Pontardawe Golf Club
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The history of " Y Draig Goch" golf society

Monday 3rd of March 2014 09:24
Y Ddraig Goch

"Y Ddraig Goch" Golf Society began life in the autumn of 1958. The following is an account of Y Ddraig Goch, written by Mervyn Williams, the society’s first secretary, future Chairman (1961 & 1968), future Club Secretary and future Club Captain 1973 



The Ddraig Goch Golfing Society was conceived in the Autumn of 1958. After playing golf one Sunday morning with Rhys Phillips, I remarked that the course was much less busy than it would have been at Aberdare where the "Haphazard Golfing Society” played on Sunday mornings. Rhys was interested to learn the details of the ‘Haphazards’ and subsequently, in the course of discussion in the bar, Travers Howells, Mygwyn Lewis, Stan Jones, John Davies, Jack Cruse, Ron Firth, Bert Bynorth and Cecil John became involved. They were all interested in the formation of a golfing society and we agreed to meet on the following Sunday morning at 9:30.

On that Sunday morning a dozen of us met. We drew for groups of three and we each put in two and sixpence to pay for some balls as prizes. We continued to meet on Sunday mornings and, after four weeks, numbers had doubled. We then formed a small committee, unofficially. Ron Firth was our first Chairman, I was elected Secretary and Cecil John, Treasurer. Our numbers continued to grow and it was decided to contact the Club committee to ask for their blessing on the venture. We were somewhat dismayed to be turned down but we found out later that this was due to a misunderstanding and, with a ‘nod and a wink’, we re-applied, this time successfully, and the society was in being. The Club Committee insisted on some basic principles. These included the rule that all members of the club were eligible for membership and that the society would never use its muscle to influence the politics of the Club. We were very happy to comply and I believe to this day, the society has carried this out to the letter.

Come rain or shine, snow and sleet, high winds or whatever, we met throughout the winter, practically without fail, and numbers continued to grow until, one Sunday morning after the game, the question arose "What shall we call ourselves?” After a great deal of debate, Ieuan Lewis, standing at the bar, reminded us that the date was March 1st. "Surely, Gentlemen” he said, "there is only one name – Y DDRAIG GOCH – The Red Dragon.” Now we were established! We prepared a constitution and insisted in this that we would always place the parent Club first and that the Chairman would always remain a chairman, the only captain being the Club Captain. It is worth recalling that, at this time, our course still had only nine holes. When the club acquired the extra land to expand the course to eighteen holes. We volunteered, as a society, to turn out one Sunday morning, under the supervision of the Club Captain, Maelgwyn Matthews, to clear the dry-stone walls that divided what are now the 11thand 12th fairways. It was a bitterly cold morning and I remember well how we all suffered from very sore fingers after handling all those flinty stones! The Chairman provided hot soup in the Clubhouse afterwards.

Our first Annual Dinner Dance was held in the Langland Bay Hotel on March 1st1960 and was a huge success with donors presenting cups and prizes. Our first trip was to Abergavenny Golf Club for the Jim Scales Trophy.

There were some distinguished sportsmen among the early members of the society. Gilbert Parkhouse, the Glamoran and England Test Cricketer. Jim Pressdee, the Glamorgan off-spinner, Bob Haines, who also played for Glamorgan and Edward Bevan who is now a well known cricket and rugby commentator for the BBC. (Edward’s father was a founder member of the Club). It was due to these members that the South African Test Team came to the Club one Sunday morning and that the Somerset County Cricket Team visited us on a number of occasions. I would also like to pay tribute to Brynmor Davies, one of the founder-members of the golf club, who has been a very enthusiastic supporter of Y DDRAIG GOCH from its inception.

I believe that the society has a record of loyalty and devotion to the parent club without precedence and the number of committee men who have graduated to the Club Committee and to the position of Club Captain is phenomenal.

T. M. Williams



The Society meets every Sunday morning at Pontardawe Golf Club and is open to players of all abilities who are members of Pontardawe Golf Club.

They meet at 7:30 a.m. in the summer and 8:00 a.m. in the winter so an alarm clock becomes an essential part of our golfing equipment. Just turn up on a Sunday morning, make yourself known as a potential new member and you will be assured of a warm welcome.

They play a variety of competitions both individual and group. Members are divided into different playing groups by lottery each week so it is a very good way to get to know other members of the club.

There is a small annual subscription (currently £10) to fund society activities and a small additional levy is charged for some competitions to pay for prizes.

Each year They travel away for both a day and a weekend to other courses and hold competitions there.


To access "Y Ddraig Goch" society website for General News, Society Updates and Competition Results Click on the link below to the members section and follow the links In "Y Ddraig Goch"







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