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The James Braid Trail in North Wales

James Braid (1870-1950) was an excellent golf course architect and a Scottish professional golfer who won the Open Championship five times.

The James Braid design takes advantage of the lie of the land and the natural obstacles and rewards accurate play.

Course features include:

Complete variety of holes both in length and character, e.g. the way they are bunkered, the kind of tee shot and approach required. Often shaped into dog legs to encourage playing for position. Braid believed that at least two methods should be available to play a hole: a simple one and a difficult one.

Putting greens well guarded by bunkers and slopes

Variety of par 3s differing in direction and length

There are 10 clubs in North Wales where you can enjoy these James Braid features - Aberdovey, Bangor St Deiniol, Holyhead, Maesdu, Nefyn, Old Colwyn, Porthmadog, Pwllheli, Rhyl and Wrexham Golf Clubs are the founder members.


Aberdovey - classic 18 hole championship links on the coast of Cardigan Bay, part of the Irish Sea.

Rated 11th in the top 30 James Braid courses. The original 18 holes were laid out in 1892. It was later remodelled by Harry Colt (1910), Herbert Fowler (1920) and James Braid (1931). The par 3 12th sees the green perched atop the dynamic dune system with no bail-out options.

Size: 18 holes Length: 6454 yds
Type: Parkland and Links Par: 72 SSS: 71

Address: Station Road, Aberdovey, Aberdyfi, LL35 0RT
01654 767493
[email protected]
www.aberdoveygolf.co.uk


Holyhead - 18 holes heathland on the scenic Isle of Anglesey.

James Braid designed the layout in 1912. The fairways are extremely narrow and quite undulating. The par 3 2nd green is on the top of a hill - guarded by a bunker on the left and a cliff edge at the right.

Size: 18 holes Length: 6090 yds
Type: Parkland and Links Par: 71 SSS: 71

Address: Trearddur Bay, Anglesey, LL65 2YL
01407 763279
[email protected]
www.holyheadgolfclub.co.uk


Llandudno (Maesdu) - 18 holes parkland and links near the north coast and the resort town of Llandudno.

James Braid and Tom Jones designed the layout in 1915 using the natural parkland and links features. The par 3 12th hole is an interesting par 3 up a gentle hill with an undulating green which is well guarded by pot bunkers.

Size: 18 holes Length: 6545 yds
Type: Parkland and Links Par: 72 SSS: 72

Address: Maesdu Golf Club, Hospital Road, Llandudno
LL40 1HU
01492 876450
[email protected]
www.maesdugolfclub.co.uk


Nefyn and District Golf Club

A unique 26 hole championship golf course with a view of the sea from every tee. Eight holes are played on the now world-famous ‘Point’, a narrow peninsula with tees, fairways and greens bounded by coves and inlets on one side and sandy beaches and a friendly pub on the edge of the 16th green on the other!

Hole 13 is a spectacular risk and reward par four - the risk, attempting a 200 yard carry over the bay, the reward, a short pitch to a green set between two rocky outcrops. For the faint-hearted, bail out right leaving a medium to long iron second. 

James Braid and J.H. Taylor played an exhibition match at Nefyn in July 1920. Braid, on his first and only visit, shot 69 against the par of 74 and beat Taylor by 5 shots.

Size: 26 holes
18 Holes – 6520 yards par 71 (New Course)
18 Holes – 6267 yards par 70 (Old Course)

Address: Golf Road, Morfa Nefyn, Gwynedd, LL53 6DA
01758 720966
[email protected]
www.nefyn-golf-club.co.uk


Old Colwyn - 9 holes mature meadowland course with views of the Welsh hills, Bay of Colwyn and the Irish Sea all within 5 minutes of the A55 coast road.

Old Colwyn was founded in 1907 and is a typical James Braid course using the lie of the land and encompassing all natural obstacles wherever possible.

The short 159 yd par three 7th - the green is protected by three large oak trees with the green just visible from the tee during the summer months.

Size: 9 holes Length: 5243 yds
Type: Meadowland Par: 68 SSS: 65

Address: Woodland Avenue, Colwyn Bay, LL29 9NL
07795 595441
[email protected]
www.oldcolwyngolfclub.com


Porthmadog - 18 holes heathland and natural links amongst the sand dunes of Tremadog Bay.

Created by James Braid in 1905 it is a course of 2 distinct halves: 9 holes of heathland and then 9 links holes through the natural seaside dunes.

The 14th is called the Himalayas, a 378-yards par four that demands you drive over a huge natural bunker that hides the fairway from the tee.

Size: 18 holes Length:  6322 yds
Type: Heathland and links Par: 71 SSS:  72

Address: Morfa Bychan, Porthmadog LL49 9UU
01766 514124
[email protected]
www.porthmadog-golf-club.co.uk


Pwllheli - 18 holes gentle mature parkland and links on the south coast of the Llyn Peninsula.

The short 291 yards par 4 11th hole has a characteristic small undulating green, which is closely guarded by bunkers,. The design of the hole offers two possible alternatives; the brave golfer can take the chance on a long drive to a narrowed fairway, this makes the approach shot easier, or you may wish to play an iron off the tee, which means the bunkers come in to play, gorse is also a prevalent feature on the hole. 

James Braid and Tom Morris designed the course layout in 1900 using natural parkland and links features. Their design influences can be seen throughout the course.

Size: 18 holes Length: 6108 yds
Type: Parkland and Links Par: 69 SSS: 70

Address: Clwb Golff Pwllheli, Golf Road, Pwllheli, Gwynedd LL53 5PS
01758 701644
[email protected]
www.clwbgolffpwllheli.com


Rhyl - 9 holes (18 tees) seaside links with large fairways but tight, well guarded greens.

The original nine hole course was laid out by the founder members. A further nine were added by James Braid who remodelled the course in the 1930s.

The 9th hole is a long 458 yards par 4 which is out of range in two shots for many golfers. There is out of bounds on the left  and bunkers are dotted along the fairways. The green is protected by deep bunkers. 

9 hole (18 tee) challenging links with large fairways but tight, well guarded greens which will challenge golfers of all standards.

Size: 9 holes 18 tees Length: 6295 yds
Type:Links Par: 71 SSS: 71

Address: Coast Road, Rhyl, LL18 3RE
01745 353171
[email protected]"
www.rhylgolfclub.co.uk


St Deiniol (Bangor) - 18 holes undulating over Bangor mountain and spectacular views of the Snowdonia mountains - near the university city of Bangor.

Designed by James Braid in 1906 the often extended course remains true to the architect's principles of using the rise and fall of the land to create a natural course that requires control and course management. The third hole par 4 rises up a hill with a narrowing fairway then a green in a tree lined area.

Size: 18 holes Length: 5652 yds
Type: Parkland and Heathland Par: 68 SSS: 68

Address: Pen y Bryn, Bangor, Gwynedd LL57 1PX
01248 353098
[email protected]
www.st-deiniol.co.uk


Wrexham - 18 holes inland - each hole has its own unique character on this undulating course near the historic city of Chester.

The original course was designed by James Braid in 1906 and some design features remain.

The 7th is a demanding hole set in a curving valley with trees tight on the left and a bunker at the front of the green that has a very big appetite.

Size: 18 holes Length: 6148 yds
Type: Parkland Par: 70 SSS: 70

Address: Holt Road, Wrexham, Ll13 9SB
01978 364268
[email protected]"
www.wrexhamgolfclub.co.uk

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