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Llandrindod Wells

Llandrindod Wells, Wales
Llandrindod Wells, Wales
Rankings
  • AddressPowys, Llandrindod Wells LD1 5NY, UK

Golf was first played on a 9-hole course constructed by owners of the Pump House Hotel near the lake at the splendid little spa town of Llandrindod Wells back in 1890. The town council was forced to close the course fifteen years later, however, as it became too dangerous for visitors using the common ground.

Once 140 acres of land at Little Hill had been acquired, overlooking the lake and the town, the then four-time Open Champion Harry Vardon (he would go on to win another two Opens) was enlisted to design a new 18-hole course. And what a grand opening there was in May 1907 when all three of the Great Triumvirate – Vardon, James Braid and John Henry Taylor – came to Llandrindod Wells Golf Club, along with local professional George Humble.

James Braid returned to the club in the mid-1930s to upgrade the course and he duly submitted plans for improvement and his invoice for eleven guineas. Braid designed three new holes, the 4th, 11th and 12th, and reduced two short par fours to par threes at the 6th and 17th. He also lengthened five other holes with a new tee or new green or both.

Nothing much has changed in more than 80 years since the fairways were first shaped by pick, shovel, wheel barrow and horse drawn cart. The grazing sheep have been removed, trees planted and a small irrigation reservoir installed to water the greens in the summer but the course as it was then is as it is now – without a single sand bunker on any of its 18 holes.

The course measures only 5,759 yards and features a number of old-fashioned design traits, including back-to-back par threes at the 10th and 11th holes, a number of blind holes and several short par fours – five of the nine two-shot holes on the card are under the 350-yard mark.

Many feel the best is kept until last at the driveable “Death or Glory” 18th hole. With a deep ravine between tee and green, do you play safe and lay up or try to reach the other side of a 250-yard carry with one mighty smite?

Golf was first played on a 9-hole course constructed by owners of the Pump House Hotel near the lake at the splendid little spa town of Llandrindod Wells back in 1890. The town council was forced to close the course fifteen years later, however, as it became too dangerous for visitors using the common ground.

Once 140 acres of land at Little Hill had been acquired, overlooking the lake and the town, the then four-time Open Champion Harry Vardon (he would go on to win another two Opens) was enlisted to design a new 18-hole course. And what a grand opening there was in May 1907 when all three of the Great Triumvirate – Vardon, James Braid and John Henry Taylor – came to Llandrindod Wells Golf Club, along with local professional George Humble.

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Course Architect

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James Braid

James Braid was born in 1870 in Earlsferry, the adjoining village to Elie in the East Neuk of Fife. He became a member of Earlsferry Thistle aged fifteen and was off scratch by his sixteenth birthday.

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