Why Pyle & Kenfig need a new trophy cabinet
What a couple of years it has been for Pyle & Kenfig.
The club took centre stage, last year, when they co-hosted the Amateur Championship with Royal Porthcawl – and the accolades haven’t stopped flowing since.
After winning the Golf Foundation’s prestigious Bonallack Award for their work with junior pathways in May, last month they were named Team of the Year at the GCMA’s Golf Club Management Awards.
Having spent considerable effort in promoting and developing the golf course, Pyle & Kenfig are now reaping the benefits – with green fees and membership both up.
We caught up with secretary Simon Hopkin to talk gongs and future plans…
You’ve been pretty busy at Pyle & Kenfig recently…
The vision for the club is always to make sure the course is at championship standard throughout the year.
With inward investment, we put a new irrigation system in and that was a hefty investment and replaced a whole irrigation system from tee to green.
We’ve worked very closely with Golf Wales and we’ve introduced a tri-golf course into West Park – which is the local primary – the first one in Wales.
We’ve built a 6-hole course for the children there and that’s a breeding ground for our 9-hole academy course that we’ve just built.
We’ve just put in a new category of membership – academy membership – to attract new junior golfers and, specifically, ladies as well.
Almost every day of the week we have coaching sessions for juniors and ladies and the 9-hole course is part of that.
You must have been delighted to win another award…
We haven’t stopped talking about it. It is tremendous and a huge pat on the back for everyone involved with Pyle & Kenfig.
We’re always looking at bringing tournaments to the club.
Next year, we’ve got the Welsh Amateur. I’ve just also secured the 2020 Women’s Team Championship for Wales and, in 2022, I’ve got the Home Internationals here, which is going to be fantastic.
We’re then looking at our centenary in 2022 and we’ve got a number of projects we want to implement in terms of the clubhouse, lounge development and dining room.
We will continue to improve the product and facilities within the clubhouse. On the course, we are tentatively looking at expanding.
We have already got the 9-hole course and the short course so it is continually looking at ways to improve the golf course.
They are the sort of projects we are looking at. We are a centre of excellence for Wales Golf, for bringing coaching and the squad players to Pyle & Kenfig, and I want to improve that.
Did you know?
If you were going to pick an architectural duo to design your golf course then Harry Colt and Philip Mackenzie Ross might be the dream team.
Colt went first, developing Pyle & Kenfig in the 1920s and much of his original intentions remain. Ross went to work here after the Second World War.
The man who transformed Turnberry after the conflict faced similar circumstances in Wales as the land was used by the army during the hostilities.
Ross put together the current back nine in 1947, adding holes from the 11th to the 15th and restoring the 16th.
If you click on Pyle & Kenfig’s website you can even read the original letter the architect sent to the club in 1946 outlining his plans and costs.
He routed those holes through the dunes – amid the scenery of the Gower Peninsula – and they are regarded as the jewels of the club’s links.
More from Club in Focus...