The Porthmadog and Borth-y-Gest Golf Club was founded in 1905 and the first hundred members paid a half-guinea membership fee. By May 1906, the nine-hole course was fully operational, with Lord Harlech serving as the inaugural President.
Initially, the Club had only an annual rental agreement, but in June 1910, the Club signed a long-term tenancy agreement with the owner of Garreg Wen farm. The agreement required golfers to be on their best behaviour (as they should always be! ), but in particular, they were not to take any game, hares, rabbits, or wildfowl and were to pay compensation for any sheep, cattle, or other animal killed or injured by them—which could be problematic because the farmer retained grazing rights except for bulls or other "savage" cattle!
James Braid is a true golf course design legend who has probably worked on over 400 courses. At the height of his activities, he would frequently simply walk around a course, draw some simple illustrations on the back of an envelope, and then send it along with an invoice to the Club in question! The exact date of his visit to Porthmadog is unknown, but it is likely that it was around 1910 because that is when the long-term tenancy was signed, and Nisbet's Golf Year Book lists a proposed extension to 18 holes in 1911.
Regardless of his specific recommendations, there are elements of today's course that bear all the hallmarks of classic Braid design, such as Par 3's that play in four different compass directions and bunkers like those on the 11th and 12th holes bordering Samson's Bay.
The Porthmadog golf course is part of the James Braid Trail in North Wales http://www.golf-northwales.co.uk/james-braid-trail.
One of the most significant changes to the course occurred in the mid-1980s, with a radical redesign of the 4th, 5th, and 6th holes, which is now very much a local Amen Corner. On these three holes, any golfer will be content to play to his or her handicap.