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Colwyn Bay Golf Club, Upper Colwyn, Conwy.

The club was founded in 1893.

The course was located on Colwyn Heights overlooking Pwllycrochan Woods with fine views of the mountains of North Wales, the town, and the coast, and within 15 minutes walk of the railway station. 

Originally a nine-hole course it was extended to eighteen holes just prior to WW1.

In 1919/20 a reconstruction of the course was carried out by the well known course architects Colt, Mackenzie & Alison, it is still to be confirmed which partner actually carried out the work on the alterations.

During the Second World War the course was reduced to nine-holes, presumably to aid the war effort. Following the war the course was reconfigured and an eighteen-hole course was laid out by the club (details of this later revised course and a plan of the layout can be found towards the end of the article.)

The clubhouse was originally the home of John Porter, JP, and was located just off Pen y Bryn Road, Upper Colwyn Bay.

In 1904/5 the secretary was W Jones, National Provincial Bank House, Colwyn Bay, the captain was H F Ashby. The green-keeper was J Evans. Listed as a nine-hole course the club had a membership of 100. There was no entrance fee, subs were £1/10s and ladies 15/-.  

The following course description appeared in the 1905 Nisbet’s Golf Yearbook – The links are situated on the hill above Pwllycrochan Woods. The hazards consist of bunkers, a road, water, a sand pit, dykes and gorse. The air is bracing, and the links command a view of some of the finest and most varied scenery on the North Wales coast. 

 

Colwyn Bay Golf Club, Upper Colwyn. Early picture of the clubhouse.

The clubhouse in the early years.

 

 

Secretaries

Professional/greenkeeper

1901 - 1904

 

William Butler (p)

1906

Adam Hunter, Estates Office, Colwyn Bay

J Evans (p) (1904 - 1908)

1908 - 1912

 

Leslie Green (p)

1912 - 1914

 

A M Moulden (p)

1914

L D D Riley, Golf Club

B Berry (p), A M Moulden (g)

1919

 

C Green (p)

1922

D M Peacock

C Green (p)

1923

 

B Weastall (p) (to 1928)

1928

J Irwin Henry Shaw (p)

1929

 

Clement Enderby (p)

Early 1930s

Fred C Parsons F Warland (p), R Howell (g)

1937 - 1947

E D Curtis (club manager)

F Warland (p&g)

1959

J R Waterworth, Abergele Rd,  & R M Lloyd, 17 Bay View Rd (joint) B Roberts (p)

 

Colwyn Bay Golf Club, Upper Colwyn. View of the course.

View of the former course.

 

In 1906 it was a 9 hole course, and the professional course record was held by Tom Morris with a score of 36. Visitors’ fees were 2/- a day, 5/- a week and 10/- a month. Country members paid 10/6d. The station at Colwyn Bay was ½ mile away.

In 1909 it was listed as a nine-hole course. The steward and professional was L Green. The secretary was; Douglas M Peacock, Cotehill, Seafield Road. 

 

Colwyn Bay Golf Club, Upper Colwyn. The tenth green.

The tenth green at Colwyn Bay. Authors Collection.

 

By 1914 the course had been extended to 18 holes with hazards consisting of a road, water, sand pit, dykes, bunkers and gorse. Entry fees were £1/1/0. Subs for gents were £2/2/0, ladies and country members paid £1/1/0. There was a membership of 230. Visitors’ fees were 2/- a day and 7/6d a week, increasing during the summer months to 2/6d a day and 10/- a week. Sunday play was allowed without caddies.

An interesting advert appeared in the local press in January 1916. It was for the Pwllycrochan Hotel, a first class family hotel with electric lights, lifts, lock up garages and near the 18 hole Colwyn Bay golf links (the hotel did not have its own course at this time).  

In the 1920s the Pwllycrochran Hotel laid out its own nine hole course. It had no attachment, although it was in close proximity to the Colwyn Bay Golf Club.

 

Pwllycrochan Hotel Golf Course at Colwyn Bay.

Pwllycrochan Hotel first green and second tee.

 

The Pwllycochran Hotel Golf Course, Colwyn Bay. The sixth green.

Postcard of the Pwllycrochan Hotel course, the sixth green.

 

Many thanks to Graham Roberts who has sent us the following information regarding the above “As the picture indicates it shows players in action on Pwllycrochan Hotel's own course. The trees in the background of the picture line the route of Kings Road. I went to school there when it was Rydal Junior School and played on this ground; the greens can still be made out and the children still play about over the land. The course at Pwllycrochan was for the exclusive use of the hotel guests. During the 2nd World War the hotel was used as one of the bases for the Ministry of Food (which took over all the hotels and Public Schools in the town), by the Ministry's civil servants. It was not 'pitch & put', it was 'proper' golf! There were nine holes but the greens were reasonably close together! Golf must have been played there from about 1925 to 1952. The hotel became Rydal Junior School in 1953 where I played on the abandoned greens!”

It’s very likely that many hotel guests would take the opportunity to play on the nearby Colwyn Bay course. 

Now, back to the history of the former Colwyn Bay Club.

Following are some pictures of players on the Colwyn Bay course.

 

Colwyn Bay Golf Club, Upper Colwyn. On the first tee.

First tee (apologies for the quality of the images).

 

Colwyn Bay Golf Club, Upper Colwyn. On the first green.

Putting out on the first green.

 

Colwyn Bay Golf Club, Upper Colwyn. On the tee.

Driving off!

 

By 1922 Club membership was 300. Course records were amateur: F T Pollitt (76); professional, P Berry (74).Visitors’ fees were 2/6d a day and 10/6d week. The residential clubhouse was highly recommended.

1923 - 1928 Course records were; amateur L A Riley (72); professional B Weastall (67).

Monthly Medal winner for January 1923 was A Lowe 81. All prize day on New Year’s Day was won by R L Jones 74. 

Below is the result of a club match played at Prestatyn in March 1923.

Prestatyn   Colwyn Bay  
M H Webb 1 D M Peacock 0
J E Newman (half) 0 G G Wallis (half) 0
J T Linnell 1 H R Parry 0
J T Lloyd 1 T P Shaw 0
J B Smith 1 A J Gostain (captain) 0
R F Blencowe 1 R T Johnson 0
F C Parsons 0 A J Shaw 1
R Morrell (half) 0 G Whitehaed (half) 0
D Owen 0 T Roberts 1
Russell Bailey 1 H First 0
A C Roberts 1 C Turley 0
Col T J Smith 0 Gordon Wallis 1
F S Pollitt 0 J R Lowe 1
T M Donell 0 A C W Lowe 1
  7   5

Ladies’ medal result for March 1923 as follows; Mrs Appleby 75 net, Miss Terry 77 net, Mrs Shaw 78 net. 

The gents' April 1923 monthly medal was won by J J Wallis, 89 – 21 – 68. A bogey competition (prize presented by Mr C H Mitchell) was won by A J Shaw 1up. Ladies’ monthly bogey was won by Miss K Purves with a score of 1up. Miss Terry won the monthly medal with a score of 75 net.

Also in April 1923 the North Wales Alliance Pro/Am Tournament was held at Llandudno and resulted in a win for the third year running for B S Weastall, he was partnered on this occasion by Mr P E Randel. They scored a remarkable 15 up on Bogey.

The Porter Cup (18 hole medal) played in May 1923 resulted in a tie between Mr A C W Lowe and Mr R R Appleby (net 72). Mr Lowe won the cup in a play-off.

Below is the result of a ladies’ home match against Rhyl played in May 1923. 

Colwyn Bay   Rhyl  
Miss Rich 0 Miss Selkirk 1
Miss Johnson 0 Mrs Dickson 1
Mrs H Jones 0 Miss M Ll Price 1
Miss Parry Evans 0 Miss H Ll Price 1
Mrs T P Shaw 1 Mrs Yates 0
Miss K Purves 1 Mrs Bromley 0
Miss Elsie Jones 1 Mrs Stewart 0
  3   4

At the end of May 1923 Port Talbot made the long journey north for a club match. It must have been a very tiring trip for the visitors who lost by 5 games to 1.

Colwyn Bay   Port Talbot  
H R Parry 0 M Gwyn Jenkins 1
D Hall 1 E T Tennant 0
R T Johnson 1 C Walsh 0
T Parry 1 E S Rowe 0
Mr Green 1 W W Hillzer 0
G E Sharp 1 T Walters 0
  5   1

B Weastall had a very successful year in 1924. On the 22nd May he returned scores of 76 and 81 to win the qualifier at Royal St David’s for the £100 Welsh Professional tournament.

In June he qualified for The British Open with scores of 76 and 78 at Formby. Although he had three rounds in the eighties in the Open, which was played at Hoylake, he only finished a dozen strokes behind the winner, Walter Hagen.

In July he beat his own Colwyn Bay course record with a round of 65.   During October the Welsh Open Championship was held at Maesdu and was won by Weastall. He led the field by five strokes after the first day’s play after carding two rounds of 73. When play resumed on the Thursday he returned scores of 78 and 71, the latter being the best score recorded during the competition. It was reported that his putting throughout was splendid.

 

B S Weastall professional at Colwyn Bay Golf Club.

Advert for B Weastall.

 

In 1929/30 Course records were amateur A G Wallis (70), professional B Weastall (64).

 

Clement Enderby professional at Colwyn Bay Golf Club.

Clement Enderby the professional in the late 1920s.

 

Colwyn Bay Golf Club, Upper Colwyn. The final green?

A later picture of the Colwyn Bay Clubhouse with a golfer playing what is probably the final green.

 

From 1937 to 1947 The SSS and par score for the 18 hole course was 71. Course records were: amateur S B Roberts (69); professional, F Warland (68).  Visitors’ fees from November to February were 2/6d a day and 10/6d a week, and March to October 3/6d a day and 12/6d a week. Sunday play was allowed. The station at Colwyn Bay was 1 mile away, and a service of motor cars ran up to the links, 5 minutes from the main road.

 

Colwyn Bay Golf Club, Upper Colwyn. Postcard of the course.

Golf Course & Bryn Euryn from Upper Colwyn Bay.

 

The following information is taken from the Official Handbook of the club which appeared following WW2. It was written by T J Cox:-

Few courses in the United Kingdom offer a finer panoramic view of mountains, moor and sea than Colwyn Bay Golf Club.

The early history of the formation of the club is rather vague, but it is known that up to 1913 the course had only nine-holes. In that year adjoining land was purchased and the course extended to the full eighteen-holes. In 1919-20 the decision was taken to reconstruct the course, and this was placed in the able hands of Messrs. Colt & Allison, who availed themselves of the beauty of the countryside and the natural hazards to be found. Should one, for instance, through an error of judgement, drive into the reservoir from the fourteenth tee, the glorious views do much to sooth the annoyance!

During the Second World War the course was reduced to nine-holes, but after a great deal of hard work eighteen holes are again playing with some 600 yards added to the original length. The design and sequence of the holes was carried out by the Club’s Greens Committee under the chairmanship of Dr A Meredith Millar. The construction of new greens and heavy work generally was effected by bulldozers under the supervision of Dr Millar, and the surfacing and turfing of the greens by the club professional, A Nield, and the groundsmen, to specifications, approved by the greens committee; by this is meant the shape and level of the greens.

The following hole by hole description of the course is taken from notes written by Dr A M Millar:-

First Hole – 385yards, Bogey 4 – Starting off from the clubhouse the first hole is a good drive and iron hole, with out-of-bounds on the left. It will be a difficult approach if we have been unfortunate enough to slice our drive.

Second Hole – 430 yards, Bogey 5 – The second contains plenty of trouble if the drive has been a bad one, but two good shots leave an easy approach to an attractive green, beyond which is gorse, and a sharp fall away on the right.

Third Hole – 340 yards, Bogey 4 – The third is a dog-leg and requires a straight drive, but powerful players can cut the corner and thus have a short approach to the green.

Fourth Hole – 425 yards, Bogey 5 – the fourth hole as a rather awe-inspiring start, and is a fine hole, giving full reward to the bold player. The green is on a plateau and requires good judgment for the approach.

Fifth Hole – 150 yards, Bogey 3 – the fifth is an exacting one-shot hole with a sharp fall away and with gorse on the left. It requires a very accurate shot to get on this green and a coveted three often dissolves into a four.

Sixth Hole – 490 yards, Bogey 5 – A straightforward bogey 5, with plenty of room for the hard-hitting player. The green is difficult to catch as it slopes away from the front.

Seventh Hole – 352 yards, Bogey 4 – A two-shot hole, the second stroke being a sporting shot to a hidden green, with trouble all round.

Eighth Hole – 180 yards, Bogey 3 – the eighth hole is an attractive one-shotter, played from high ground on to an outstanding green with ground running away all round.

Ninth Hole – 525 yards, Bogey 5- The ninth, the longest hole on the course, is probably one of the finest of its length to be found. The tee shot is played up a natural valley with out-of-bounds on the right, and trees and gorse on the left. The courageous player who keeps close to the left will thus shorten the hole and open up the course for the second. The green is surrounded by hazards, mainly of nature’s design.

Hole Ten – 130 yards, Bogey 3 – We commence the homeward half by way of the tenth, a short hole with little difficulty.

Hole Eleven – 475 yards, Bogey 5 – The eleventh is a double dog-leg and good bogey five. The long player can carry the corner hazards, and thus get full value for his efforts. There is n out-of-bounds on the left. The green is on two levels, and shows up well for the approach.

Hole Twelve – 220 yards, Bogey 3 – the twelfth is a long one-shot hole and we hit our tee shot from high ground on to a green which, as will be seen runs away. A good bogey three.

Hole Thirteen – 375 yards, Bogey 4 – A difficult two-shotter. An uphill drive of a good length reveals a green on the skyline. The second shot needs to be perfectly played as the ground diverts the timid shot to right or left, and the over-bold finds gorse strewn country beyond. This is the highest part of the course, and a memorial tablet shows the surrounding landmarks, this being the vantage point where the finest views are available.

Hole Fourteen – 290 yards, Bogey 4 – A pleasant and easy four, with the green just out of sight from the tee. It is also the hole where we note the reservoir!

Hole Fifteen – 490 yards, Bogey 5 – The fifteenth is a grand five, with a drive from high ground which, if well placed, will enable the long player to get home in two. Others will have to play round the hazards and be content to mark 5 on their card.

Hole Sixteen – 130 yards, Bogey 3 – A tricky, short, downhill hole. Although only 130 yards we need an exquisitely hit mashie-niblick if we are to be on level terms with the Colonel.

Hole Seventeen – 320 yards, Bogey 4 – A fine hole. It can be played in two ways. The strong player will carry the road and thus have a straightforward approach to a well guarded green. The moderate player will have to play a courageous second across the gorse-guarded road to the green. A four is much appreciated by either player.

Hole Eighteen – 440 yards, Bogey 4 – Just as the first was a good opening hole, the eighteenth is a splendid finisher, and we should have a feeling of satisfaction if we hole out in four or five, according to our merits, on the delightful plateau green.

Out - 3,277 yards, SSS 38; In - 2,870 yards, SSS 36; Total – 6,147 yards, SSS 74. 

 

Colwyn Bay Golf Club. Layout of the course following WW2.

Above is the layout of the course following the Second World War.

 

Colwyn Bay Golf Club. Scorecard following WW2.

The scorecard following WW2.

 

Colwyn Bay Golf Club, The seventh, eighth and second greens.

 

Colwyn Bay Golf Club. Greens, seven, eight and two.

Above views across the seventh, eighth and second greens.

 

Colwyn Bay Golf Club. The course and Welsh scenery.

The golf course in the foreground and the scenery beyond.

 

From the mid 1950s to the club’s last recorded year in 1959, the course still had 18-holes, but membership had declined to 170 by 1959. Visitors’ fees were 3/6d a round, 5/- a day, and 2/6d after 4.30pm.  Weekend fees were 5/- a day, weekly fees 15/- , and monthly fees 35/-. 

 

Colwyn Bay Golf Club, Upper Colwyn. Course location.

Course location. Grid reference SH84400,77940, co-ordinates 284400,377940.

 

In 1958 the council purchased the site for £10,250 and in 1960 sold it for private house development at a profit to the town of £40,000. The clubhouse was demolished in the 1960s and Taylor's pub and restaurant took over the site.

The former Colwyn Bay course can be seen on the Britain From Above link below. 

http://www.britainfromabove.org.uk/image/wpw055746?search=colwyn%20bay&ref=15