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Merionethshire/Fairbourne Golf Club, Gwynedd. (1890 - 1960s)

The Meronethshire Golf Club was founded 1890/2.

It was also called Barmouth Golf Club in the early years.

The forerunner at Fairbourne was known as the Merionethshire Golf Club which was listed as being just south of Barmouth, and was situated on the dunes around Fairbourne. A 9-hole course with lovely views of the Mawddach Estuary and Barmouth. In a course description from about 1910, the following information was given: “This sporting and interesting course of 9 holes is situated close to the shore and nowhere can the game be enjoyed in better or amidst more beautiful scenery. The new clubhouse has accommodation for Ladies as well as Gents. It is only 6 minutes walk from Fairbourne station. The links have been lengthened and the bunkers and the surface throughout carefully improved.”

It eventually became Fairbourne Golf Club.

Local hotels were the Orielton Hall Hotel, which was opposite Fairbourne golf links, and Ynys Faig Hall, the only other hotel near to the golf links. The station at Fairbourne was ½ mile away. Sunday play was not allowed until the mid 1920s.

The following report is from the Cambrian News Friday 16th September 1892 -"Mr John Leigh Taylor, The Cliffe, Penmaenpool, has presented the Barmouth Golf Club with a magnificent silver challenge cup. The cup, which is of solid silver, gold lined, stands on an ebony base and is about 28 inches high. It is to be competed for by members of the club only in October. On Tuesday the handicap and cup presented by the president of the club, Mr Kerr, Tanybwlch, was competed for."

The following report is from the Sheffield Daily Telegraph Wednesday 4th July 1894. (Interesting that the article refers to it as the "Royal Merionethshire Golf Club") - "To those local gentlemen who are uncertain where to go for the summer holiday, because of the uncertainty as to a suitable links, let me recommend Barmouth on the Welsh coast. There one can have the grandest possible holiday, with scenery of the best, boating and bathing not to be excelled, and golf links lying upon an island in the middle of the Mowddch (sic) river, to which golfers are ferried by willing boatmen. The links are the property of the Royal Merioneth Golf Club, membership of which can be had for a month or less."

In January 1895 at a meeting in Shrewsbury Mr C E J Owen of the Merionethshire Golf Club, moved, and Mr Barlow of the Glamorganshire and Porthcawl Clubs, seconded the motion that a "Welsh Golfing Unuion" be formed. 

Concert for the Merionethshire Golf Club in August 1899.


Merionethshire Golf Club, Fairbourne. Concert held in August 1899.

Cambrian News Friday 18th August 1899. Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


It was announced that the 1900 summer meeting of the Merionethshire Golf Club would be held on Tuesday August 7th to Friday August 10th. 

In 1906 visitors’ fees were 1/- a day, 5/- a week and 10/6d a month. 

There were numerous entries and keen competition at the August Tournament in 1910, result as follows; H W Hornby 79; Canon Lambert (of Hull) 81; D G Wake Williams (of Dolgellau) 82.

From the Hereford Times September 3rd 1910 - "In these days when golf is so popular, it is essential to mention that the excellent coast course of the Merionethshire Golf Club of 18-holes is close to Barmouth."





C H  Cotsworth, 20 Beach Road, Fairbourne

F Hadwin (p)


C.H Cotsworth, Estate Office, Fairbourne S.O.

J Dunlop (p)



George Davies (p) Walter Ellis (g)



L J Sherwood (p)


F Wilkinson.

L Williams (p)


R S Vaughton, Woodside, Fairbourne.

L Williams (p)


In 1914 there was a membership of 60. Visitors’ fees were now 1/6d a day, 5/- a week, 10/6d  a month and £1/1/0 a year. Tickets for play could be obtained at the Ynys Faig Hall Hotel, at the clubhouse, or from Mr Cotsworth at the Estate Office.


Fairbourne Golf Club, Gwynedd. The course and clubhouse.

This one for the win. Golfer on the early Fairbourne course.


Throughout the 1920s visitors’ fees were 2/- a day, 7/6d a week and 17/6d a month. Membership at this time was about 50.

By the mid 1930s membership had reduced to 40 and visitors’ fees were 2/6d a day, 7/6d a week and 15/- a month.

In the late 1930s and early 1940s there was a membership of 65, the SSS was 72.

From 1947 to the club’s closure in the early 1960s, the secretary was Major Lloyd Williams, Cartrefle, Fairbourne. The professional and greenkeeper was L Williams. The SSS had been revised to 70. Membership throughout this period was about 75. Visitors’ fees were now 2/6d a round, 3/6d a day, 10/6d a week, 17/6d a fortnight.


Fairbourne Golf Club, Gwynedd. Early clubhouse and ninth green.

Fairbourne clubhouse and ninth green


Fairbourne Golf Club, Gwynedd. The third tee.

The third tee on the Fairbourne links


Fairbourne Golf Club, Gwynedd. The Mawddach Estuary from the course.

The Mawddach Estuary from the Golf Links, Fairbourne.


Fairbourne Golf Club, Gwynedd. The Golf Links on the 1938 O.S Map.

Map of Fairbourne Golf Links and Clubhouse. © Crown Copyright {1938}



There is currently a nine-hole pitch and put course at Fairbourne.