Brawdafad is a tough course, in a tough part of the world. the land was bought in early 1925 (year of the Ammanford Anthracite strike, founding of Plaid Cymru, birth of Ruth Ellis) and a few short weeks later was opened. A report from the local newspaper makes fascinating reading;
“At the opening ceremony Captain Dr. K. Rowlands asked Dr. Gwyn T. Bara, Chairman of the club to declare the course open. Dr Bara, their enthusiastic and highly efficient chairman was presented with a wonderful weapon, a golf driver, with which to drive a mighty ball from the first tee (laughter and applause). He thanked the lady and gentlemen of the committee for honouring him by asking him to open the course. He refered to the early beginnings of the club and its uphill struggles and said that were it not for the generosity of a local businessman, Mr. D. S. Snips of Aber Annwyd the club would never have reached its present state (enthusiastic applause).
Dr. Gwyn T. Bara explained that the situation reminded him of a remark Mr Ramsay Macdonald, the ex-premier made that ‘Life is like golf. The more you face the less you cover.’ (embarassed silence). Dr.Bara duly took the first hit on the course and hooked it through the clubhouse window.” –Brawdaf and Annwyd Valley Express Monday June 8th 1925
The club was bombed during the Second World War by a rather wayward squadron of German bomber. It was reported after the war that with all the bomb damage the course had never looked better.
It is a mountain course. It is rough and rugged and sheep-lined. It must be pretty much how many early Scottish courses looked. However, not many early Scottish courses were built alongside council estates. There is a scarcity of land at Brawdafad and every inch of the ground is used. It feels like someone has placed a full size snooker table in a small lounge. Each tee seems to be against a fence and at times it seems that you’ve barely enough room to take a full backswing.
The rough is very rough. Pensioner Steve once sliced a drive into the rough off the 6th tee and against all our advice went chasing after it. He disappeared from view for a good few minutes. Feeling slightly anxious we called out to him;
“Pensioner Steve have you found your ball?” we called.
“Not yet,” came the reply, “But I have found a golf bag and a set of clubs.”