The renowned Scottish golf course architect James Braid was responsible for designing many of the UK’s best-known golf courses. One of those was Pwllheli Golf Club in Snowdonia.
Scotsman James Braid (1870-1950) won the Open Championship five times; and it’s thanks to Braid that some of Britain’s best-known golf courses are so well loved today. For as well as being an accomplished golfer, James Braid was one of the most renowned golf course designers in Britain’s history, with Gleneagles and Carnoustie being just two of the many courses he designed or redesigned.
There were several ‘trademark’ features shared by Braid’s courses. Preferring to work with the lie of the land so that natural geographical features were incorporated, Braid’s courses are known for rewarding accurate play. Dog legs encourage playing for position, and natural layouts and obstacles are all assimilated into the courses’ design. Despite the common features, however, Braid’s courses are known to vary in character and length.
From one end of the UK to another there are many golf courses that Braid was involved in, one way or another; either designing them from new, or redesigning existing courses. And of Braid’s courses, ten can be found in the North Wales area. These ten courses have been linked together in the North Wales James Braid Golf Trail, and golfers who play on all ten courses in the trail can exchange their stamped trail card for a special certificate when all ten courses have been completed.
Clwb Golff Pwllheli Golf Club
Pwllheli Golf Club started out as a nine-hole course, designed by Tom Morris in 1900. In 1909, following the offer of further land, James Braid redesigned the layout and added a further nine holes.
What’s different about Clwb Golff Pwllheli is that it combines tree-lined parkland golf with links golf. This 6,100 yards, par 69 course is challenging even for the best of golfers and is one of the finest golf courses in North Wales.
And being set on the south facing coastline of Cardigan Bay, Clwb Golff Pwllheli is in a stunning location where players can enjoy breathtaking views.
The 10th hole at Pwllheli is a 197-yard par 3 with a green surrounded by bunkers, while the 455-yard par 4 dog leg 15th hole is a typical James Braid hole.
The 291-yard par 4 11th hole has a characteristic small undulating green, closely guarded by bunkers, with gorse a prevalent feature. This hole’s design offers two possible alternatives: take a chance on a long drive to a narrowed fairway, making the approach shot easier; or alternatively, play an iron off the tee, meaning the bunkers come in to play.
The clubhouse at Clwb Golff Pwllheli is within yards of the sea, with balconies boasting incredible views over the Cardigan Bay coastline, the Llyn Peninsula and the mountains of Snowdonia. The clubhouse has a large, well-stocked bar and a large-screen television, while the ground floor has a restaurant serving breakfast, bar and carvery menus. There’s also a snooker room.
Deals and offers
For the months of January and February, green fees are £12.50 per person, or £40 for a four ball. Clwb Golff Pwllheli will also offer discounts for golfers taking part in the James Braid Golf Trail – to find out more, call the club and speak to Dennis.
Facts and figures
Size: 18 holes
6,100 yards par 69, SSS 70
Address: Clwb Golff Pwllheli, Golf Road, Pwllheli, Gwynedd LL53 5PS
Tel: +44 (0)1758 701644
In the area
Pwllheli Golf Club can be found at the historic market town of Pwllheli on the Llyn Peninsula. The town is a popular holiday destination and a great base for exploring this beautiful part of Snowdonia. Nearby are the towns of Abersoch and Nefyn, while a pleasant country drive will bring you to Aberdaron, the last village on the pilgrim route towards Bardsey, the ancient isle of 20,000 saints.