The James Braid Golf Trail South Wales
Golf courses in South Wales designed by James Braid
Picture Credits right to left: Ken Skates AM (Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure), Robert Jones (Project Manager, Neath Golf Club). Paula Dixon (President, Neath Golf Club), Brian Huggett MBE, Alan Doyle (Captain 2017, Neath Golf Club), Glyn Pilliner (Chair of Marketing Committee, Neath Golf Club)
Blazing the James Braid Trail!
Neath Golf Club has led the way in developing and promoting the new James Braid Golf Trail. The purpose of the trail is to link together golf courses throughout South Wales which were designed by the legendary Scottish golfer, James Braid.
The golf club located at Cadoxton, Neath has joined with six other clubs in South Wales, including Langland Bay, Maesteg, Morlais Castle, Pennard, Tenby and Wenvoe Castle, to successfully apply for grant funding from Visit Wales’ Tourism Product Innovation Fund to develop the trail.
Mr. Ken Skates, Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure formally launched the James Braid Golf Trail at Neath Golf Club on Thursday 30th March 2017 to coincide with the Visit Wales Year of Legends 2017.
James Braid was the designer of over 200 golf courses mainly in Great Britain and his design principles still influence golf course architects to this day. He was also the winner of five British Open Championships, including consecutive wins in 1905 and 1906 (this remarkable feat has only once been replicated by Padraig Harrington in 2007 and 2008 in the entire 157 year history of the Open Championship).
Cabinet Secretary for the Economy, Ken Skates, said: “This project celebrates the legendary James Braid golf courses of South West Wales. Linking these clubs as part of the trail will showcase the fantastic facilities on offer and make it easier for golfing visitors to plan their stay in south west Wales.”
The development of a website (www.braidgolftrail.co.uk) is a key part of the project enabling visitors to easily access information about the trail and its constituent golf clubs. Literature has also been produced to promote the trail.
Neath Golf Club Captain, Alan Doyle said, ‘We are delighted to have secured funding from Visit Wales and to work in partnership with other James Braid golf clubs in South Wales to develop this trail, which will provide a new experience for golfers. In order to promote the James Braid Golf Trail, we will be working closely with tourism related businesses across South Wales, including travel agencies, and will arrange packages for people to enjoy and experience the challenges of completing the trail.
James Braid along with Harry Vardon and J.H. Taylor, formed Britain's Great Triumvirate of the early 20th century. James Braid won The Open Championship 5 times (1901, 1905, 1906, 1908 and 1910) as well as four British PGA Matchplay Championships (1903, 1905, 1907 and 1911) and the 1910 French Open title. He was also runner-up in The Open Championship in 1897 and 1909. His 1906 victory in The Open Championship was the last successful defence of the title by a European until Pádraig Harrington replicated the feat in 2008. James Braid designed over 400 golf courses and his design principles are still used by modern day course architects. Excellent examples of his imaginative work to produce challenging courses in a wide variety of picturesque settings can be found in the seven clubs represented in the South Wales James Braid Trail. The Trail is in a compact geographical area ( 90 miles east to west and 40 miles north to south) so driving distances between golf clubs are relatively short thus giving the opportunity to play a number of the courses in any one visit.
The South Wales Braid Golf Trail Courses
The cliff top location allows extensive views of the attractive Gower coastline, and is a 6026yd eighteen hole par 70 course founded in 1904.
A scenic moorland setting in the foothills of the Brecon Beacons this is an eighteen hole 6320yd par 71 course.
Links golf has been played at Tenby since at least 1875 but was formally founded in 1888. A 6528yd par 72 eighteen hole course.
Established in 1934 and based largely on an undulating plateau, an eighteen hole heathland, par 72 6490yd course with panoramic 360 degree views to surrounding countryside and over Swansea Bay.
'The links in the sky’ at 200ft above sea-level this is a par 71 6267yd course founded in 1896 having lovely views to countryside and coastal scenery.