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Course History

A Brief History of the Golf Course

The seeds for a golf club within the Cardiff City boundaries were sown by two young men over a drink in the clubhouse of the Leys Golf Club, a links course situated at Gileston on the coast between Barry and Llantwit Major. It was a spring afternoon in 1921 and two men, Reuben Pugsley and Trevor Williams, had travelled from Cardiff by tram, train and pony and trap.

At a meeting, advertised in the Western Mail some 500 people turned up and the two young men were appointed Chairman and Secretary respectively and it was decided to form Cardiff Golf Club on farmland known as Ty-To-Maen in North Cardiff and owned by Mr. Ewan Davies Esq. J.P. a Cardiff and Welsh international rugby player, who leased the land to the club on most generous of terms and in 1948 sold the land to Cardiff Golf Club again at well below market prices.

In 1921 Robert Walker was appointed the first professional and, with a small sub-committee designed the first layout. The course was opened in1922 with Reuben Pugsley as Captain. Subscriptions for Ladies were 3 guineas and Gentlemen, 4 guineas.

In 1928, Robert Walker and Bill Smalldon (who succeeded Robert as Head Professional in 1929) entertained the legendary Gene Sarazen and Joe Kirkwood at Cardiff GC. The circumstances that led to the visit of two of the world’s leading golfers of the day are unknown, but it may have coincided with the handing over of the role from Robert to Bill. Robert Walker had been appointed from Southerndown Golf Club as the Club’s First Head Professional, and as such had a great hand in designing the initial layout of the course. In 1928 he left for a post in the Glamorganshire Golf Club and W.G Smalldon from Morriston Golf Club, was appointed his successor at a wage of £2 10s per week. Bill gave long and outstanding service to the Club until his death in 1973. This service included a lengthy period when Bill and Mrs Smalldon also acted as steward and stewardess for the club. Bill was held in very high esteem by golfers throughout South Wales.

Today we are very proud of our course, which is beautifully maintained by our Course Manager Tony Iafrate and his team of ground staff.

The club has made a substantial contribution to Welsh golf over the years, producing many Welsh Amateur Champions and Internationals including H C Squirrell Esq, a Welsh Amateur Champion five times. The club has also hosted the Welsh Professional Championship on several occasions. The amateur course record of 65 is held by S. P. Jones.