Played the golf Non-ITL Invitation in Llandudno in 2015. It was won by Russell Newton. We played both the Conwy and North Wales golf courses. Some information and photos below. We played there in the middle of June and stayed at the local Travel Lodge (Gloddaeth Street, Llandudno, LL30 2DD, United Kingdom, Sat nav postcode: LL30 2DD)
Conwy Golf Course
Conwy (Caernarvonshire) Golf Club, Beacons Way, Conwy. LL32 8ER
In all probability golf was first played on Welsh soil when three enthusiastic Scotsmen laid out a few roughly made holes on a spur of land known as the Morfa in 1869. It was not until 1875 that a group of members from the Royal Liverpool Golf Club realised the full potential of the area and had a professionally-designed course laid out by their club professional, Jack Morris, nephew of Old Tom Morris. Conway (Caernarvonshire) Golf Club was officially formed on the 30th June, 1890 and is the third oldest club behind Tenby (est. 1888) and Rhyl (March 1890) In 1893 Douglas Adams visited the club which resulted in his three famous paintings of the Conwy links course, “A Difficult Bunker”, “The Putting Green” and “The Drive” In 1895 the course was extended to 18 holes by Jack Morris and in the same year, Conwy Golf Club became one of the founding members of the Welsh Golfing Union.
Conwy Golf Club promotes and actively encourages the enjoyment of golf at all levels, within a friendly and welcoming environment. It is a championship links Golf course that can be enjoyed by golfers of all abilities, from beginners to champions. The stunning location on the North Wales Coastline combined with the challenging links Golf course will provide a memorable experience for all golfers, and our aim is to ensure that everyone has an enjoyable and rewarding day. Look at some of our recent visitor feedback and a course review from the Nomadic Golfer.
The Ravages of War
The Morfa was badly affected by the demands of the First World War and the course, along with the surrounding area, was appropriated for military use. With the enormity of the military activities, the old links course was virtually obliterated and the course was “closed” from 1914 to 1919. To keep the club functioning, everything was moved in a northerly direction to the site that the course now occupies. When the Second World War broke out, it was decided to build the prefabricated harbours used in Operation Overlord for the invasion of Europe on the Conwy Estuary. The Mulberry Harbours were constructed on a site at the back of the present second green. This site was the location of the then ninth green which was lost and never replaced. Fortunately this was the only real damage the course suffered.
1875 – Jack Morris designed the first layout of 12 holes
1895 – Jack Morris extended course to 18 holes.
Post First World War – Unknown, records lost in the 1933 fire.
Post Second World War – Unknown to date.
Mid 1970s – Frank Pennink made major changes to the front 9 holes. This included new green complexes on the 4th, 6th and 8th holes, with consequent new tees on the 5th, 7th and 9th holes.
1983 – Brian Hugget and Neil Coles re-designed five holes on the back nine as a consequence of the new tunnel and A55 Expressway construction. This involved a new 13th hole, increasing the 14th to a par 5, while the old par 3 14th became the new 15th. The old par 3 17th was scrapped with the green and part of the old 16th fairway being utilised for a brand new par 4 17th.
North Wales Golf Course
72 Bryniau Road, West Shore, Llandudno, LL30 2DZ
Llandudno –“the Queen of the Welsh resorts”–has two popular beaches appropriately named the North and West Shores. The golfer who wants to enjoy his or her golf could do no better than come to play the North Wales Golf Course. The visitor will find the North Wales Club a true links course situated on the Penmorfa Beach popularly known as the West Shore.
The course is of Championship standard hosting the Welsh Team Championships in 1995. It is not only a trial of ability but allows the golfer to relax and enjoy the exhilarating air and the magnificent scenery of the North Wales coast. As the course runs along the coast there is an ever changing vista. On the outward holes can be seen the Vardre where many a battle was fought before and during the erection of Conwy Castle in the 12th Century. Then the Eryri — Snowdownia mountains loom over Conwy. Then across the sea to Ynys Mon — the island of Anglesey and Puffin island. Sweeping further right and visible at the turn towards home is the Great Orme. For the golfer who comes to Llandudno to play golf, few other places could surpass this for relaxation and enjoyment while playing golf.
The course was founded in 1894 by Tancred D Cummins, from Bowden in Cheshire, who was a prominent Manchester cotton businessman. He first saw the land at Christmas in 1893. At that time it was composed of sand hills and valleys running West to East formed by the prevailing Westerly winds, which still blow, as many a golfer has found to his cost. In the summer of 1894 Mr Cummins watched the Amateur Championships held at Hoylake where Mr John Ball the first Englishman to win The Open in 1890 defeated Mr More-Ferguson by one hole. Following his triumph Mr Ball visited Llandudno with the founder the following week. John Ball’s association with the club is held in high regard by the members and a putter he donated to the Club is still displayed in the Club House and a competition held is his honour annually. John Ball went on to great triumphs being the youngest player ever to win the Open Championship which he did at Prestwick in 1890.
Another member of the Royal Liverpool Golf Club, Mr Harold H Hilton, Open Champion in 1892 and 1897, was an associate of Mr Cummins the founder member. Mr Hilton visited the course and gave valuable advice and suggestions on the layout of the course.
Another connection with the Royal Liverpool Course is found in the Club badge which includes the words “far and sure”, which is taken from the Hoylake Club Moto. John Ball won the Amateur Championship on eight occasions and Harold H Hilton was Champion three times.
Following the completion of the course , Mr Cummins named each hole. The par 3 13th, a beautiful short hole playing directly into the prevailing wind he named “Hades”. The Church Commissioners from whom he purchased the land, requested that the name be changed, as it was inappropriate to have such a name when the land had connections with the church. Mr Cummins refused the request. In order to alleviate their displeasure, he named the 18th “Paradise”. These two names remain to this day. Mr Cummins was to be the Club Captain and Club Secretary for 38 years from 1894 to 1933.
The course changed during its formative years because of housing development on the surrounding land. Since those days there has been little change. The biggest change was some 20 years ago when the green of a delightful short hole, “The Sahara” was lost through coast erosion. There have been recent additions to the course facilities with the addition of a practice ground and a practice pitching area.
The qualifying round of the Penfold competition was held on this course during the period 1952-54. When the great Henry Cotton won the event in 1954, he referred to the North Wales Course at a press interview which followed his success, as “a gem”.