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Dolgellau Golf Club, Gwynedd. (1911 - 2017) 

The club was founded in 1911. 

Often referred to as Dolgelley Golf Club in the early years, it was also known as Hengwrt Golf Club.

Dolgellau Golf Club had the following proud boast on its website.

"Probably The Most Beautiful Golf Course In The World."

“Dolgellau Golf Course is a family run club, with friendly staff and a welcoming relaxed atmosphere. Set in the beautiful Snowdonia National Park in North Wales, it makes an ideal day out. Whether you live locally or are just visiting, golfer or non golfer, the course and club house have something to offer everyone.

The course is overlooked by Cader Idris, with stunning views looking down over the Mawdaach estuary.

The club and beautiful parkland course were founded in 1911. Although not a long course, the small well protected greens offer a real challenge to golfers of all abilities.
Non-golfer, tourist, walkers or children are all welcome. The clubhouse is open to all and boasts a varied home cooked menu and fully licensed bar, plus outside decking for when the sun is shining.”

The club and course closed in April 2017.

Report on the proposed club in May 1909.


Dolgellau Golf Club, Gwynedd. Report on the proposed club in May 1909.

Cambrian News Friday 28 May 1909. Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


Hengwrt Golf Club, Dolgelley. The first general meeting of members was held at the Market Hall on Friday the 24 February 1911, and was well attended. The following officers were elected; President - Col. John Vaughan of Nannau; vice presidents - Charles G Beale of Bryntirion, Dolgelley; Lt. Col. G F Scott, Penmaenucha; I Haydn Morris, Midland Bank House, Dolgelley; Mrs Davies Doluocheogryd and Mrs J U Ffolkes of Hengwrt. Hon. secretaries.- T C S Johnston of Hengwrt and J Jones Williams Pembryn House; captain - Mr J Haydn Jones; Hon. treasurer, Mr W Harvey Jones of Llys Llynarch. Committee - Officers and the following; Mr R Guthrie Jones Llys Llynach, Dr D J Edwards Frondirion, Mr E A Williams Greenwich House, Mr Richard Williams Argoed, Mr Thos H Roberts Parliament House, Mr C E Munro Edwards Coed Cilyn, Mr A E Hughes Llowinion House, Mr Edward Williams Ivy House, Capt A E Jelf Reveley Broniggader and Mr Widdyn Evans. The question of rules and other matters were left in the hands of the committee.

Below are early pictures of the course.


Dolgellau Golf Club, Gwynedd. The old ninth green.

The old ninth green.


Dolgellau Golf Club, Gwynedd. Mawddach Estuary from the golf course.

Mawddach Estuary from the golf course.


The clubhouse was a small cottage that still exists nowadays (2017) and is at present a private residence.

The official opening of the course was discussed on many occasions but, so far ,no evidence of a formal opening of the course has come to light.

In 1912 the professional was O G Owen and the grounds-man was Lewis Jones. There were a couple more professionals appointed prior to WW1 but Lewis Jones eventually became professional and green-keeper and continued until WW2.

Major-General John Vaughan, CB, DSO, DL, JP, was born in Dolgellau and served as president at the golf club from 1911 through to WW2.


Dolgellau Golf Club, Gwynedd. The cottage used as the clubhouse.

Above is the cottage which served as the clubhouse over the years.


Competitions were played until the onset of WW1when part of the course was required for the growing of crops. Play on the nine-hole course resumed following the war. 

Committee meetings were held as usual during the war but little golf was played on the restricted course.

At the annual meeting in May 1919Mr Dunsmore accepted the vice- presidency and captaincy of the club. He promised to award prizes for monthly competition, to be medal play, providing 25 members of the club take cards.  Major-General J Vaughan and Capt Wynne Thomas accepted Presidency and Vice Presidency.

In August 1919 the T H Roberts Cup was won by Mr D F Bunton with a score of 76-8-68. In the Captains Cup Mr Emrys Evans and Mr A R Cox tied for first place with scores of 71-1-70 and 78-8-70 respectively, play off to decide winner.

In 1924 the captain was Mr Munroe Edwards and the vice-captain, E A Edwards.

In 1926 the captain was A R Cox, vice-captain A C Hughes, secretary D Brunton and treasurer W R Jones.

In 1931 the captain was R Jones Ellis, vice-captain Enion Evans, secretary was O Pearce who replaced D C Brunton who reigned after five years in the post.

In 1935 the captain was John Williams, vice-captain Glyn Jones, secretary A M Rees, ladies’ captain Mrs Jenny Roberts and ladies’ secretary Mrs G Jones Williams

Officials in May 1936; president, Gen John Vaughan; captain, Glyn E Jones; vice-captain, O P Hughes; ladies’ captain and secretary, Miss J Roberts

Results from May 1936; Red Cross Trophy- H Morris, 76-12-64 tied with G Williams, 80-16-64; J E C Jones, 73-7-66; D Guthrie Jones 74-6-68; R M Hughes, 90-21-69. On a replay H Morris won with 69 net.

Major Wynne Jones Competition; I J Thomas, 84-21-63; runner-up Edwin Jones 64 net. Australian Competition winner was David A James 62 net, runner up O P Hughes 63 net. Gregory Cup Competition winner O P Hughes 62 net, runner up Morris Griffith 63 net.


Dolgellau Golf Club, Gwynedd. Article from The Tatler September 1937.

From The Tatler September 22 1937. Image © Illustrated London News Group. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.


At the annual meeting the following officers were elected for 1938-39; president Gen J Vaughan; captain T C S Johnstone; vice-captain, O Pierce; treasurer, W G Jones; hon. John Williams and Glyn Jones; ladies’ captain;  Mrs A M Rees vice-captain, Mrs R W Edwards; treasurer, Mrs E A Williams, secretary, Miss J Roberts.

During WW2 part of the course was used for the sowing of potatoes. The professional took on the work of ploughing , planting and fencing the required part. Certain members of the committee expressed their willingness to supply seed potatoes and fertilisers if the professional desired it.

In October 1941 the president agreed to the surrender of the lease held by the club on the golf links as from September 29th 1941 for the duration of the war with an option of  renewing the lease at the cessation of  hostilities. Gen Vaughan expressed a wish that the greens be safeguarded so that the links may become playable after the war.

The following were appointed officers at the annual meeting in May 1946; president, Gen. John Vaughan; captain, Edwin Jones; vice-captain, H E Davies; treasurer, Mr M Jones, Midland Bank; secretary, John Eirian Griffith; ladies’ captain, Mrs A M Rees; vice-captain, Mrs H E Davies; secretary Miss M Isaac.

David Williams had been appointed professional and green-keeper following the war but he resigned in July 1946.

In the 1950s and  1960s the secretary was L O Bright and the green-keeper J H Jones. Membership of 130. Course records; amateur, J Brunton 63; professional, L James 61 (1937); The nine-hole course measured 2,273 yards with a Par and SSS of 68. Green fees were; 3s/6d a day, 12s/6d a week, 30s a month. Sunday play was not allowed.

In the early 1970s the secretary was Cyril Edwards. In 1975 the secretary was W E Roberts. Green fees were 75p a day.

By the early 1980s membership had risen to 300. The secretary was J L Gill.


Dolgellau Golf Club, Gwynedd. Scorecard and plan of the course from 1982.


Dolgellau Golf Club, Gwynedd. Scorecard and plan of the course from 1982.

Scorecard courtesy of Colin Barker who played the course on 13 April 1982.


1986 had been another good year with 34 new members. There had been an increased number of enquiries from Societies. The improvement on the course by the new green-keeper had been commented on by visitors. Mr Elfyn Owen had been employed as grounds-man for a year, the course and surroundings improving vastly during this time. Work had been carried out on cleaning ditches, seven new sand bunkers had been added and two new tees built. Work would shortly commence on the formation of a dog-leg on the third fairway as a safety aspect.

The annual meeting was held in April 1987.  Officers present; president, A W Pugh; vice-president, D W Jones Williams; captain, D C Bareham; vice-captain, E Evans; lady captain, Mrs C Clay; chairman, D W A Vaughan; secretary,  P M Jones; treasurer, G W Roberts.

For the next ten years the club kept its head above water, just about, it was always a struggle to make ends meet.

In June 1998 a sad announcement, it was reported that the club was to close. It stated that Saturday 20 August was the final Captains Day in the 88 year long history of Dolgellau Golf Club. It was marked with a thunderstorm, a course record, and a hole in one. The course was to be handed over to the landowner the following week when work would start on demolishing the clubhouse.

It looked as though that was it for golf at Dolgellau.

By 2003 there was fresh hope.

Richard Stockdale a PGA professional became the new owner. The course improved a new clubhouse was built and everything was done to attract not only golfers, but to enhance the social side of the club. Richard worked hard to achieve these goals and to keep the course in good shape at the same time.

Sadly, after fourteen years he had to face reality, he decided he had to sell the club. Popularity of the sport had decreased and this is evident by the record number of closures being recorded. It mainly affects clubs that appeared during the growth of the popularity in the sport in the 1980/90s, but more established clubs are also finding it difficult to carry on.

Richard hoped that the members may be able to get together and purchase the club, he even made a drastic reduction in the purchase price, but, sadly, it was not to be and the club closed its doors for the final time in April 2017.

This is a particularly sad entry for the author. I was a member at Dolgellau during the 1990s and it was a real pleasure to play the course with its spectacular views and friendly members. The small cottage which was used as the clubhouse in the 1990s was unique. With the imminent closure in 1998 I had to find another club. I eventually joined a club in the area but I would still visit Dolgellau with friends, happily paying my green fee thinking it may help the club survive, it had narrow escapes with closure previously which I knew only too well. I was hanging on hoping the club would get another reprieve but sadly it looks as though it’s finally gone.

Thanks for the memories. Good bye old friend, I'll certainly miss you. 


Dolgellau Golf Club, Gwynedd. Scorecard and course plan.


Dolgellau Golf Club, Gwynedd. Scorecard and course plan.

The scorecard and course plan.


Dolgellau Golf Club, Gwynedd. The later clubhouse and third green.

The later clubhouse and third green.


Dolgellau Golf Club, Gwynedd. View across the course.

View across the course.


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

Mawddach Estuary from the golf course.


Dolgellau Golf Club, Gwynedd. The golf course on the O.S. Map © Crown Copyright {year of publication 1954}


Dolgellau Golf Club, Gwynedd. The golf course on the O.S. Map © Crown Copyright {year of publication 1954}

The golf course on the Ordnance Survey Map Revised 1949 © Crown Copyright {year of publication 1954}