Regarded as one of the most picturesque courses in Wales with the magnificent backdrop of the historic Gwrych Castle, Abergele Golf Club remains a firm favourite with both members and visitors who visit from all over the golfing world.
Abergele Golf Club was formed in 1910 and the site’s pavilion was opened two years later near Gwrych Castle. Six years later the owners of the land, Dundonald Estates, granted permission for the course to operate on Sundays. The club encountered financial difficulties in 1919 when its guarantors did not pay subscriptions and were required to pay 20 shillings each year. Additionally the course’s committee members toured Abergele to raise the necessary capital. Tennis courts were prepared in 1922 and remained at the site until hard courts were built in nearby Clwyd Avenue. Beginning in 1935 – and revolutionary for it’s time – the first and third Thursdays of each month became known as “Ladies Day”.
It was good news for all in 1936, as a ballot vote at a meeting agreed that bar facilities were provided at the club. The price of a pint of beer was about 4d (9 pence).
Membership declined following the outbreak of the Second World War, and in 1942, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food ordered about twenty acres of the land to be ploughed up to grow crops and grain as part of the “Dig for Victory” campaign. After the Second World War ended, the club expanded with the introduction of a billiard room, a gentleman’s locker room and professional shop.
In March 1967, Abergele Golf Club board members formed into a limited company and purchased more than ninety acres of parkland in Gwyrch Park from Glyn Parry and John Lloyd Jones. It was then in 1968 that the course was established in its present position, next to the historic grounds of Gwyrch Castle and with magnificent coastal views. A new clubhouse was opened by the Earl of Dundonald and the new course was opened on 3 May 1969.
Fortuitously, the Golf Club purchased a practice ground in 1977 for the sum of £10,000 and an extension was built to the clubhouse six years later. It was then in 1984 that Abergele Golf Club held its first national tournament, the Welsh Boys Championship. In the following year, the owners bought land on the east side of the estate to expand the course and a new clubhouse was opened by then President W. Glyn Parry J.P. and Lady President Pat K. Francis J.P. in 1997. A new putting green was opened in 1998, and in the same year, the first tee was constructed.
The Professional’s Shop had been dismantled by 1999 and a swing area and golf academy was established on the site. Between 2002 and 2003 the course was reconstructed by David Williams to meet United States Golf Association standard.
2001 was a revolutionary year at the golf course. With overwhelming support at an extraordinary general meeting, it was decided to reconstruct all 18 greens to USGA standard over a two year period. This would be the start of Abergele Golf Course as we know and love it today. The first phase of the greens project was completed and came into play in May 2002, and in 2003 the final phase of the green construction work took place.
A history of Abergele Golf Club isn’t complete without mentioning our valued professionals, and in 2005 Adam Runcie won his first tournament as Welsh Boys Champion, and in the following year Stuart Runcie was championed as a Welsh Youth International. In 2007, Adam Runcie gained full international honours for Wales, and 2009 saw him play for Wales in the European Team Championships.
In 2009, the Club received a Ryder Cup Wales Legacy Fund to develop a short game practice area and a four bay driving range. Work started in September, and from the summer of 2010 members and visitors have enjoyed these facilities immensely.
Abergele Golf Club has maintained its reputation both locally and nationwide, by ensuring that innovative enhancements are made at every opportunity. This is clearly highlighted by the completion of a huge project which saw the construction of new greens to the latest USGA standards by course architect David Williams of Golf Design and reconstruction work supervised by G. Shiels & Associates. The new USPGA greens, mean that members and visitors alike are able to play on smooth, dry greens the whole year round.
Our history has shaped who we are today and how we play here at Abergele Golf Club. As members and visitors continue to join us, our golfing community continues to grow.
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