Founded in 1914, Whitchurch Golf Club had a 9-hole course in operation the year after its formation. This initial layout was extended to 18 holes eight years later, thanks to the joint efforts of Fred Johns, the club’s first professional, and the professional from Radyr.
The modern day course is largely the one that they set out, apart from holes 4 and 18, which were both replaced in recent years when land was lost to an adjacent road bypass project.
A round at Whitchurch starts with a par three at “The Pond,” where water threatens the front right hand side of the green. The other short hole on the front nine, “Corner,” requires an uphill tee shot, with four bunkers guarding the front of the green and out of bounds running along the back of the putting surface.
On the inward half, the quality of the par three holes is, if anything, even better: “Saucer,” the 137-yard 13th, plays downhill to a sand-protected putting surface that falls away at the back and “Patch,” the 198-yard 15th, is a long, testing hole with a narrow, tree-lined fairway that leads to yet another heavily bunkered green.
The course has hosted a number of professional and amateur championships in the past. Craig Defoy, Brian Huggett and Ian Woosnam all won the Welsh Professional Championship here between 1975 and 1986 and, more recently, the Welsh Ladies Open (2007), Welsh Boys Championship (2008) and Welsh Girls Championship (2012) have all been staged here.
Whitchurch also held the Girls Amateur in 1991 and the Women’s Home Internationals were played here in 2010.
One of Wales premium parkland courses, it could easily be debated for a much higher ranking and wouldn’t disagree. If you prefer Parkland to links then this should be added to your list of courses to play in Wales. ( Newport, Radyr, Cardiff Golf Club,Creigiau, Glamorganshire and St Mellons are all of similar quality and worthy of a visit.)