Aberystwyth Golf Club was formed in 1911 and the first committee made the wise decision to engage Harry Vardon – the man about to become that year’s Champion Golfer when he would win the fifth of his six Opens at Royal St.George’s – to design the 18-hole layout.
Situated on Bryn-y-Mor (“Hill on the Sea”) overlooking the university town of Aberystwyth and Cardigan Bay, the course was opened for play in 1913 then officially inaugurated the following year by the French Open Champion, George Duncan (the only one of six Scottish winners in over a 100 years to triumph more than once in that competition).
The original course began as a par 72 with a length of 5,185 yards, but by the 1960s, it had been lengthened to 5,303 yards with a reduced par of 66. Tees were then extended, grass bunkers filled with sand and trees planted throughout the property to shape the modern day course that today measures a very reasonable 6,119 yards with a par of 70.
Two of the feature holes on the card are the 350-yard par four 4th and the 291-yard, par four 14th. A stream runs across the fairway to protect the putting surface at the former and fairway bunkers guard the elevated green at the latter, with both holes offering some stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
If you haven't made the trip to Aberystwyth then you should start planning it now! I was very fortunate with the weather when I arrived as it was a glorious sunny day. The course was easy to find - I used a sat nav (cheating I know). I arrived an hour early and spent 30 minutes just talking to the locals in the club house, each one could provide a wealth of knowledge on their club and its rich history of golfing greats - Harry Vardon designed course for starters.The greens and the fairways were in really good condition - perhaps a bit brown on the 15th but I believe the water system had broken at the time and was in the process of getting replaced. The views are exactly like others have said - spectacular.Aberystwyth is a fantastic find, but don't take my word for it - take a look yourselves.