coch is a busy place during that short lunch window, having served as many as 400 meals during the period.
“It's sandwiches at the moment,” said Webley, while drawing a pint for one of his patrons. “It's sandwiches, paninis, baked potatoes, salad, some fresh fish when they are caught on the bay, lots of prawns, lots of muscles.
“In the winter we go to more pie oriented [meals], homemade pies, curries and stuff like that. We never serve fries. It's all freshly made. No frying. I have another kitchen at my mother's house in the village where we cook all our own meats. We buy locally sourced products and cook them all ourselves up there and bring it down here to serve it.”
During the summer’s high season, Webley estimates that as many as 1,000 people will be on the beach. So for a golfer deciding to make the detour along that Old course path, be prepared for a wait.
But it will be worth the time.
Alex Miceli is the founder and publisher of Morning Read.