Golf Union Wales blog The latest news affecting golf in Wales from GUW en (C) 2017, GUW, Sun, 25 Jun 2017 04:24:26 GMT Sun, 25 Jun 2017 04:24:26 GMT GUW, Golf Union Wales Blog WILLIAMS TO DEFEND WELSH OPEN SENIORS TITLE AT MAESDU Wed, 21 Jun 2017 12:00:00 GMT Golf Union Wales WILLIAMS TO DEFEND WELSH OPEN SENIORS TITLE AT MAESDU

June 15, 2017.

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Newport’s Andrew Williams will be aiming to become only the second player to defend his Welsh Open Seniors’ title when the championship tees off at Maesdu golf club at the end of June.

The Wales Seniors international won the event at his home club last year, but will be up against  another strong entry of 140 players aged 55 and over, of whom more than 20 play off scratch or better.

Previous winners playing  include Wales’ Glyn Rees and John Jermine, whilst 2015 winner Michael Mercier has again made the trip from the USA.

David Wilson the Golf Union of Wales championships manager said, “This is an event we look forward to every year.

The strength of the field seems to grow year on year and we are delighted to see so many international players here this week.

Maesdu golf club has regularly attracted top level events over the years and it is easy to see why. The course will provide a good and fair test for these elite level senior players.”

Heading up a strong English entry is Stephen East, winner of the 2016 English Seniors’ Order of Merit and runner-up in this event last year.

He is joined by Ian Attoe, currently lying first in this year’s Order of Merit, and a host of English Senior internationals including Alan Mew, David Nelson, Ian Crowther and Mark Stones.

All of Wales’ 2016 Home Internationals team are playing in the championship, including Wenvoe Castle’s Nick Grimmitt who enters the event in fine form having just won the Irish Open Seniors’ Championship at County Tipperary Golf Club.

Maesdu club captain Stephen Williams said, “We are very much looking forward to hosting the Welsh Open Seniors Championship.

Our championship course ideally lends itself to top level amateur events such as this and we look forward to welcoming all the players and their supporters to Maesdu.”

The entire field will play 36 holes over the first two days (28th/29th June) before being cut to the top 45 and ties for the last round to take place on Friday 30th June. The leaders are expected to start their final round at around mid-day.

Visitors are welcome to watch some of the best senior players in Britain compete for the Welsh Open Seniors title.


For more information contact Hamish Stuart,

Golf Union of Wales Media Manager.

Phone - 07914 873451

E-mail .

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Former teacher Paul Bloomfield came top the class at the Welsh Seniors at Aberdovey, coming through a play-off to win the title.

Bloomfield, from Cardiff and a former PE teacher at Bishop of Llandaff school, won the play-off against Glamorganshire's Brian Rigby after thinking he had missed out and putting his clubs back in the car to prepare for the presentation.

“I knew I was behind the leading players at the start of the last round, so when I had a 77 I thought that was it,” said the 64-year-old, now retired and based at the Kingdown club near Bath having been a member of Whitchurch in Cardiff.

“I crossed the railway track at Aberdovey and put my clubs back in the car when someone shouted to say I was in a play-off, so I put my stuff back on and came back to play.

“I had a good first round when Aberdovey was the most benign I have ever known it in seven visits there, the greens were rolling beautifully and I love the course – I think it is one of the best to play anywhere.

“In perfect conditions it inspires you to play well and I did play good golf in the first round. It was still benign conditions in the second round, but I did not play so well, then in the third round the wind blew – it felt stronger that the 24mph predicted by the weather forecasters.

“In the play-off then, I hit a perfect drive and Brian was unlucky to go into the bunker, he went for the green and caught the lip and I ended up having three putts for it.

“This win is right up there for me, I have never won a Welsh title before. I came close when I was younger, reaching the semi-final and quarter-finals in the Welsh Amateur years ago.

“I also won the Glamorganshire county championship a couple of times when the likes of Stephen Dodd and Phil Price were still amateurs, so those were the highlights of my career before this.”

Next up for the new Welsh Seniors champion is the Welsh Seniors Open at Maesdu at the end of the month, while as a Wales Seniors international he is also looking forward to the British Seniors at Sunningdale later in the summer.

Rigby was second after a third round 80, while Kingsley Evans of Vale of Llangollen and Jeffrey Thomas of Royal Porthcawl finished in joint third place one shot further back.

“There were contrasting conditions at Aberdovey so the top players had to make the most of the sunshine and then hold things together when it got tougher and the wind blew,” said Golf Union of Wales championships manager David Wilson.

“Congratulations to Paul for managing to do just that as the event went into a play-off.

“Aberdovey was in fantastic condition for the event, it was both a pleasure for the competitors to play and a challenge. Our thanks go to all involved for helping us to put on such a successful championship.”

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(For free to use picture of Max Martin with the Welsh Open Youth title in Prestatyn, please download from the following link )

England's Max Martin led from start to finish to claim the Welsh Open Youths title at Prestatyn, pipping North Wales challenger Tom Williams by a single shot.

Martin won the US Kids golf at the age of 10 and the European Under 13's championship, but this was his biggest win coping with the pressure of leading in all four rounds with Wrexham's Williams hot on his heels.

Ladbrook Park's Martin opened with a 64, matched by 2015 winner Williams in his second round, while a third round 69 meant a fourth round score of 77 was just enough to keep the Englishman ahead on -8, while the Wales international had a closing 72 to finish one shot back.

Welshman Matt Roberts, of The Vale Resort, was tied third along with Worksop's Reece Samson. Aberdovey's Tomos Jones was tied eight and Ashburnham's Aled Gravelle tied 11th in a strong showing for home players in the strong field.

“The first round came as a bit of a surprise to me, but it is a brilliant course with superb greens in exceptional condition,” said 19-year-old Martin, praising the Prestatyn host venue.

“Then a 69 in the third round meant I did not want to make any high numbers in the afternoon, but bogeys at 14, 15 and 16 were not part of the plan.

“Tom is not really the person you want chasing you and I knew from the weather forecast the last round would be a bit of a battle with the wind, but any time you can shoot -8 you are always giving yourself a chance of winning the tournament.

“I won the US Kids at ten and the European Championships under 13's, but this is my biggest win – I have been a bit quiet since then and doing it at 19 is a lot different.

“I will try to get into the Walker Cup in the next couple of years, this win helps push me up the world rankings which will help.”

Golf Union of Wales championships manager David Wilson also congratulated traditional links course at Prestatyn for hosting the event.

“It was great to see such a strong Welsh challenge with Tom Williams in particular pushing hard to try to regain the title he won two years ago, but it was also great to see the condition of the course and the level of the challenge at Prestatyn,” he said.

“The players were full of praise for the course and it is one of the venues in Wales we can always rely on to put on a great event.”


For more information contact Hamish Stuart,

Golf Union of Wales Media Manager.

Phone - 07914 873451

E-mail .

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Ladies European Tour star Amy Boulden will present the prizes for the top ladies teams in Wales, as part of the new backing of Welsh firm Clogau Gold.

The draw for the Clogau Gold Welsh Ladies Team Championships was also announced today (Tuesday) with defending champions Newport up against last year's hosts Wenvoe Castle in the first round when the event tees off at the Vale of Llangollen golf club from June 22nd to 25th.

This year's hosts Vale of llangollen will face Aberdovey in the first round, while the pick of the opening ties could be Radyr against Ashburnham with both clubs among the strong teams entered in the event.

Full details of the draw are on the Golf Union of Wales website.

Clogau will provide the special golden prizes, as well as having a pop up shop at the Vale of Llangollen for players, caddies, family and supporters to look and buy with discounts available during the tournament.

It is the largest ladies team competition in Welsh golf with regional qualifying leading to national finals, while leading Welsh company Clogau are getting involved for the first time - though they already support golf development in Wales and also sponsor Boulden.

As a result the former LET rookie of the year will be on hand to present the prizes and also help to inspire the next generation of Welsh ladies golfers.

It is the same format as last year with 32 teams and the first round losers going into a plate competition,” said Golf Union of Wales championships manager David Wilson.

However the involvement of Clogau as the main sponsor will raise the profile of one of our most popular events.

Also it will be great to have someone like Amy on hand to present the prizes. Apart from her outstanding amateur career and smooth transition to the professional ranks, she also is an ambassador for Golf Development Wales putting something back into the game.

The fact she is also sponsored by Clogau makes for a perfect combination for this event, which continues to go from strength to strength.”

Newport won last year's Welsh Ladies Team Championships with 14-year-old Ffion Vineall sinking the winning putt at Wenvoe Castle golf club, as they defended the title in an all Monmouthshire final against St Pierre.

 Link to draw here


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LADIES’ BRITISH OPEN AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIP. LEGENDS IN THE MAKING’-british-open-amateur-championship-legends-in-the-making’-british-open-amateur-championship-legends-in-the-making Tue, 30 May 2017 12:00:00 GMT Golf Union Wales Please click here  for further information

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LAUREN LANDS WELSH AMATEUR TITLE Tue, 30 May 2017 12:00:00 GMT Golf Union Wales Newport's Lauren Hillier claimed the Welsh Ladies Amateur title at the third attempt, triumphing in testing conditions in Wrexham golf club.

Winning the Welsh title was the biggest win so far for the 34-year-old, who had competed in the English Closed Championship and then had to wait to play for Wales with the qualification period being reduced from 10 years to five.

She beat Alice Barnes of West Sussex four and three in the final as a reward for a week of consistent play.

“This is certainly my biggest ever win, it's absolutely brilliant and better than I expected,” said Hillier, who lost in the final last year.

“I just played consistent golf, hitting fairways and greens and concentrating on the next shot. Wrexham is the sort of course that if you can get ahead and keep playing consistently then that puts pressure on your opponent.

“Newport have won the Welsh Ladies Team Championships three of the last four years and I have been part of those teams, so playing match play in that pressure certainly helped coming into these matches.

“I am the mother of a five-year-old so I am certainly kept busy off the course, but this is a big confidence boost and I hope it can push me on to play some really good golf.”

Defending champion Kath O'Connor had topped the scoring from the stroke play stages in tough conditions at Wrexham, with Hillier qualifying for the knockout stages in tied sixth and Barnes in fifth.

Newport's Jordan Ryan beat O'Connor at the quarter-final stage before herself being beaten by Barnes by one hole in the semi-finals, meaning it would not be a final contested between club teammates.

Hillier made smooth progress through the knockout stages beating Yelverton's Caitlin Evans-Brand in the last 16, Ashburnham's Nia Greville in the quarter-finals, and Erewash Valley's Olivia Kelly in the semi-final.

“Congratulations to Lauren, one of our experienced Wales internationals and she used that to good effect to play well all week,” said Golf Union of Wales championships manager David Wilson.

“Wrexham provided a really good test for the players with windy conditions making scoring difficult, but the course was in superb condition for the event and all the players enjoyed the challenge.”

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Two Welsh golfers have been picked for the first time in the Great Britain and Ireland team for the Junior Vagliano Trophy against the Continent of Europe.


Carys Worby from Newport Sands in Pembrokeshire and Ffion Tynan from Minchinhampton have been picked by the R and A in the six girl Under 16 team to play in the match which runs parallel to the women’s competition at Golf Club Bogogno in Italy on 30 June and 1 July.


“This is great news, the first time two Welsh girls have been picked for the Junior Vagliano Trophy match and a fantastic opportunity for Carys and Ffion,” said Golf Union of Wales director of performance Gillian O'Leary, “I am delighted for the girls and the team around them as they have worked incredibly hard to achieve this and it is good to see this being recognised and rewarded.


“It is vital to have these players coming through the system and getting ready to step up, this opportunity to play with the best players of their age in Great Britain and Ireland and against the Continent of Europe will be a huge stepping stone in their development.”


Wrexham's Chloe Williams, who is now playing professionally on the Ladies Access Tour, was picked in the Junior Vagliano Trophy team in the past, but Wales have never had two players in the team before.

Claire Coughlan-Ryan continues in her role as captain of the Under-16 team, who lost narrowly in Northern Ireland two years ago.


“I look forward to working with a talented group of young golfers and trying to win the Junior Vagliano Trophy for the first time against the Continent of Europe,” she said.


There are no Welsh players in the Vagliano Trophy team with four Irish and four English players, led by world amateur number one ranked Leona Maguire.


The Junior Vagliano Trophy takes the form of three junior foursomes each morning and six junior singles matches each day.


For scoring and reports from the matches please visit


If you are attending the match please download our spectator information guide at


The six player GB&I team for the Junior Vagliano Trophy match is:

Sarah Byrne (Douglas)

Euphemie Rhodes (Burnham & Berrow)

Annabell Fuller (Roehampton)

Ffion Tynan (Minchinhampton)

Lily May Humphreys (Stoke by Nayland)

Carys Worby (Newport Sands)


First reserve

Caitlin Whitehead (Kendal)

Second reserve

Beth Coulter (Kirkistown Castle)


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(For free to use pictures of Welsh Open Stroke Play winner Gian-Marco Petrozzi at the Vale Resort, please download from following link )

England's Gian-Marco Petrozzi enjoyed the biggest win of his career at the Welsh Open Stroke Play at the Vale Resort, with a strong showing from Wales players as three finished in the top seven.

20-year-old Petrozzi hopes the win can be the springboard for a challenge for a place in the Walker Cup, while Welsh Walker Cup squad members Jack Davidson and Owen Edwards pushed their claims finishing third and fourth respectively.

Vale member Tim Harry showed a welcome return to form with a tied fifth finish, but it was Petrozzi who led from start to finish as he built on an opening 66 to finish nine shots clear of fellow Englishman Jack Gaunt.

Davidson would have been challenging for the home win but for a second round 80, after a start to the season which has already seen him claim the European Nations Cup and Spanish Amateur titles.

“This is a special win for me, the biggest of my career so far and hopefully will help towards my aspiration of getting into the Walker Cup team,” said Petrozzi, who finished on 13 under par.

“I felt comfortable all week, the first round put me in a good position and I could just play solidly from then hitting fairways and greens.”

The Trentham player was not named in the wider Walker Cup squad, but he is taking encouragement from Davidson and Ireland's Robin Dawson who were added to the selection after their strong performances at the European Nations Cup.

“I have definitely taken some inspiration from from both of them, they have had a cracking start to the season and obviously I am trying to follow in their footsteps and force my way in,” he said.

“Hopefully a week like this will be eye-catching. I have enjoyed playing at the Vale, it is a great golf course.

“We play a lot of links golf so it is different for us, but is is great to be rewarded for good shots and punished for bad shots so it is fantastic to play a course like this.”

The Welsh Open Stroke Play attracted a strong field, including competitors from as far afield as Australia, South Africa and the United States, as well as a large Home Nations contingent.

“It was good to see such a strong competition and congratulations to Gian-Marco for coming through to win comfortably in the end,” said Golf Union of Wales championships manager David Wilson.

“It was also nice to see three Welsh competitors challenging strongly and finishing so high up on the leaderboard.

“The Vale Resort put on a great event and the players were delighted with the quality of the course and the challenge they faced.”


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May 22, 2017.

(For free to use picture, please download from following link . Caption: Winner Nick Grimmitt (Wales) pictured with Hugh Smyth (Mourne, Winner over 65), John Mitchell (Tramore, Runner Up) and Donald McCart (England, Winner over 70) at the Irish Seniors Amateur Open Championship at County Tipperary GC - image courtesy of Cashman Photography )

Welsh golfer Nick Grimmitt captured the Irish Seniors Amateur Open at Co Tipperary, thanks to a late birdie bliltz which sent him surging through the field.

He had a final round 71 which was one of only two sub-par rounds all week and helped the Wenvoe Castle player overcome a four shot deficit, including three birdies in his last five holes.

Having turned in 37, two over, four birdies and one bogey on the back nine took Grimmitt to a three-round total of 223, plus seven, which won by one shot from Tramore's John Mitchell.

Mitchell, who was at the head of affairs from day one, could have forced a playoff with a closing par but his six-footer caught the lip and stayed out.

Grimmitt made four birdies on the back nine, beginning with a four at the 11th. He then made three in four holes from the 14th, which put him in the clear. Like Mitchell, he bogeyed 18, but his was not as costly.

When the home challenger failed to get up and down at his 72nd hole, the title was Grimmitt's. Mitchell had to settle for second. England's Douglas Cameron finished a shot further back in third.



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WELSH OPEN YOUTHS’ CHAMPIONSHIP ENTERS 25TH YEAR’-championship-enters-25th-year’-championship-enters-25th-year Tue, 23 May 2017 12:00:00 GMT Golf Union Wales WELSH OPEN YOUTHS’ CHAMPIONSHIP ENTERS 25TH YEAR

May 23, 2017.

(For free to use picture of 2015 champion Tom Williams with the trophy, please download from following link )

Prestatyn Golf Club will host the 25th playing of the Welsh Open Youths Championship, with a strong field of over 100 players for this Under 21 event.

Golf Union of Wales president Jeff Harries said, “Since we changed the format of this championship in 2015 to play it over three days, it has gone from strength to strength.

“It is fitting that in its twenty fifth year we are able to bring the event to Prestatyn which has a proud history of hosting top level amateur events.”

Tom Williams from Wrexham, winner of the championship in 2015, leads a strong Welsh entry with most of the Welsh National U21 squad taking part, including current Welsh Boys Champion Oliver Brown from the Vale Resort.

There is also the usual strong entry from English players who continue to support this event in large numbers.

The competition will be keenly contested with around 50 of the competitors playing off a handicap of scratch or better.

Prestatyn Golf Club Manager Chris Owens said, “We are very much looking forward to hosting the Welsh Open Youths Championship.

“Our course is in superb condition and it will be exciting to see these talented young players test their skills on one of the best links courses in Wales.”

The 72 hole event starts on Friday 2 June. The top 45 players and ties after day 2 go through to play 36 holes on Sunday 4th June with the leaders expected to tee off in their final round around 1pm.

Visitors are welcome to come and watch some of the best young amateur golfers compete for the Welsh Open Youths Title.


For more information contact Hamish Stuart,

Golf Union of Wales Media Manager.

Phone - 07914 873451

E-mail .

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CLEWS CLAIMS WELSH TITLE Tue, 09 May 2017 12:00:00 GMT Golf Union Wales England's Gemma Clews claimed the best win of her career at the Welsh Ladies Open Amateur Stroke Play, with Welsh golfers Bethan Morris and Jordan Ryan finishing strongly in fifth and sixth.

Clews, from Delamere Forest near Chester, played consistently in tough and windy conditions at Ashburnham, near Llanelli, to tame the classic links course and finish level par to win by five shots. She became the first English winner of the event since Tour star Charlie Hull in 2011.

Tenby's Morris had a closing 74 to fly up the leaderboard into fifth place, while Newport's Ryan had a best-of-the-day final round of 71, matched only by Clews, as she rose up to sixth.

England's Lianna Bailey, Kirby Muxloe, was second with Scotland's Hannah McCook, Grantown-on-Spey, in third.

“This is definitely my best win, my first really big win, and victory feels really good,” said Clews, who was in form coming into the event in form after wins in the Comboy Scratch Trophy and Hampshire Rose.

“I just played pretty solidly throughout. The first day was the toughest with the first nine strongly downwind and then the back nine into the wind, you just had to plot your way along.

“The conditions got easier, I controlled my ball pretty well and my short game was good. In the last round I birdied eight, nine and ten to get myself under par. I did not really think aout winning, I just played things as I saw them.

“I knew then that if things didn't work out then at least I had given it my best shot. I knew I was in good form so the only nerves were good nerves, I enjoyed the course even though it was tough.”

“I have the Irish, St Rule and the British coming up so it is good to hit some form and this win will give me confidence.”

Golf Union of Wales championships manager Davies Wilson added, “Congratulations to Gemma for some really good golf to claim the Welsh Open title by a clear margin.

“Ashburnham put on a great event and the course was an excellent challenge for the players, especially with the wind making it a classic test of links golf.

“Bethan and Jordan both finished well to give a strong Welsh presence on the leaderboard which was also good to see.”

Other notable Welsh performances included Newport's Lauren Hillier in 15th, and Minchinhampton New's Ffion Tynan tied 16th.

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May 5, 2017.

(For free to use image of the 16th hole at the Wales National Course on the Vale Resort, please download from the following link )

Former professional tour player Barry Hume will return to defend the Welsh Open Stroke Play title he won at Royal St David’s in 2016.

Former Asian Tour player Hume had a prolific amateur career before turning professional, but regained his amateur status in 2013.

He represented Scotland in Home international matches in 2015 and 2016 and will again be one of the favourites for this year’s Welsh Open Stroke Play to be held at the Wales National Course on the Vale Resort.

The challenging 7400 yards National Course opened in 2003 and has already hosted European Challenge Tour and Europro events.

Golf Union of Wales championships manager, David Wilson, said, “We are delighted to bring this Championship to the Vale Resort.

“It is a venue and course built to host prestigious events and with the length and nature of the golf course it represents a modern challenge to a field at the highest levels of amateur golf.”

Welsh eyes will be following Jack Davidson, winner of the Spanish International Amateur Championship and leading individual player at the European Nations Cup already this year.

Jack is joined by two other members of Wales’ European Nations Cup Winning team in Owen Edwards and Joshua Davies.

The Vale Resort itself is well represented at the event through Welsh International Tim Harry, current Welsh Boys champion Oliver Brown and former Welsh Boys International Delon Hau.

England and Ireland are strongly represented in the Championship as usual. Hume is joined by other members of the Scottish National squad including Matthew Clark, Calum Fyfe and Euan McIntosh.

Golf Manager at the Vale Resort,Clive Coombs, said, “We are delighted to host the Welsh Open Stroke Play Championship at the Vale Resort.

“Whilst less than 15-years-old, the Wales National Course has already shown that it is ideally suited to championship golf and we look forward to welcoming the players to the club.”

The entire field of 144 players will play 36 holes over the first two days (19th/20th May) before being cut to the top 45 and ties for the last two rounds to take place on Sunday 21st May, with the leaders expected to start their final round at around 2.30pm.

Visitors are welcome to watch some of the best amateur players in Britain compete for the Welsh Open Stroke Play title.


For more information contact Hamish Stuart,

Golf Union of Wales Media Manager.

Phone - 07914 873451

E-mail .

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April 24, 2017.

(For free to use pictures of Harry and George Ledsham and the U14s  winners. L-R Sian Jones Holywell GC, Thomas Lloyd; Mold GC, William Sandoz; Wrexham GC, please download from following link, hi res web version )

North Wales brothers Harry and George Ledsham got their season off to a flying start on their home course at the Ping Welsh Junior Tour event hosted at Mold Golf Club.

Harry won the U12s category with a score of 64 points over 10 holes just a point ahead of Tyler Whiteley in second with Jake Williams in third. With all three players coming from Mold, this represented a clean sweep for the host club.

Not to be outdone younger brother George picked up the U8s trophy with 67 points, the best score of the day. In a keenly contested category regular Junior Tour players Harry Edwards from Builth Wells and Reuben Baker from Llandrindod Wells were second and third respectively.

William Pontin from Rhondda made it two Junior Tour wins in a row in the U10s age group to take a commanding lead in the Under 10s Order of Merit. William’s score of 65 points edged out Builth Wells’ Thomas Edwards on a countback over the last 6 holes. Joseph Hancock from Mold secured third place with 63 points.

In the U14s age category, played as a standard stableford over 18 holes, Mold’s Thomas Lloyd was a convincing winner with an exceptional score of 46 stableford points.

William Sandoz from Wrexham took second place with 42 points just one ahead of Holywell’s Sian Jones in third. Josh Chamberlain followed up last week’s win at Parc with a 4th place finish at Mold to take him to the top of the U14s Order of Merit.

Chairman of the Golf Union of Wales Championship Committee, Ashton Bradbury, said, “we are very grateful to Mold Golf Club for hosting this Junior Tour event.

“The club is a tremendous supporter of junior golf in Wales and the strength of their junior section is highlighted by the performances of many of their players at this competition.

“The Junior Tour, now in its second year and benefitting from the partnership with Ping, is developing well with players from over 50 clubs across Wales having already taken part in the first two events this year.”

The Ping Welsh Junior Tour now moves on to Carmarthen and Abergele in July where players will have the opportunity to win more Order of Merit points to help them qualify for the Tour Final at the St Pierre Marriott Hotel and Country Club in the autumn.


For more information contact Hamish Stuart,

Golf Union of Wales Media Manager.

Phone - 07914 873451

E-mail .

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April 24, 2017.

(For a free to use picture of Ashburnham's 8th hole, please download from the following link )

A strong field of more than 90 players will contest the Welsh Ladies Open Stroke Play Championship when it returns to Ashburnham Golf Club for the fourth time in the event’s 40 year history.

David Wilson, Championship Manager for the Golf Union of Wales, said, “We continue to work hard to raise the profile of this event and we are delighted to be rewarded by the strength of the entry this year.

“Ashburnham is a superb championship links, in tremendous condition, and will provide a great test for all the players.”

Welsh interest is headed by current Welsh Ladies Amateur Champion Katherine O’Connor along with fellow Welsh internationals including Lauren Hillier, Bethan Morris, Jordan Ryan and Georgia Lewis.

All will be seeking to emulate the success of Tenby’s Becky Harries winner of the Championship when it was last held at Ashburnham in 2012.

The Welsh Players will have to hold off the usual strong challenge from English players including Sophie Lamb, Georgia Price and Gemma Clews ranked first, second and third respectively on the 2016 England Golf Ladies Order of Merit.

The Championship will benefit from the presence of a host of strong Scottish and Irish players. The Scottish entry includes Eilidh Briggs, winner of this event in 2014, along with international colleagues Hannah McCook and Gabrielle Macdonald.

Irish Internationals Jessica Ross, runner up at Conwy in 2016, and Curtis Cup player Maria Dunne will be amongst the favourites for the title this year.

Ashburnham manager Damion Gee said, “We have a long history of hosting top level events here at Ashburnham.

“We look forward to welcoming all of the players to the club and feel sure they will enjoy the challenge provided by our links course.”

The competitors will play 36 holes over the first two days (5/6 May) before being cut to the top 45 and ties for the final round on Sunday 7 May with the leaders expected to tee off at around 11:00am.

Visitors are welcome to watch some of the best women amateur players in the UK compete for the Welsh Ladies Open Stroke Play title.


For more information contact Hamish Stuart,

Golf Union of Wales Media Manager.

Phone - 07914 873451

E-mail .

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19 April 2017, St Andrews, Scotland and Far Hills, N.J., USA: The R&A and the USGA are working with golf’s handicapping authorities to develop a single World Handicap System for the game.

More than 15 million golfers in over 80 countries presently have a handicap, a numerical index long used as a measure of a golfer’s potential skill level. Handicaps are currently delivered through six different systems around the world.

The aim of the proposed handicap system is to adopt a universal set of principles and procedures that will apply all over the world.

An extensive review of existing handicap systems administered by Golf Australia, the Council of National Golf Unions (CONGU) in Great Britain and Ireland, the European Golf Association (EGA), the South African Golf Association (SAGA), the Argentine Golf Association (AAG) and the United States Golf Association (USGA) has been undertaken.

Golf organisations from different parts of the world have also been engaged with the current handicap authorities for the past two years to help shape the proposed system, which takes into account the many different golf cultures and most common formats of play. Research conducted to date has also reviewed systems and best practices inherent to handicapping, such as course rating and administration.

A joint committee led by The R&A and the USGA has been formed, including representatives from each handicap authority as well as the Japan Golf Association and Golf Canada. The joint committee plans to announce its proposals later this year.

Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A, said, “We have been concerned for some time that many golfers find the handicapping landscape to be complicated and can be frustrated when it is not always applied in the same way in different parts of the world.

“We are working closely with the existing handicapping bodies to benefit from their insights as we try to formulate a system that will be easy to understand and can be applied consistently on a global basis. We very much appreciate their support for this initiative.”

Mike Davis, Executive Director and CEO of the USGA, said, “One wonderful aspect of golf that separates it from other sports is the opportunity for players of differing abilities to play on an equitable basis through handicapping. With one global system, golf courses will be rated and handicaps calculated in a consistent manner everywhere in the world. Removing borders to provide an easy way for all to play together is great for the game and golfers everywhere.”

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April 18, 2017.
(For free to use pictures please download from following link. U14s prize winners from left to right; Ioan Rowe: Pontardawe GC, Josh Chamberlain : Bryn Meadows GC: Jessica Atwell: Llanwern GC. U8s pointing to their names on the scoreboard! )

Almost 100 players aged between 6 and 14 took part in the opening Ping Welsh Junior Tour event of the season held at Parc Golf Club.

On a day of tremendous scoring Josh Chamberlain from Bryn Meadows, joint winner of the U14s Order of Merit in 2016, continued from where he left off last year by winning the U14s category with a score of 48 stableford points.

This was enough to pip Pontardawe’s Ioan Rowe by a single point with Llanwern’s Jessica Atwell in 3rd place with 41.

In the U12s age group Harry Coombs from The Glamorganshire, playing in his first ever Junior Tour event, triumphed with 62 points after a count back from Junior Tour regular Bargoed’s Ryan Williams in second place. Just a point behind in third was Fred O’Carroll from St Athan Golf Club.

William Pontin, winner of the U10s Junior Tour Final last year, kicked off his season in fine form with 62 points and first place in the U10s category.

Cardiff’s Callum John was runner up with a score of 58 whilst George Coombs completed a great day for the Coombs family with 57 points and third place.

Reuben Baker from Llandrindod Wells, Order of Merit winner in 2016, is still the player to beat in the U8s category, opening up his season with 62 points, seven ahead of Swansea Bay’s Fallon Sawyers-Grandon in second with Harry Edwards from Builth Wells just a point behind in third.

Chairman of the Golf Union of Wales’ Championship Committee Ashton Bradbury said, “We are delighted to see so many young players and their families come along to the first Ping Welsh Junior Tour event of the season.

“At each Junior Tour event we hope that the combination of golf courses specially set up for each age group and fun based skills challenges make for a really enjoyable day.

“Parc Golf Club have been superb hosts with the players really enjoying the golf course and facilities at the club.”

This was the first of five Ping Welsh Junior Tour regional events to take place across Wales this year.

At each event players have the opportunity to win Junior Tour Order of Merit Points to qualify for the end of Season Tour Final due to take place at the St Pierre Marriott Hotel and Country Club in the Autumn.


For more information contact Hamish Stuart,

Golf Union of Wales Media Manager.

Phone - 07914 873451

E-mail .

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For new golfers to be drawn to the sport through indoor mini golf may sound a 'crazy' idea, but thanks to a new initiative it is now happening in Wales.

A brand new partnership with Treetop Adventure golf those taking part in the New2Golf scheme, run by Golf Development Wales’, to swing by for a complimentary round of indoor mini golf on one of the jungle themed courses.

New2Golf packs are available for people taking part in the beginner schemes set to run at golf clubs around Wales.

Around 2,000 people participate each year and through April and May clubs will be running New2Golf/Back2Golf beginner schemes so anyone who would like to try the sport or take up the sport again will be able to attend a free taster session and low cost beginner sessions.

All participants receive a New2Golf pack with benefits which include a complimentary round of mini golf at Treetop Adventure Golf, 50% off an individual or playing lesson, six golf lessons for the price of five, free friend of family lesson voucher, exclusive discounts, rules and etiquette books and a place in a prize draw.

Golf Union of Wales development director Hannah McAllister said, “We are pleased to announce a brand new partnership with our friends at Treetop Adventure Golf.

“Most people’s first experience of the sport is at a shorter version of the game with their family and friends, and many existing golfers also visit to experience something different. This is a way of building on a fun golf experience.

“A study by Sports Marketing Surveys for the European Tour showed 5% of adults, about 2 million people, and 9% of under 18s, about 700,000 young people, had played adventure golf at least twice during the previous year.

“Adults had played on average 2-3 times and under 18s four times during the year. Adventure golf was the most likely form of golf for those under 18 to have engaged in.

“The shorter game has many positive characteristics, spending time with friends and family and improving skills while having fun.

“This exciting new partnership will ensure people who visit the facility wanting to take up the sport will know how to and those who are part of New2Golf will have the added benefit of being able to visit the facility and have great fun with their family and friends.”

Elizabeth Stanway, co-founder Treetop Adventure Golf, added, “Mini golf is great fun for everyone and we hope this partnership will encourage our visitors to explore golf in a wider sense.

“Treetop Adventure Golf is somewhere for people of all ages to have mini golf adventures together.

“We encourage friendly competition and promote skill development and we really look forward to welcoming New2Golf members and their families to our rainforest!”

For information about the New2Golf scheme please contact Golf Development Wales.

For information about Treetop Adventure Golf please visit or email

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WALES CHAMPIONS OF EUROPE Mon, 03 Apr 2017 12:00:00 GMT Golf Union Wales Wales golfers had one of their best ever results in winning the European Nations Cup, with Llanwern's Jack Davidson winning the individual title and earning a place in the Walker Cup squad.

Wales had only ever once won the European Nations Cup before, in 2002 and also won the European Team Championship in 1993, but this win was up there as one of the best in Welsh amateur golf history.

Davidson followed up his win at the Spanish Amateur three weeks ago by winning the individual title by four shots from Ireland's Robin Dawson at Sotogrande in Spain, while teammates Llanwern's Owen Edwards and Walton Heath's David Boote both finished tied 10th.

Celtic Manor's Josh Davies completed the quartet and all four contributed at least two scores with the best three rounds each day counting towards the team total. Wales finished a remarkable 11 shots clear of second placed Ireland with Spain third and Scotland fourth.

Davidson finished five under par, Dawson the only other player to finish under par four shots back in tricky conditions in the South of Spain.

“This proved Wales can compete at the highest level, there is certainly a bit of a buzz among the boys,” said 20-year-old Davidson.

“We turned up believing we could do well and this has given us all big confidence for the season. It is a team game, but we all concentrated on our own business and then added the scores up at the end.

“We knew we were good enough to win and every other country here knows we are good enough to win.

“We were leading from the off, Ireland caught us up at one point, so to win in the fashion we did in the end was a great effort from the boys.”

Davidson was told by the Walker Cup selectors he had been added to the squad shortly after the end of the final round, joining Boote and Edwards to make it three Welsh players in the squad to prepare for the match against the USA. A team of 10 will be selected later in the year.

“I was approached after we had finished to be told they had now added me to the Walker Cup squad, so that was good,” said Davidson, who is concentrating full-time on golf but has no immediate plans to turn professional despite recent good finishes in Portugal and South America before the two wins in Spain.

“To have two weeks in a row like this is a pretty good feeling, it has been quite surreal.

“I was surprised there were only two of us under par but it is a very tricky golf course, the conditions were tough and windy.

“Towards the end there was such a big gap between second and third it felt more like match play between Robin and myself for the individual title.

“I was keeping him at arm's length and then I knew I just needed to par the last couple of holes. I was never comfortable on that course, but once I hit the green on the par three 17th I relaxed my shoulders and walked it in a little bit

“The last three weeks have been amazing, they could not have gone any better, I have worked hard on my putting because that was what was holding me back before and it clicked pre-season.

“I put together a plan with Neil Matthews (the Wales National Coach) at the start of the winter and really nailed it for three months.”

Golf Union of Wales director of performance Gillian O'Leary added her congratulations to the team and coaching staff that achieved such a big victory for Welsh golf.

“Jack was in a different league this week and the attitude of the other guys was phenomenal, they all struggled at different times but worked it out,” she said.

“A lot of it has to go down to the hard work Neil Matthews has done with this crop of players, he has been in post the last eight to ten years when these players have been coming through the system and they have been nurtured in a brilliant way.

“I just hope they build on this now and achieve the individual success which is within their reach. To have three Welsh players in the Walker Cup squad is brilliant and they very much deserve it – they were all outstanding from start to finish.”

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(For free to use picture of Gillian O'Leary at the Golf Union of Wales Awards ceremony at Celtic Manor, please download from the following link )

Former Ireland international Gillian O'Leary is shaping the future elite performance of Welsh golf – hoping to emulate the Emerald Isle's recent successes.

With four Major golf champions in the last decade, two of the top five in the ladies amateur world rankings, along with plenty of amateur successes in the men's and ladies teams, Ireland has been one of the forces of world golf.

Former Portugese Amateur champion O'Leary has joined the Golf Union of Wales as performance director aiming to focus resources at the sharp end to bring more consistent success to the Welsh players.

“Irish golf is a bit bigger but culturally it is very similar, all the ingredients are here for Wales to be a major international player,” said O'Leary, who is finishing a masters degree in sports development and coaching, focussing on elite sport systems.

Jack Davidson's win at the Spanish Amateur represented a good start, with a strong Wales men's team set to take part in the European Nations at the end of the month.

However no Wales Ladies or Girls team has been entered to the European Team Championships later in the summer, with those resources diverted to give the players greater exposure at international level to be more competitive in future.

“One of my performance philosophies would be to try to make opportunities available to compete at international level more often, being more focussed on competing with the rest of the world,” said O'Leary.

“In preparation for this, we will be trying to create a supportive environment for players but one in which they are challenged heavily around their behaviour and their commitment to the processes involved in becoming world class players. I believe if we can do this successfully, the results will follow.

“It is great having Jack winning in Spain and we need to build on that momentum. When our players are at that level then others see it and start thinking they can do the same thing.

“Hopefully we will have a strong men's team at the European Team Championships in Austria trying to compete.

“When we send Wales teams, we should be going there to compete and not just to make up the numbers. We have a comparatively small budget and resources so we must use that to build towards something rather than just going along.

“We are challenging the players that to represent their country is not about being the best in Wales, but being one of the best in Europe and the world. We do have hugely talented players who can go further with a bit more belief and hard work.”

O'Leary is delighted to be able to build on the work done by predecessors Nigel Edwards and Ben Waterhouse, while the national coaching staff in place in Wales is also a strength.

“The coaching staff we have in place is top class and they work really hard for Welsh golf,” she said.

“They are very passionate about what they do, I am lucky to be coming into an environment where there are some challenges but a lot of opportunities and a lot of work that has already been done to get Welsh golf to this stage.”

O'Leary is from Cork in the South of Ireland, but did a Masters in Dublin and enjoyed a successful amateur international career while working for the Irish Ladies Golf Union.

“I played in various international teams over 10 years with the likes of Danielle McVeigh, Maria Dunne and as the Maguire twins were starting out, maybe my background gives me more empathy towards the players,” she said.

“I always wanted to be more involved on the elite performance side and once I finished playing internationally in 2012 I was very fortunate to be given a lot of opportunities to work more closely with performance manager David Kearney.

"I felt I had progressed as far as I could with the Irish Ladies Golf Union at a time when we had two players in the top five of the World Rankings, Leona Maguire and Olivia Mehaffey, and had just won the Girls Home Internationals so the time was right to make a move and I feel Welsh golf is the perfect fit for me.”


For more information contact Hamish Stuart,

Golf Union of Wales Media Manager.

Phone - 07914 873451

E-mail .

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Newport's Joe Vickery has been recognised with the Golf Union of Wales PGA Professional of the Year Award after delivering golf to more than 6,500 people last year.

The club professional at Parc between Cardiff and Newport, Vickery is a former Wales international and British amateur Championship semi-finalist with a passion to provide fun, inclusive opportunities for everyone.

More that 2,000 people with a disability were among those he took golf to last year, as one of only eight PGA Inclusive Level 2 coaches delivering weekly sessions to adults and children with varying disabilities.

Vickery led the British Minority Ethnic project with Newport Live which had nearly 500 participants, he trained nearly 20 coaches from the local community.

He assisted Parc in achieving the Golf Development Wales junior club accreditation scheme Junior GolfCert as well as Golf Foundation HSBC Golf Roots Centre and worked alongside junior golf leaders at Mountain Ash to increase junior participation from 1 to 64 and trained a further 28 people though Tri-Golf Activator courses.

“This is awesome, I love working with the team but it is a pleasure to get recognition,” said Vickery, who is qualified to deliver Street Golf, Tri-Golf and is also a Junior Leader Tutor.

“When I was in school I always wanted to play golf so I enjoy giving the kids an opportunity to do it, then went down the inclusive route as well and it is the most rewarding coaching I do. The retention rates in the class are better than any other and we have a great time every week.

“It is a lot of hard work but really enjoyable along the way, I just love giving people the chance to try golf and then when they hit the ball and you see the smile on their faces it makes your day.

“I try to do as much inclusive coaching as I can and in Newport we do quite a lot, Newport Live has big events with hundreds of children and adults, then just try to get them back to the club for regular coaching.

“The key is engaging with them, having fun and then they just want to come back every week.”

Lydia Hall claimed the Golf Union of Wales Tour Professional of the Year Award after making history as the first woman to beat the men in a British professional golf tournament.

Walker Cup hopeful David Boote won the Amateur of the Year Award, Pyle and Kenfig were the Club of the Year, in an award ceremony at Ryder Cup venue Celtic Manor sponsored by Future Financials.

Mold were the Junior Club of the Year, Cardigan's Julia Den Hartog the Volunteer of the Year.

“The Welsh golf awards are about so much more than just the professionals who represent Wales around the world, there is so much good work going on at golf clubs all around Wales,” said Golf Union of Wales chief executive Richard Dixon.

“Joe is someone who came up through our elite ranks and represented Wales many times in a successful amateur career, but he has gone into his professional role with a real passion to bring golf to as many people of all abilities as possible.

“There is so much in Welsh golf to celebrate at the moment, a small nation punching above our weight, so it was great to have the opportunity to showcase that at former Ryder Cup venue Celtic Manor.”

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