Cardigan golf club's Julia Den Hartog has been recognised with the Golf Union of Wales Volunteer of the Year Award after growing the junior section to nearly 50 members.

Den Hartog has used the New2Golf pathway for adults and children, as well as the Golf Foundation Junior Golf Passport, to organise regular coaching and competition nights.

She was presented with her award at Ryder Cup venue Celtic Manor at the Golf Union of Wales awards lunch sponsored by Future Financials.

“I wasn't expecting it at all because really we work as a team, I have got some people here today and others back at home all of whom volunteer and help – I'm just the person who organises everybody.” she said.

“It is not just me, you can have an idea about what needs implementing but you need people with the skills to do it.

“What had happened at Cardigan was that we had a junior organiser who was really enthusiastic and a pro but they had not got together, but with Golf Development Wales and the Golf Foundation Junior Golf Passport we have been able to look at that and follow their system which actually works.

“We have gone step by step with their help to get from something like five juniors turning up and then they were going off to university and stuff like that and we did not have anybody coming up behind them.

“It was a case of getting taster days set up, getting lots of children coming in through, but then we did not know what to do with them in the first year.

“Then in the second year we have actually got the tools to keep them because we have had the training through Golf Development Wales to do that which we did not have before and it has taken off.

“We became a bit of a victim of our own success because we did not have enough volunteers to cope with the numbers we were getting in, so it is about being able to nurture the ones you have got and it has taken us three years to get the youngsters to a state where they can go out on the course on their own.

“Unless you have the volunteers to support them on the course then you are chasing your tail, but three of us have done the Level 1 coaching course and that has been a game changer because we can go out and take a session.

“We may not be as good as a proper pro, but we can give them small skills and different types of coaching ready for him to deliver a proper swing lesson to them.

“We are out there in all weathers, making it fun, doing things through the Golf Foundation Golf Passport which does work if you follow it.”

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.

“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.

“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 8 March 2017 at 12:00

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