Llanfairfechan Golf Club
The club as we know it now is not the original Golf Club, The first Golf Club was founded in 1909. The course was formally opened on Tuesday 3rd August 1909. A 9 hole private course with wonderful views at Llys y Gwynt and Rhiwiau, belonging to Col Pratt CB. Local hotels were the Queens, Castle and the Llanfair Arms. Sunday play was never allowed.
In 1914 there was a membership of 45. There was no entry fee. Subs were £1/1/0. Visitors’ fees were 1/6d a day, 5/- a week and 10/6 a month. Ladies 1/-, 4/-, 8/- respectively. Sunday play was not allowed.
In 1928 the amateur course record was held by a Mr Ellacot 35. Visitors fees were now gents 2/6d a day, 7/6d a week, 15/- a month. Ladies 2/6d, 6/-, 12/6 respectively.
From 1935 to the club’s last year in 1953 the secretary was Tom Jones, Tyn Llwyn, Llanfairfechan. The greenkeeper was still R Williams. The membership was 70 in 1935, 40 in 1939/40 and 50 in 1953. The 9 hole course now had a SSS of 66 and a Par of 64. Visitors’ fees were Gents 2/6d a day (1/6d after 2 pm), 7/6d a week, 15/- a month. Ladies 2/6d, 6/-, 12/- respectively.
This Club closed in the 1950's.
The reincarnation of a Golf Club was first discussed in August of 1967 when members of the council had been approached about it. A meeting was held in th Council Chambers on 17th August 1967. Guidance was sought from a Professional Golf Architect in September 67, with mixed comments.
In 1970 the Urban district Council purchased land known as Penlan Fields for recreational purposes. Council obtained outline planning permission for a golf course. An earlier application for a caravan park rejected, owing to the proximity of the boundary of the Snowdonia National Park.
Remember, golf wasn't as popular then as it is now, 8 or 9 people from Llanfairfechan played at Penmaenmawr, and it was questioned whether there would be sufficient interest to warrant forming a club here.
However, a committee was formed chaired by Lloyd Hughes, Tom Jones as secretary J L Jones (Midland Bank) treasurer plus 6/8 committee members. In the spring of 1971, the land was purchased from the council for £3,000,following initial intention to lease. The this was made possible by money raised and Welsh Sports Council grants. It was decided to build the clubhouse first, as this could then be used to raise necessary funds for the course and machinery. It was agreed to purchase a prefabricated building, with a life expectancy of ten years - the the clubhouse we are using to this day, with a few alterations! A few members were in the building trade were asked for their assistance and advice e.g. Wil Parry and Owie Queens. Alun Cynwy Williams and Len Batty were also very involved in the construction, and Len acquired the expertise of a joiner, employed by Edward Jones, who built the bar, which remains unchanged.
The present Golf Club opened in 1972.
As capital was required to buy and build the clubhouse, it was agreed to the following subs - £50 per couple, or £35 per single person, for a period of ten years. This was quite a gamble, as £50 was a lot of money in those days. It is quite difficult to imagine that five or six fields, separated by stone walls about 5ft high, could be turned in to a golf course. Firstly, the stone walls had to be demolished, so Blake and Arnold with their JCBs and bulldozers were hired. Large Trenches alongside the walls were excavated and the walls were then pushed into these and the stones and boulders were buried. Many of the new members had not played golf before, so lessons were arranged to be held in the Town Hall in the winter months, with coaching by Peter Lees, the Pro in Conwy. Sunday mornings in the Spring of 1973 became very busy, with new members practicing on the field where the 1st and 2nd greens are located. It was quite a dangerous place to be. Once the walls were buried, it was decided to cut areas on the field to make 5 temporary greens. The 1st and 2nd are the original ones, but owing to undulating terrain, the 3rd, 4th and 5th greens had to be specially built.
Eventually all nine greens were but there was one serious interruption to play. Shell Oil were committed to lay pipeline from Anglesey to Ellesmere Port. An area 20ft wide and 6 ft deep was excavated, through the car park, in front of the clubhouse and across the 3rd and 4th fairways, ending on Terrace Walk. As a result this area was declared GUR and competitions continued, under these difficult conditions. The only consolation to this was that Shell paid the Club a substantial sum of money in compensation.
The last green built were the 10th, 15th and 18th. It was felt that these made the course a more interesting and challenging.
The first President of the Club was Mr Lloyd Hughes, who served for many years, David Evans was secretary and John L Jones was treasurer.
Gwynn Williams was first Captain and served from June 1972 - March 1974, with Len Batty as vice-Captain.