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.

Joe Vickery of Parc golf club between Cardiff and Newport was the PGA Professional of the Year, Mold the Junior Golf Club of the Year and Cardigan's Julia Den Hartog the Volunteer of the Year, Bridgend's Hall had an excellent year on the Ladies European Tour, finishing in the Top 20 on the money list with the highlight being a second place in Qatar, but it was on the links of Tenby that she made history by winning the Welsh PGA Championship against a field which included European Tour winners Phil Price and Stephen Dodd.


She followed Price, Dodd and Ian Woosnam in having her name on the trophy in the 100th year of the Welsh PGA.  The former British Masters champion became the first female to win a PGA National Event in the process, she also won the Women's PGA Order of Merit and had three top ten finishes on the Ladies European Tour.


“It is just great to get the recognition, following Amy Boulden and Becky Brewerton's name is on there as well,” said Hall, after receiving the GUW Award. “Coming second in the Qatar Ladies Open and winning the Welsh PGA were equal highlights of the year, being on Tour is my job and my career while the PGA side of things is new to me. “When I entered I was a little naive in terms of the history of what I was entering, I just went with the open mind that I might learn something playing with the guys and then I was just really proud when I lifted the trophy that I was the first ever female and it was the 100th year of the tournament.”  “Lydia is a well deserved winner of the Touring Professional award despite some very tough competition from the likes of Bradley Dredge who had such a good year on the European Tour, while Phil Price and Stephen Dodd both made their mark on the Seniors Tour,” said Golf Union of Wales chief executive Richard Dixon.


“But the Welsh golf awards are about so much more than just the touring professionals who represent Wales around the world, there is so much good work going on at golf clubs all around Wales.  “David Boote has had an excellent year on the amateur circuit as he has finished his degree at Stanford University in the US.“He represented the European team in the Sir Michael Bonallack Trophy and the Palmer Cup, the Great Britain and Ireland team in the St Andrews Trophy, reached the quarter-finals of the US Amateur and top 10 in the World Team Championship.


“Joe Vickery is a former Wales amateur player who is making a huge impact at community level, delivering golf to more than 6,500 people in 2016 including more than 2,000 with a disability.

“Pyle and Kenfig were one of a number of very strong clubs in the Club of the Year section, with eight clubs shortlisted.  “They have increased membership, will host pre-qualifying the the British Senior Open this summer, invested in the course and practice facilities, achieved Golf Development Wales Junior Golf Cert status and won the GUW Junior Inter Club Team Championship.


“Mold were the Junior Club of the Year, one of the first in Wales to achieve the top level Junior Golf Cert, a thriving junior section with a double figure number of county players.  “Julia has shown amazing passion, commitment and drive in developing junior golf in Cardigan.  “She has developed a New2Golf pathway for adults and kids, recruited many volunteers, organised regular coaching, growing the junior section to nearly 50 members.


“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.”


Posted on 6 March 2017 at 12:00

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