by Eirwyn Roberts
At the end of October 1986 I retired from work. During the previous weeks J C Davies, Jack Wilson, Dai Richards and I had discussed a plan for four-ball weekday golf following my retirement.
On the first Tuesday in November 1986 we met in the clubhouse at 9.30 am. This meant that we missed the bad traffic in town (it has got a lot worse since). That was part of the plan. Then after coffee and a chat we set out from the 1st tee and played our 10 holes, getting back to the clubhouse for a couple of pints and then home in good time for lunch. This was the start of the Clwb Hanner Ffordd.
The choice of Tuesday and Thursday for playing was dictated by the fact that we played bowls on Wednesday and Friday, Monday was poker and snooker night in the club while Saturday and Sunday were our regular weekly rounds of golf.
In the weeks and months that followed a number of people became interested and started doing the same thing. The first of these were John Oakes, David Jones, Don Lewis and Trevor Rowlands. At some time, when we had reached about 12 -15 regulars, it was suggested that a draw for groups of three should be made and a 50p kitty started. In 1992 John Oliver took responsibility for the draw and the daily prize and carried on with this for many years.
Soon the numbers grew to 20-30 players. Hywel Huws began looking after the money and Caron Jones the general organisation. Thus the Clwb Hanner Ffordd grew into its present form with over 80 people on the data file. There are no formal requirements for membership. There is no AGM, no election of officers or any other formalities. The responsibilities mentioned above just seem to pass from one to another in a very natural way. At present Caron still does the organising, Ed Philpin looks after the money and Wyn Jones looks after the draw and the prizes.
The name Clwb Hanner Ffordd came about one morning when it was decided to form a named social club for our group of players. As the competition was over ten holes a suggestion was made that we call ourselves the Half Way Club but John Hodges proposed that we should use the Welsh name. We all agreed, and consequently we became Clwb Hanner Ffordd. Caron Jones designed a logo, and shirts and sweaters were ordered. Later it was decided to have a Clwb Hanner Ffordd tie, the design of which was created by Caron Jones and Gwyn Phillips. Of interest, the first recorded winner of the Clwb Hanner Ffordd competition was Richie Thomas.
A few years ago a cup was donated by Don Evans, to be awarded at our Christmas dinner for the player who had won most prizes during the year.
We are a free association of members of Southerndown Golf Club, now in our 17th year. We are still informal and hopefully we will keep going as we are for many years to come. To the best of my knowledge we are unique, no comparable body existing in any golf club of which I know.
Southerndown Golf Club
Ogmore by Sea