The famous golf course architect James Braid is credited with designing many of Britain’s top golf courses. Here we look at Braid’s Porthmadog Golf Club, in Snowdonia.
Five-times winner of the Open Championship, James Braid (1870-1950) was a Scotsman who, apart from being an accomplished golfer, was famous for designing many of the UK’s best-known golf courses. Among Braid’s accomplishments was work at Gleneagles and Carnoustie; but he also designed or redesigned ten golf courses in the North Wales area, which today are played as the North Wales James Braid Golf Trail.
Braid’s courses typically share several ‘trademark’ features, which grew out of his love for working with the natural geographic features underlying each course. Working with the natural lie of the land, in a typical James Braid golf course you’re likely to encounter dog legs which encourage playing for position, and the incorporation of natural obstacles and layouts.
But even with these common features, Braid’s courses still manage to vary greatly in length and character.
Porthmadog Golf Club
Opened in the early 1900s, Porthmadog and Borth-y-Gest Golf Club, as it was originally known, was being played by 1906. Since the course’s early days, when members were required to compensate farmers if their game accidentally injured or killed any grazing animals, many alterations have been carried out to the course.
The course is situated in a very beautiful part of the country, about a mile from the wonderful Italianate village – Pormeirion – famously created by eccentric architect Clough Williams-Ellis.
The course at Porthmadog is split into two very distinct halves. Away from the coast, the front nine – five of which are in the presence of water – are built on sandy soil in an area that’s technically heathland.
The back nine, with their spectacular scenery, are closer to the sea, with the course transforming into links. It’s been said that these are Wales’ most natural nine holes, and that this part of the course is not dissimilar to a miniature Troon.
Porthmadog’s signature hole is the 14th, also known as “the Himalayas”. This 378 yards par four features a huge natural bunker that conceals the fairway from the tee. “A memorable round,” is one way of describing Porthmadog’s 14th!
Facilities at Porthmadog Golf Club include a restaurant, bar and pro shop. Course professional Peter Bright, who has been Porthmadog’s PGA professional for over 40 years, offers first class tuition and runs a well-stocked shop where there’s an extensive range of top-brand items at low prices.
Deals and offers
Until 28th March, enjoy 18 holes of golf, a bacon bap and a coffee for £23 on weekdays or £25 on weekends and bank holidays.
Porthmadog Golf Club also offers a group discount for parties of twelve or more – please contact the club beforehand to arrange this.
Facts and figures
Size: 18 holes
6,322 yards par 71, SSS 72
Address: Porthmadog Golf Club, Morfa Bychan, Porthmadog LL49 9UU
Tel: +44 (0) 1766 514 124
In the area
Porthmadog Golf Club is situated at Morfa Bychan, just outside Porthmadog in the beautiful Snowdonia region of North Wales. Porthmadog is an ideal base for exploring the region on days when you’re not golfing, or for non-playing members of your group. Within each reach – a drive of an hour or less – are many of Snowdonia’s most popular visitor attractions, towns and villages including Portmeirion Village, Caernarfon, Harlech, Barmouth, Beddgelert and Llanberis.