Family Owned Resort in Caerphilly Scoops sought after Welsh Golf Club of the Year Accolade!
Bryn Meadows Golf Hotel & Spa near Ystrad Mynach in Caerphilly have been named Welsh Golf Club of the Year at the Wales Golf Awards ceremony held last week at the Celtic Manor.
Led by David Pocock, Head of Golf Operations at Bryn Meadows, changes and challenges to the golf industry are being met head on. There is a significant focus in encouraging more children to take up the sport. A few years ago we only had a handful of children in coaching whereas today we are Wales’ largest Junior Golf Academy with over 100 members in weekly coaching sessions.
A clear pathway has also been created getting the youngsters who practice on our 9 hole First Swing Golf Academy course playing competitions and getting them ready to play a full course. An intermediate membership ideal for 18-29 year olds has also been introduced making the financial step from being a junior member to full member more attainable.
Another significant focus has been getting more ladies into golf. Alongside David, PGA Professional Golfer Katy Edwards was hired by the resort. She is very keen to get more women into the game and to help break down the stereotypes that surround the sport. Currently we have over 20 ladies in coaching as well as a family golf scheme and a successful outreach programme for local businesses and schools.
The biggest development in 2017 was the extension and refurbishment of Winners Bar, traditionally our clubhouse. It has been re-branded to a sports bar, to a sports bar, open to all not only our golf members, and serves a hot and cold snack menu throughout the day, with live sport shown on big screen TV’s as well as housing our state of the art golfing simulator. Winners Bar Manager, Roberto Rossi, as well as his team are well liked by members and visitors, which has been another factor to its popularity.
The Championship 18 hole course has also has seen the highest standards with members and guests commenting on the consistent condition. Golf Course Manager David Jakeway and Mark Lamort, Head Greenkeeper are currently working on a new thatch removal, aeration and top dressing programme, as well as introducing new irrigation tanks and turf produces to meet the high standards expected on our golf course.
“2017 saw the strongest ever set of applicants for the Welsh Golf Club of the Year with Abersoch, Cardigan, Clyne, Newport (Rogerstone), and North Wales being shortlisted along with former winners Langland Bay and Pyle and Kenfig. Bryn Meadows had submitted strong applications in the last two years, but 2017 saw many of their ongoing projects come to a successful fruition. They are a great example that even in these difficult times, golf clubs can adapt and thrive.” Wales Golf Chief Executive, Richard Dixon.
The Bryn Meadows story started in 1973 with 4 local residents, including Mr Brian Mayo, who were desperate for an 18 hole golf course to play on. This was built with Professional Golfer Craig Defoy designing the course. Soon their friends were wanting to play the course, and their friends too, and the membership started. Due to the popularity a bar and alpine style restaurant (which was all the style back then) were added on and a leaky old barn was converted to host functions in. Golf was then seen as a glamourous pastime, but events were packed and golf competition turn outs were a huge success, often with standing room only for presentations.
In 1983 the miners’ strike affected the area dramatically and times became a bit tougher. It was at this point 3 of the directors decided that it was time to move on. Taking a huge gamble, Mr Mayo bought them out – much to his wife’s dismay. By this point he had already lost his both of his legs from contracting Meningitis. It was his unusual ritual of licking a golf ball which is believed to have been contaminated by weed killer. However he was back on the golf course six weeks after leaving hospital, using his Mercedes as a golf cart. Soon bedrooms were added, and the pool and leisure facilities followed. Following his death in 1999, Mr Mayo’s sons Gary and Steve took over ownership of the resort, but take more of a back seat these days leaving the day to day running in the charge of Gavyn Bolton, General Manager.
“Wow, I cannot believe we have won this award! It is something we have aspired to for some time, and is particularly poignant to me seeing my father’s legacy and the golf club grow. It really is a credit to the fantastic team we have; from greenkeepers to the back of house teams including sales and management, to of course, the golf team. The support and guidance from Wales Golf, One Golf Network, Sport Caerphilly and others throughout the years has been valuable.
I am proud that our resort is uniquely the only one on the M4 corridor that has grown organically through golf development over the last 45 years, which shows our longevity and specialism. We will continue to be a great example in Caerphilly and Wales.” Gary Mayo, Director of Bryn Meadows