Saturday, 7 July 2012

Just pitch up and play

Below is my “Big Day Out” column from the Saturday, July 7, 2012, Swansea edition of the South Wales Evening Post.


Just pitch up and play
A big day out! 
RICHARD THOMAS heads to Ashleigh Road Pitch & Putt golf course.
WHY? With the summer returning, the Ashleigh Road golf course, Swansea's only 10 hole golf course, is a great way to spend a Saturday. 
WHAT’S THE BUZZ? Running along the promenade, and situated opposite the road it is named after, is Ashleigh Road Pitch & Putt golf course. The course has no handicap requirements so it is ideal for beginners of all ages and those who just want to have some fun. It is also a great course for more experienced players to brush up on their pitching and putting skills. 
ANY HISTORY? The game of golf has a long history in Wales. The years 1850-1900 were a time of dramatic changes in Wales. The population virtually doubled in this period. The Industrial Revolution hit the country and the people moved from the countryside to the towns. Suddenly, Welsh men and women had more time on their hands, especially the rich, and they began looking around for something to do with their leisure time. Tenby Golf Club is officially the oldest club in Wales, having been set up in the autumn of 1888. Many more Welsh courses came into being before the turn of the century. Borth and Ynyslas, Ceredigion, was in use from 1885, while Baron Hill, on Anglesey, was created in either 1889 or 1890. Most of the early courses were initially designed to have only nine holes and sometimes ten like the golf course at Ashleigh Road, half of today’s standard 18.
WHAT TO TAKE? Equipment can be hired for a minimal fee. Just turn up, and “pay and play” a round of golf. The prices are:
Pay and Play
Standard £4.70, Concession £3.45, PTL £2.10
Club Hire
Standard £2.25, Concession £1.90, PTL £1.00
Golf Ball Purchase
Family Ticket
Standard £14.00, Concession £12.00
LOOK OUT FOR? Asides from the golf course there’s lots of other family activities to check out nearby. You'll find plenty of family fun for free at Blackpill Lido. The Lido is a must when the weather is good with its superb paddling pool, children's play area, climbing rock and picnic facilities. There’s also the award winning Clyne Gardens and the Bay Rider, a land train that runs between Blackpill and Mumbles, to see.
WHEN TO GO? Ashleigh Road Golf Course is open daily from 9am to 6pm. The last admission is at 4pm.
TELL ME MORE: Heading towards Mumbles on Mumbles Road, Ashleigh Road golf hut is opposite Ashleigh Road on the left hand side, before you get to Blackpill Lido. For sat nav users the postcode is SA3 5AU. For further information phone 01792 207544 or visit
Visit Richard Thomas's website at