Only nine miles from Aberystwyth lies Penrhos Park. Probably best known for its golf course, this family owned and run leisure complex offers much, much more and Huw recently caught up with the one and only John Pugh-Evans to find out about Penrhos’ history, the family that run it and, of course, that iconic 17th hole!
So John, good to see you as always! Now I understand that Penrhos Park enjoyed a rather large birthday recently?
Yes, we’ve recently celebrated twenty-five years at the golf club. We held a golf day for our members and booked X-Factor star Joe Wheelan as entertainment. It was a great day. We also celebrated 50 years at the caravan site last year so I think we’re all partied out!
And tell me a bit more about the history of Penrhos.
My wife, Elspeth and I moved to Llanrhystud in 1961 and started the caravan park in 1966. We also had a fairly successful agricultural business so it was a huge decision when we, as a family, decided to extend the leisure side of the business. Twenty-five years on, Penrhos continues to grow.
Penrhos is very much a family affair. Tell me a bit more about the team…
It certainly is! It now consists of three generations, with everyone having their role within the business. We also have a great team here at Penrhos, some of whom have actually been here from the beginning!
You have a very well-known golf course on the Park but tell me a bit about the other facilities here.
Yes we have an 18-hole Championship Course, The Red Kite Course and also a flood-lit driving range. Our leisure facilities include an indoor swimming pool, fitness suite, sauna, steam room and spa pool.
And are the facilities just open to the residents or can members of the public enjoy them?
We offer memberships and welcome visitors.
Going back to the golf course, who designed it and how has it changed over the years?
The course was designed by Jim Walters, an agronomist from IGER with a great amount of help from myself and my sons, Rowland and Huw.
The 17th hole is probably one of the most iconic in the whole of Wales. How has it been received by golfers over the years?
As you know every golf course has its signature hole and the 17th is the one everyone remembers at Penrhos!
You’ve had a few EGO Tokens with us recently and some of them have been promoting your food menu. Is this an aspect of Penrhos that you’re trying to grow?
We are always looking at different ways to promote the restaurant at Penrhos. We often have theme nights that are really popular, and our guests are loving the homemade pizzas from the new take-away menu!
Speaking of EGO Tokens, have you got a nice one for us this month?
Yes, this month we’re offering a bucket of balls at the driving range - buy one get one free.
Finally, as a family of golfers, does it get much better than having your own course in such a beautiful part of the world?
It’s not the worst thing having a golf course in your back garden - the game doesn’t seem to get any easier though!
Well thanks very much John and I look forward to coming down again very soon – although probably for the pizza rather than the golf!