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Historic course looks to the future
July 26, 2010

The oldest golf course in Wales is to get a thoroughly modern facelift to the practice and development facilities thanks to support from the Ryder Cup Wales Legacy Fund.

Golf at Borth and Ynyslas in Ceredigion has changed little since starting more than 50 years before the first Ryder Cup but the new facilities designed specifically for youngsters and players new to the game will be a lasting legacy of Wales hosting The 38 th Ryder Cup match in October.

The club with such an historic past has a keen eye on the future and their membership of the Ceredigion Junior Golf Forum will help to promote the new facilities of a six hole course along with a practice green and short game area.

It will allow the club to do an even better job of developing golfers of all standards and, hopefully, some who will follow in the footsteps of the club's Wales junior internationals Zach Galliford and Angharad Basnett.

A grant of around £35,000 from the Ryder Cup Wales Legacy Fund has allowed the club to change their practice ground and some derelict land into a six hole course with four par 3's and two par 4's but with the same feel as the Championship 18 holes next to it.

It is a gentler challenge for juniors and beginners as well as a more-than-useful practice area for members and visitors with a new practice green and bunker area.

"We have a very strong junior section here at Borth so it is a good development area for them, but it also an area we can offer to the general public as well," explained club president, Mike Price.

"It is certainly something we would not have considered without the money from the Ryder Cup Wales Legacy Fund and it was also lucky we had the land here to do it, because our course is in a narrow strip along the coast with the classic eight holes out and ten holes back.

"It is quite a difficult little course to play and it is creating a lot of interest amongst our members.

"There is a record of people playing golf on this course as long ago as 1876, so we think that makes us the oldest course in Wales . The greens have hardly changed since then, it is essentially the same course, although we have upgraded the tees, bunkers and so on.

"Now we have this new practice area which is a big step forward for us. We hope this will last another 130 odd years, just like the main course has so far."

One of the people who has been building the new facility is greenkeeping staff member Mark Lewis, the course record holder at Borth with a 63.

Although Tenby and Pontnewydd both have claims to be the oldest club in Wales, Borth and Ynyslas believe that records at an English public school showing they played golf on the land near Aberystwyth in 1876 mean they had the oldest proper course in Wales, a few years before a club was established.

"It is great to see such facilities being developed at one of the most traditional clubs in Wales ," said Ryder Cup Wales chairman John Jermine.

"That West Wales coast has some marvellous courses and we need to encourage new players to the game that they can enjoy for life as well as ensuring the clubs go from strength to strength in the future."

"With a superb modern clubhouse, a rich variety of wildlife attracted by The Dyfi and the very special scenery over Cardigan Bay , Borth, exactly half way between north and south, is a great place to play golf and we believe the new short course will help the club develop golf in the local area. We congratulate the club on a wonderful initiative that we were delighted to support."

All Local Authorities and clubs in Wales were invited to apply for grants from the Ryder Cup Wales Legacy Fund and 28 clubs were successful.  In total the Legacy Fund, financed by the Welsh Assembly Government, has helped to build over 200 new holes and 32 new chipping and putting greens making golf accessible to all by providing new and improved high quality facilities across Wales for the 75,000 youngsters introduced to the game by Golf Development Wales during the last seven years.








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