The North Wales James Braid Golf Trail comprises ten North Wales golf clubs designed by one of the world’s most famous golf course architects. In this article, we look at Braid’s Maesdu Golf Club in Llandudno.
James Braid (1870-1950) was a famous golf course architect from Scotland, who won the Open Championship five times and designed more than 250 golf courses throughout the British Isles.
Braid’s designs shared several common features. Typically, courses designed by Braid work with the natural features and obstacles of the land on which the courses are built, rewarding accurate play. Dog leg-shaped holes are a common feature of James Braid’s golf courses, and although they vary in character and length, they encourage playing for position.
Ten of North Wales’ golf courses were designed by James Braid, and in this article we’re going to look at his course at Llandudno – Maesdu Golf Club.
Maesdu is an 18-hole parkland and links golf course, close to the seaside town of Llandudno on the North Wales coast, which was created to support the “Come to Llandudno” campaign aimed at attracting sporty tourists and international visitors to the resort. Maesdu has the distinction of being the first ever municipally-owned golf course in Wales.
From records available, it appears that Braid was commissioned in 1913 to design the course; an article from Golf Illustrated dated 1913 supports this fact. Maesdu was built in 1915, which was of course while the First World War was being fought in Europe, and the course was closed immediately afterwards, reopening in 1919. Maesdu was extended in 1924 to incorporate a semi-parkland, semi-links design. The layout and order of holes changed over the years, leading to the current course layout which has been played for over 40 years.
During the 1950s and 60s Maesdu became one of the top professional golfing venues in Britain, and the Penfold Swallow tournament was regularly hosted there. The course regularly hosts Welsh championship events, and the September Open meeting, which started in 1922, is an important part of the golf calendar, helping to extend Llandudno’s tourist season.
There are several holes of note at Maesdu.
The third hole – par 3, 183 yards – has spectacular views towards Anglesey and the Carneddau mountain range. The tee-shot towards Anglesey leads to a large bunkered undulating green.
At the 14th – par 4, 427 yards – the views look towards Conwy and Deganwy. An accurate drive to the left of the marker post provides sea and mountain views, then an approach shot down to a fine green.
The par 3, 177 yard 12th hole is well guarded by bunkers and is considered a signature hole; good clubbing is vital to find this small, elevated, well-protected sloping green.
Another signature hole is the 18th, a par 5 at 510 yards which runs downhill back towards the clubhouse. This is a tough tee shot with out of bounds on the right, usually leaving a lay up and a shot over bunkers to a flat green. Peter Allis, professional golfer and commentator, sometimes refers to Maesdu’s 18th hole in his commentaries.
Deals and offers
For the latest deals and offers, check the offers page at the Maesdu website. Notable offers and deals currently available include:
Monday and Thursday: four-ball special – £80.
Online special: book a four-ball online on either Tuesday, Wednesday or Friday for only £99, or book on Saturday and Sunday for only £120 (applies to online bookings only).
Twilight golf: play after 4pm for just £15.
Other specials at Maesdu include 2-for-1 green fee vouchers (downloadable at their website) for tee times booked with the course professional between 3pm and 4pm; and golf/meal combinations from £32.
Facts and figures
Size: 18 holes – 6545 yards par 72
Address: Maesdu Golf Club, Hospital Road, Llandudno, LL40 1HU
Tel: +44 (0)1492 876450
Fax: +44 (0)1492 876450
In the area
On the days when you’re not playing – or for those in your party that don’t play golf – there’s plenty going on nearby. Maesdu is just a mile away from the charming seaside town of Llandudno, which has an excellent beach, shopping centre and visitor attractions. Nearby is the historic town of Conwy, with its medieval castle and town walls, while just a tiny bit further afield are the mountains and coast of Snowdonia. From Llandudno, Snowdonia’s attractions are easily accessible by car, bus or train; a ‘red rover’ bus pass which costs approximately £5 per adult covers unlimited travel between Llandudno and Aberystwyth by bus for a whole day, offering excellent value for money and the opportunity to explore everything that Snowdonia has to offer.