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Aberavon & Port Talbot Golf Club, Neath.

The club was founded in 1906.

The following is from the Evening Express January 1906; "The newly formed Aberavon Golf Club gives promise of becoming a great success. The site has been given by Sir Arthur P Vivian, K.C.B. at a nominal yearly rental of £5, which sum he returns as his annual subscription. The committee have been active in laying out the grounds. The Porthcawl professional, Hutcheon, inspected the site, and declared it to be an excellent one. The links will be ready for play in a few days but they will not be opened until Sir Arthur Vivian can make it convenient to attend. Sir Arthur has been appointed president of the club; Lieutenant Pryce Jones, secretary; W H Gabriel (Lloyds Bank), treasurer; Committee - E G Richards, Sidney A Jenkins, W H Gabriel, Oliver Adams, J Mackintosh. At the moment the membership is 50. There is every prospect of procuring a commodious club-room overlooking the links on the premises of the new Vivian Hotel." 

A typical seaside links situated on Aberavon Burrows it was laid out by J G Hutcheson of Porthcawl. Originally 9 holes - 1st 410 yards; 2nd 210; 3rd 315; 4th 145; 5th 305; 6th 260; 7th 235; 8th 440; 9th 215;  (2535 yards, bogey 40) it was later extended to 18, together with a completed clubhouse. Membership at the time was 120, rising to 150. There was no entry fee. Subscriptions were £2/2/0. Visitors’ fees were 1/6d a day, 5/- a week, 10/- a month.  Sunday play was not allowed.  Aberavon Seaside station was alongside the course.

Below is the result of a match played at Aberavon against Blackpill Golf Club in September 1910.

Aberavon & Port Talbot Golf Club   Blackpill Golf Club  
J H Cound 1 H B Thomas 0
R P Bevan 0 C Johnson 1
M Gwyn Jenkins 1 T D Thomas 0
E M Jenkins 1 S Osborn 0
J E Jenkins 1 R A Jones 0
E T Tennant 1 S Jones 0
W R John 1 J Williams 0
Percy Jacob 1 T Cobb 0
W F Gibb 0 T Sims 1
S G O'Sullivan 1 B Jones 0
  8   2

Leading scores in the 1910 September Tankard Competition; J Emlyn Hughes (18), 3up; S G O'Sullivan (14), 2down; J E Jenkins (7), 4down; E M Jenkins (8), 4down.

At the annual meeting in January 1914 it was stated that the position of the club was improving with each year and that 30 new members had joined in 1913. The committee had decided to extend the course to eighteen-holes with reasonable terms being reached with the tenant of the land. Expert advice had been sought and twelve new greens had been completed. It was hoped that the whole course would be ready for Easter. The chairman spoke of the satisfactory position of the finances, the profit for the year being over £39. The ladies’ section was also enjoying improved numbers and it was hoped to form a ladies’ team. In view of the additional expense of the extended course it was decided that an entrance fee would be payable by new members. On the motion of Mr L Jones, seconded by Mr Mr Knoyle, Sir A P Vivian, K.C.B., was re-elected President. Mr Fred R Jacob was re-appointed Captain. Other officers were; Mr S G O’Sullivan, match captain; E G Richards, treasurer; E Marchant Jenkins, secretary; L A Williams, auditor. Dan Perkins (solicitor) and L A Williams joined the committee.

 

Aberavon & Port Talbot Golf Club. Fred R Jacob club captain.

Fred R Jacob the club captain 1913/14.

 

In May 1914 it was announced that the qualifying rounds for the Lowther Cup and Gibb Bowl were to be played.

Result of a match played at Barry Golf Club (also now defunct) in June 1914.

Barry Golf Club   Aberavon & Port Talbot Golf Club  
T H Williams 1 J H Cound 0
W Price Jones 0 E M Jenkins 1
J E Morris 1 S G O'Sullivan 0
R F Illingworth 1 Percy Jacobs 0
N Middle 1 R T Price Jones 0
F W Alexander 1 E T Tennant 0
E M Griffiths (half) 0 Dr Richards (half) 0
T James 1 E O'Sullivan 0
  6   1

It was reported at the annual meeting in March 1915 that the Rhondda and Swansea Bay Railway had purchased a portion of the links which meant that holes 2 and 3 would be lost. Due to this the committee had made satisfactory arrangements to take over land towards Britonferry which would bring the course up to its full complement of eighteen-holes.

  Secretaries Professionals/Greenkeepers
1910-13   Harry Williams (p)
1914 (joint) S G O'Sullivan, "Mayfield"
E M Jenkins, "Springfields", Aberavon.
R Harry (p)
1922 E M Jenkins  

In 1922 it was listed as Aberavon & Port Talbot Golf Club (telephone number 152).

From 1923 on, things become a little confusing with Aberavon and Port Talbot Golf Clubs appearing separately. Up to 1948, Aberavon is listed as a separate club but no other information such as secretary, professional, fees etc could be found - it’s likely that it became Port Talbot Golf Club. After 1948, no reference has been found for Aberavon Golf Club.

At the end of May 1923 Port Talbot made the long journey north for a club match. It must have been a very tiring trip for the visitors who lost by 5 games to 1. 

Colwyn Bay   Port Talbot  
H R Parry 0 M Gwyn Jenkins 1
D Hall 1 E T Tennant 0
R T Johnson 1 C Walsh 0
T Parry 1 E S Rowe 0
Mr Green 1 W W Hillzer 0
G E Sharp 1 T Walters 0
  5   1

The course closed in 1947 and the land was eventually used for housing. There were attempts to find a new home but the search proved fruitless.

From 1948, Port Talbot Golf Club continued to be listed (see separate entry).

Aberavon & Port Talbot Golf Club, Neath. Location of the former course.

Grid reference SS74670,90440, co-ordinates 274670,190440