- AddressGolfa, Welshpool SY21 9AQ, UK
Welshpool Golf Club was formed in 1929 but golf had been played in the area since 1894, when a 9-hole course was established in Deer Park. The club relocated in 1908 to the windy common at Red Bank, above the town of Welshpool, but financial problems saw it fold twenty years later.
When another area of the common became available – aptly entitled The Golfa – funds were raised to purchase the land and James Braid was engaged to lay out a new 18-hole course. Several months later, the first ball was played over the moorland site on New Year’s Day 1930.
The construction company of John R Stutt built the course and Stutt compared Welshpool to Gleneagles, back in his native in Gleneagles does not provide anything like the spectacular shots with which the Golfa abounds. Golf writer Bernard Darwin was equally complimentary with his opinion of Welshpool, saying: “How incomplete has been my golfing education until I had seen it.”
The course is short by modern day standards, extending to just over 5,700 yards but if you like old-fashioned golf with pulpit greens, ditches, greenside swales, the occasional blind shot and gorse lining almost every fairway then Welshpool is just the place to play!
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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.