Our January 2024 Update
Happy New Year! We hope you all had a lovely Christmas and New Year period. Here’s our update for January 2024 from the whole team at St Mellons Golf Club.
Update From The Board
Election of Vice Captains & President
The Mens Selection panel recently met and posted their preferred choice for the position of Men’s Vice Captain, and Philip Crean has been proposed. A similar process also took place for our next President, and Terry Borley has been proposed for that role.
The Ladies Vice Captains role currently remains open.
Whilst these are excellent choices, the general membership are now able to oppose any of these candidates. This providing that they complete the appropriate form below, and have a proposer / seconder.
Links to the necessary forms:
Election of Directors
There are also 3 Directors roles to fill, which includes the Financial Director (FD) as the current FD was co-opted onto the Board earlier this year.
Links to the necessary forms:
Application forms for any of these roles must be returned between the 6th and 20th February 24.
Forms received before the 6th February 2024 will be filed until then, and applications received after the 20th February will not be accepted.
A ballot will be held and the result will be announced at the AGM on 20th March 2024 unless any of these roles are unopposed.
This is the Clubs Diamond Jubilee year but it goes back much further than that. Let’s have a look….
Although we talk of the Club being formed in 1964 the history of the course goes back closer to a hundred years. Ron Boyce writes – A large house called Llwynarthen, which went on to be called The St. Mellon’s Golf and County Club, was the home of Franklin Evans an eminent physician. He died in 1904. It was then occupied by Sir Henry Webb, a baronet and coal owner, who converted it to a military hospital in World War I.
In 1930 Mr Gwynne Davies a solicitor who resided at Vaendre Hall, the other big house near the course, close to the 13th/14th holes, purchased the surrounding land and various buildings. Mr Davies started work on the St Mellon’s golf course in 1936. The South Wales Echo reported in the spring of 1936, that ‘a promising new course would be opening soon’. The course was largely designed by the Harry Colt, designer of over 100 courses including Wentworth; Sunningdale and St Andrews new course. The course actually opened on May 12th 1937, the same day as the coronation of King George V1.
The Clubhouse was now the County Club building and the practice putting green was the large lawn in front of the hotel. Progress was fast, and in 1938 the course hosted the Welsh Open. Many famous golfers of the time, including Henry Cotton and Percy Alliss (Peter’s father) played the course in those early days. Many of our competition trophies originate from those early days. Some of those -The Gwynne Davies championship cup – the Men’s main championship
The Presidents cup – presented by Lord Cope the original president
The Captains Cup- presented by the first Club Captain, C.C. Llewellyn Williams MFH.
The Second World War was not far away and St. Mellons duly played its part. The course was occupied by the U. S. Air force in May 1944, and was designated AAF station no. 516. Their accommodation tents (267 in total) were located on the 4th, 5th, 8th, 10th, 15th, 16th, 17th and 18th fairways. There were approx. two hundred 6 inch thick concrete platforms and miles of pipe work on the course. Hopefully, the last of these slabs was removed by the then Club Professional and Course manager, Barry Thomas, in 2003.
On June 2nd, 1944 Cardiff Docks received 260 pre-loaded vehicles from this camp. On June 4th 1,775 combat troops were moved to the docks where they sailed for Omaha beach in Normandy. They landed on June 6th (D Day). I wonder how many survived!
Golf went on at St Mellons so much so that the then Secretary wrote up a set of war time course rules. They are on display in the Clubhouse. Amusing, if not frightening.
In the next Newsletter –Ron will tell us exactly what happened after the war and in particular 1964.
The Diamond Deal
In 2024 SMGC will be celebrating its Diamond (60th) Anniversary. As part of the promotions SMGC will be offering a one-time “new member offer” (The Diamond Deal).
The first 60 people who successfully apply to become playing members of the club their joining fee will be reduced to only £60 (currently £750).
- Applicants – will be interviewed, before 1st April, and if successful, will be charged subscriptions fees at the 2024 rates & a joining fee of only £60,
- Existing Members – with outstanding joining fees will only be charged £60 for year 2024,
- Members – who have introduced a successful applicant will receive a £60 discount from their annual renewal subscription fees (for 2024 only). Nb.1 – Applicable only if the applicant(s) is successful. Max discount payable will be £60.
Please contact our General Manager (Russell Thomas) for further information.
Nb.2 – Other T&C’s may apply.
Quiz Time! – You should know the rules of golf – Do you?
Test your golf knowledge with these questions below!
1) A player in stroke play cannot identify their ball so they mark and lift the ball without announcing their intention to his marker. What is the ruling?
2) On the putting green a player marks the ball by holding the putter right next to it. The player lifts, cleans and replaces the ball right next to the putter. What is the ruling?
3) In stroke play your ball comes to rest near an attached divot. You press it down and play your shot.. OK?
4) A fixed sign on the course interferes with your swing or stance if you attempt to play. What can you do?
5) You touch the sand on your backswing whilst playing out of a bunker. What is the
Find the answers at the end of this newsletter.
Toby’s time as the Club’s Head Professional finished last week. I’m sure you would all like to join the Board in thanking him for all his hard work over the last few years and we wish him all the very best for the future including many successes on the golf course.
From the Captains
On behalf of all at St Mellons, including members, staff, Captains committee, I would like to thank Toby for his effort and commitment during all of his time at St Mellons from outstanding Junior to adult member, but particularly while he was Assistant Professional and, more recently, our Head Professional. Whether we have played with or against you, been taught or served by you, or taken pleasure in witnessing your achievements, we would all agree you have been a credit to yourself and the Club.
So you leave with our very best wishes and heartfelt thanks in the hope that your career will bring you the rewards you seek, which are so richly deserved. You will, of course, always be welcome here at your ‘golfing home’ and we look forward to seeing you again whenever the opportunity arises.
On a personal note I would like to thank you for all your help and support you have given to me over the last couple of years, and wish you every success in your new career.
A Happy New Year to you all!
Before I look forward to a year of celebrations I would like to reflect on 2023. The ladies’ section thoroughly enjoyed the club’s festive events along with our Texas Scrambles which have proved highly popular. The wet weather has disrupted our winter golf programme but throughout the year we have had successful open days, personal golfing successes at a club and national level and most importantly, fun and laughter along the way. The ladies’ section has positively embraced the new BRS system and I have had the privilege to attend Board meetings and appreciate the decision making behind the scenes. 2023 has bought sadness and joy to our section but, with the support we have for one another, it makes me proud to be your Ladies’ Captain.
2024 heralds our 60th Anniversary, our Diamond Anniversary. Golfing and social events have been planned to make this a very special year ensuring that St Mellons will continue to shine on and off the course. Finally, as we say goodbye to Toby who leaves with our fondest wishes, the ladies’ section would like to welcome the new head professional, Brian Lee.
From the Proshop
2024 is now upon us and I have begun my journey with you all at St Mellons Golf Club, It is truly an honour to be your PGA Head Professional.
As I embark on this new journey I am delighted to be joined by Tom Benjamin and James Lewis, many of you will already know Tom and James and they have done a tremendous job under my predecessor, Toby Hunt……It was a no brainer for me in asking the guys to continue their roles.
We as a team will strive to provide you all with a first-class service with the desire of achieving excellence for the entire membership of St Mellons Golf Club.
Belonging to a prestigious members club should make you feel proud and I wanted you all to think about “wearing your crest with pride”. With this now firmly in mind we will have a fantastic range of crested accessories and clothing this year, many designs you will not have seen before….be sure to keep an eye out for “limited editions”.
I have been busy throughout December trying as best I can to secure stock for the year ahead, a difficult task as most goods are ordered 6-9 months in advance with manufacturers but I have had some success to date. Brands we will be stocking include Callaway, Titleist, Ping, Under Armour, Footjoy, Glenmuir and J Lindeberg, further talks continue with several other major brands.
When it comes to equipment, I have been trusted by many golfers including Welsh Tournament Professionals Bradley Dredge, Phillip Price, Stuart Manley, Rhys Enoch & Jack Davidson. It is my intention to have a facility that can service any golfer in the world, I will be building a well-stocked workshop and meetings are scheduled with software suppliers to enhance the existing studio that will feature Trackman4 Technology.
In closing I would like to take this opportunity to extend my best wishes to Toby as he embarks on his new journey as a full time playing professional, good luck Toby.
PGA Head Professional
What’s On At The Clubhouse?
Did you know the rules?
1) There is no penalty (Rule 7.3)
2) There is no penalty (Rule 14 1a)
3) For improving playing conditions (A two stroke penalty) (Rule 8. 1a) Loss of hole in match play
4) You are entitled to free relief, the sign is an immovable obstruction. When taking relief the ball must be dropped. (16.1b)
5) Two stroke penalty (12.2b) Loss of hole in match play
How did you do?
That’s all for this month’s update. Thank you to everyone who has contributed and thank you to all who have left feedback. If you wish to leave feedback, then you can do so using the form below.