Dreams come true at members ‘lease-out’ course
Story published at 13:45, Friday, December 15th, 2000
Coed Y Mwstwr Golf Club, situated in central south Wales just minutes from the M4 motorway, is to undergo a major transformation. Planning permission has just been granted for a major expansion of the club.
Opened in 1994 as a commercial venture, the club was similar to many which opened in the area at around the same period. As a nine hole parkland course the club attracted a reasonable number of members but was never a huge commercial success.
In July 1998 the members organised what could be termed a ‘members lease-out’ and from being a privately owned club it became a members club with a 30 year lease on the land of the original course and a board of directors formed from within the membership.
The original course had nine holes but the members had ambitions for something more grand. In 1999 a further three holes were opened, built on adjoining land.
The directors, led by the chairman Gareth Summerton, have negotiated the purchase of an additional 26 acres. This land will accommodate a further five holes and planning permission for this development has just been granted. A new par 3 hole is being created within the existing course layout and thus a full 18 hole course has been created. It will open in the summer of 2002.
“When we contemplated taking the club out of private ownership and making it into a members club we always envisaged that the club could become far greater and the dream of an 18 hole course was a part of that. The granting of the planning permission allows us to start on completing that vision,” said Gareth Summerton. The additional holes will make full use of the contours of the new land together with many mature trees, hedges and other natural features.
Earlier this year the club appointed a full time head greenkeeper to oversee the new development. Darrell Thomas has ‘cut his teeth’ at Aberdare Golf Club and on the courses at The Celtic Manor. His prowess has already been seen in the way that the course has improved this year. “I’m confident that the new land can be brought up to the standard of the existing course within the next two years. I’m also thrilled with the opportunity to pass on my own knowledge and experience to the new staff we shall need to provide the course that the members expect,” said Darrell.
In order to match the improved course facilities the clubhouse will undergo a major transformation and the size of the building will be greatly increased along with the provisions for both the golf and the social sides.
The expanded facility will provide more opportunities for the residents of Bridgend and the surrounding areas to play golf. The club is hoping to have 550 to 600 members when the new holes are opened in 2002.