Played the golf Non-ITL Invitation in Llandudno in 2016. It was won by Russell Newton. We played the Maesdu, North Wales and Prestatyn golf courses. Some information and photos below. We played there in the middle of April and stayed at the local Travel Lodge (Gloddaeth Street, Llandudno, LL30 2DD, United Kingdom, Sat nav postcode: LL30 2DD)
Maesdu Golf Course
Llandudno (Maesdu) Golf Club, Hospital Road, Llandudno. LL30 1HU
Maesdu Golf Club was founded in 1915 when the town council bought the ground formerly known as Maesdu (meaning Black Field) Estate. As well as providing the local community an opportunity to play golf they also wanted to attract visitors and tourists to the seaside resort of Llandudno. The council employed James Braid to advise on the layout of the course. When Tom Jones became golf professional at Maesdu he helped James Braid to expand and develop Maesdu into an 18-hole semi-parkland, semi-links course. Visitors today might ask why the course was planned with a busy road dividing the first two and last two holes from the other fourteen. The answer is that what is now Deganwy Road was only a footpath in the early 1920s.
In 1922 Tom Jones introduced the September Open Meeting at Maesdu Golf Club. The initial event comprised of the Duncan Challenge Bowl, Chantry Scratch Challenge Trophy, the Grand Foursome Challenge Tankards and the Mixed Foursome Challenge Cup. These competitions have remained an integral part of the Meeting ever since, although the original five day meeting has grown into the ten day event that golfers, both members and visitors, enjoy today.
Tom Jones remained as golf professional at Maesdu for nearly 50 years and was made Club Captain in 1962. He became the first Welsh Chairman of the PGA where he met Robert Penfold and persuaded him to stage the prestigious Penfold Tournament at Maesdu. Many of the world’s top golfers took part in the tournament throughout the 1950’s and 1960’s including such names as Peter Alliss and Henry Cotton. Maesdu is proud to still have Tom’s two daughters, Pat and Elsie and his grandson Clive Brown, who is Deputy Chairman of the Championship Committee at the R&A, as members.
The introduction of Junior golf lessons on a Saturday morning at Maesdu was the inspiration in 1951 for the formation of the Golf Foundation whose aim was, and still is, to encourage children and young adults to play golf. In 1962 Maesdu went on to form the first Junior section in the country with its own Junior Captain, Junior Secretary, Junior Treasurer and Junior Committee members.
In 1964 the current Clubhouse was opened. It was described as being “among the best in the country and certainly the finest in Wales”. Today it boasts a comfortable lounge and bar, a beautiful restaurant with stunning views over the North Wales coastline, a new sports bar and excellent changing facilities for visitors and members.
In 2001 the Professional Golfers’ Association marked the conclusion of its Centenary Year by planting 100 oak trees at various golf clubs, including Maesdu. The clubs chosen had a strong connection with the PGA such as hosting PGA Championships, the PGA Cup and Ryder Cup; those associated with the principle founders of the PGA in 1901, particularly J H Taylor, James Braid and Harry Vardon, the triumvirate that dominated British professional golf before the Great War; and those that had made a significant contribution to golf over the PGA’s 100 year history. The trees had been grown from acorns gathered at the famous Oak Hill course in Rochester, New York, which was the scene of the European Ryder Cup victory in 1995.
In 2013 Maesdu hosted the Ladies Golf Union Seniors’ Home Internationals drawing universal praise for the standard of the course, the facilities and the warm welcome from club members. The President of the Irish ladies Golf Union commented “You have a wonderful course. Thank you for a great event”. Maesdu were further honoured when chosen by the Welsh Golf union of Wales to hold the Welsh Open Youths Championship in May 2015. The championship attracted players from Scandinavia, Germany and France.
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”.
Prestatyn Golf Course
Marine Road East, Prestatyn, Denbighshire. LL19 7HS
Prestatyn Golf Club, Championship Links course in Wales and is set in 150 acres of unspoilt links land. Voted in the top ten winter links, the stunning course, welcoming clubhouse, and challenging design offer a truly memorable golf experience. The temperate climate and natural land structures ensure that golfers can play on the greens all the year round. The traditional championship course, 6808 yards off the blue tees and 6564 yards of the medal white tees is firmly placed on the Welsh Championship roster. The prevailing south west winds are a feature of the course and the lower flighted shot allows golfers to utilise the natural rolling links landscape.