Machynlleth golf course


A “golf ground” was opened on Park Common in 1892. Three years later, Sir Watkin Williams Wynn – who owned large amounts of land in the district – told a Royal Commission on Welsh land that he’d given Machynlleth Golf Club permission to use the common.

The club was short-lived, but in 1904 Thomas Bonsall of Morben called a meeting at which it was decided he’d be a joint secretary of the revived club, with Lord Henry Vane Tempest as president. The new club commissioned the great golf-course designer James Braid to create the nine-hole course you see here today.

Thomas Bonsall died in December 1914, two years after his daughter Alison married a German army officer. She became estranged from her husband during the First World War. She was a leading light at Aberdyfi Golf Club and won the Welsh ladies’ golf championship in 1929 and 1936.

Machynlleth Golf Club closed in 1947, reopened in 1950 and closed again. It reopened in 1966 after more than £1,000 was spent on refurbishing the course and pavilion.

During the First World War, huts were erected on Park Common to house German prisoners of war, transferred from Frongoch, near Bala, in August 1918. Two months later, Private William Davies, a sentry at the Machynlleth PoW camp, shot prisoner Walter Willie Herbert Gribenow, 24, from Hanover.

Pte Gribenow’s inquest jury was told that he had ignored three “halt” warnings from Pte Davies. Although PoW camps were not “inclosed” at that time, any prisoner attempting to escape or spotted outside the boundary would be challenged, and then shot if he ignored the challenge.

For many years, it was rumoured in Machynlleth that the real reason for Pte Gribenow’s shooting was that he’d been consorting with a local woman.

Postcode: SY20 8UH    View Location Map

Website of Machynlleth Golf Club