Club profile: Pyle & Kenfig Golf Club

Tania Longmire
By Tania Longmire December 15, 2018 19:12 Updated

The Welsh venue has invested in a new irrigation system, enhanced its practice facilities and improved its men’s and ladies’ changing rooms, and is reaching out to women, children and people with disabilities.

Pyle & Kenfig 

Pyle & Kenfig is a golf club going places. Thanks to some forward-thinking enterprise and determination displayed by the board and management, the Welsh venue has been reaping rich rewards through a number of improvements and innovations both on and off the course.

The club’s vision in recent times to ensure its fine links course is at championship standard throughout the year has seen a number of developments including the installation of a tee to green irrigation system.

Additional enhancements to its practice facilities have added to its appeal to elite players and as a result the club has attracted a number of prestigious events in recent years.

In 2016 the club, known affectionately as P&K, staged the Welsh Amateur Championship with neighbouring Royal Porthcawl and the following year it hosted the Ladies’ British Open Amateur Championship. This August it attracted the Welsh Open Strokeplay Championship – and there is more to come.

The Women’s Team Championship for Wales will be played there in 2020 and, in 2022, it will stage the Home Internationals.

It is not just elite players who look forward to pitting their skills at P&K.

A decision to make the club one of the most inclusive in the country has seen a steady flow of juniors, ladies and disabled golfers arrive to enjoy their new found pastime at the club’s recently opened nine-hole academy short course.

Youngsters at the local primary school have been encouraged to take their first steps in the sport on their six-hole, tri-golf course introduced by P&K working closely with Golf Wales, the first project of its kind in Wales.

In another scheme, run in conjunction with The Stroke Association, the club’s academy course is used by a group of disabled players.

P&K has not ignored off-course improvements in its efforts to meet members’ and visitors’ rising expectations.

Improvements to the clubhouse got underway in earnest in 2015 when industry leader Ridgeway Furniture was engaged to completely refurbish the men’s and ladies’ locker rooms.

Secretary / manager Simon Hopkin said: “We stripped out both changing rooms, refurbishing with new lockers with Shaker-style oak doors, redecorated and added new noticeboards.

“Ridgeway proved to be very competitive and did an excellent job. The work was completed three years ago but there have been very few snagging issues – the lockers really have stood the test of time.

“I would recommend Ridgeway to anybody.”

This year the ladies’ shower area has been upgraded and a disabled toilet added.

Elsewhere, refurbished tables and chairs have refreshed the lounge and dining tables are being replaced in the restaurant to make it more confortable and appealing.

Simon is well known in golf club management circles. He was captain of the Welsh region of the GCMA in 2016 and is active with Wales Golf.

His work at P&K with his colleagues and board members in making the club a truly great example of inclusivity has not gone unnoticed.

In 2016 Pyle & Kenfig became the first club in Wales to be awarded the new and improved version of Golf Development Wales’ Junior GolfCert accreditation.

The club received the Golf Foundation’s Bonallack Award for its work with junior pathways and last year Simon, with professional Dylan Williams and head greenkeeper Paul Johnson, scooped ‘Team of the Year’ at the GCMA’s ‘Golf Club Management Awards’.

The club itself has also reaped the rewards of this enterprise. Membership retention has never been better, the full membership category currently has a waiting list, plus there are 85 junior members.

Needless to say, there has been a year-on-year increase in green fee income as the club continues to flourish and go from strength to strength.

 

Tania Longmire
By Tania Longmire December 15, 2018 19:12 Updated
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