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Dyffryn Ardudwy Golf Club, near Barmouth, Gwynedd. (1907 - 1960s)

The club was founded in 1907.

In September 1907 a public meeting was held, presided over by Mr John Davies where it was unanimously agreed that a golf course should be laid out at Dyffryn. The meeting was addressed by several visitors, including Mr Harold Bickersteth from Liverpool and Mr Shields from London who were experienced golfers. They both pointed out the suitability of the Morfa as a course, and said that an excellent nine hole course could be laid out at very little expense. A committee was appointed to take the suggestion forward and to make arrangements with the parties interested in the Morfa. The proposal was well supported in the neighbourhood and promises of assistance were received from a great number of people including Mr Pryce Owen, Mr More of Harlech, who was a prominent founder member at Royal St David’s Golf Club, Dr Williams of Bennar Fawr, Mr Harold Bickersteth, Mr Shields, Mr Gossage and many others. There was great enthusiasm for the project and an all out effort was made to raise the necessary funds. If everything could be finalised it was hoped the course would be playable by Easter 1908 and Dyffryn would be in possession of a golf course “second to none in the United Kingdom”

In February 1908 the question was raised whether the course should be 9 or 18-holes. The chairman thought the 18 hole would be a more attractive proposition. This was generally agreed, but the committee were unsure if funds would be sufficient. The 18 hole option was eventually agreed and a “professional advisor” was to mark out the additional 9 greens required to make the 18 hole course and the work of laying them out could be undertaken as soon as the committee had the required money. It was also decided to ask Mr Gough of the Cambrian Railway Company to arrange a meeting with the committee to discuss the question of advertising Dyffryn and its neighbourhood. Following this meeting Mr Gough offered to put up views of the golf course and neighbourhood in Cambrian Railway carriages.

In April 1908 the golf club engaged the services of F Hadwin of Hyde Golf Club, Cheshire, as professional. He was to take up his duties on the 15th April, and remained with the club until 1909. The new links of the Dyffryn Golf Club were opened at the end of April. The opening ceremony was performed by Mrs John Ansell of Cors y Gedol. Mrs Ansell referred to the fantastic support given to the scheme by the Cors y Gedol family, who were owners of the course. T H Piggott was invited to drive the first ball which he did in a manner “worthy of himself as a member of Royal St David’s”. A competition was then held for a silver cup which was kindly donated by a committee member. The winner was J N More of Royal St David’s with a 36 hole total of 161 net. The winner was the son of W H More, the secretary of Royal St David’s Golf Club.

The golf links were finally extended to a full course of 18-holes over 5,500 yards in May 1909. The course was on good links turf with sandy soil and plenty of natural hazards.

 

Dyffryn Ardudwy Golf Club. Player on the tee.

Players on the tee at Dyffryn in 1909. Postcard Published by J Maclardy, Oswestry. Authors Collection.

 

Dyffryn Ardudwy Golf Club. The Golf House.

The Dyffrn Golf House.

 

In July 1920, the Barmouth Advertiser reported that the Cors y Gedol Estate, Merioneth, comprising 24 excellent farms and various smallholdings in and around Harlech, Barmouth and Dyffryn including the Dyffryn Golf Links were to be offered for sale in August at the Assembly Rooms. At a property sale on August 19th at the Assembly Rooms the golf links, the property of the late Mr William Ansell of Cors y Gedol, were sold. The club, despite all this upheaval, carried on. By the mid 1920s the course had reverted to 9-holes.

 

Secretary

Professional/greenkeeper

1908/1909

 

James Hadwin (p)

1914

W Allan De La B Ramsay, Cartrefle, Dyffryn

J Coppack (p)

1915/1916

 

Percy Bowser (p)

1923

William Owen, Horeb Terrace, Dyffryn

 

1930  to 1950s

T Whitfield, FRSA, Boderw, Dyffryn

E Griffith (g) H Roberts (p)

In 1914 the club had a membership of 72. There was no entry fee. Subs for gents were £1-1/- and ladies 15/-. Visitors’ fees were 1/6d a day, 5/- a  week and 15/- a  month. Ladies and juniors under 18 were charged 10/6d a month. Sunday play was not allowed.

 

Dyffryn Ardudwy Golf Club. Path to the beach.

Sheep on the path leading from the clubhouse to the beach.

 

In 1923 the record professional score was 74, unfortunately the name of the record holder was not found. Visitors’ fees for gents were now 2/- a day, 7/6d a week, 20/- a month, ladies and juniors under 18 paid 2/-, 5/-, 15/- respectively.

 

Dyffryn Ardudwy Golf Club, Gwynedd. Postcard showing the eighth green.

Postcard showing the eighth green posted 1939.

 

Dyffryn Ardudwy Golf Club. View across the course.

1930/40s view across the former course towards Dyffryn.

 

The postcard below sates “Harlech, Snowdonian Range from the Golf Links.” I know the area well and this picture is taken from the Dyffryn Links with Harlech in the far distance.

 

Dyffryn Ardudwy Golf Club, Gwynedd. Postcard showing Harlech from the Dyffryn Golf Links.

The above picture is taken from the Dyffryn Ardudwy Links.

 

From the mid 1930s to the early 1950s the club was sometimes known as Dyffryn-on-Sea. The 9-hole course had a SSS of 38. Visitors’ fees were 2/6d a day, 10/- a week, 15/- a fortnight. Sunday play was allowed without caddies.

 

Dyffryn Ardudwy Golf Club, Gwynedd. The clubhouse and Cafe in 1953.

Frith postcard posted in 1953 showing the Golf House & Cafe. Authors Collection.

 

In the club’s last year in 1965, when the club was listed as the Dyffryn Seaside Estate, Golf & Country Club, the secretary was G Moore and the greenkeeper G Pritchard. The 9 hole course measured 3,026 yards. Visitors’ fees were 2/6d a day, Weekends and Bank Holidays 3/6d a day, 10/- a week, 15/- a fortnight and 21/-  a month. 

The course was abandoned in the 1960s. Part of the old course, in the foreground of the photograph below, is now being used as an airfield.

 

Dyffryn Ardudwy Golf Club. The deserted course in 2004.

Above is a photograph taken in 2004, still showing features of the old Dyffryn links. Authors Collection.

 

Dyffryn Ardudwy Golf Club. Location of the course.

Course location. Grid reference SH56840,24025, co-ordinates 256840,324025.