Walker Cup captain is EGU’s new coach

Seamus Rotherick
By Seamus Rotherick October 18, 2011 16:13

Walker Cup captain is EGU’s new coach

The English Golf Union (EGU), the governing body for men’s amateur golf in England, has announced that Nigel Edwards – the captain of last month’s successful Walker Cup team – is its new director of coaching.

Edwards, 43, is currently the Golf Union of Wales’ director of player development and coaching and is expected to take up his new post in early 2012. His appointment follows the resignation of Peter Mattsson who is leaving England to return to Sweden as the director of Elite Performance for Swedish Sports.

“I am sorry to be leaving Wales but I feel we have developed a structure which will continue to benefit Welsh golf,” commented Edwards. “There are more players and a bigger budget in England so it is a great career opportunity; I think I can really make an impact there with the skills I have already developed.”

“England are pretty successful, all you have to do is look at someone like Tom Lewis who was part of our winning Walker Cup team and has already won a European Tour event. However my aim is to make an even greater contribution there too.”

Edwards is one of the finest amateur golfers Wales, and arguably GB&I, has ever produced, playing a Welsh record four times in the Walker Cup alongside players such as world number one Luke Donald and US Open champion Rory McIlroy. Edwards sank the winning putt for GB&I in the 2003 contest at Ganton Golf Club.

The EGU’s chief executive, John Petrie, said: “We are really pleased to be welcoming Nigel to England and the EGU. His playing record in the amateur game speaks for itself and he has also done some impressive work in changing the structures in Welsh golf, developing the academy system throughout Wales and putting a regional coaching system in place to identify and develop talent.

“The level of amateur golf in England is exceptionally high and therefore we were looking for an extraordinarily high calibre candidate to fill this vacancy. Nigel’s experience both on and off the course is outstanding and we are looking forward to working with him and continuing to develop the success of English golf.”

Golf Union of Wales chief executive Richard Dixon said, “We would like to congratulate Nigel on his new role and wish him all the best with the English Golf Union.”

Edwards, from Caerphilly, has been a long term member of Whitchurch Golf Club in Cardiff. With four playing appearances and winning as captain, he will go down as one of the greats of Walker Cup history – alongside the likes of English pair Peter McEvoy and Gary Wolstenholme. His prolific amateur career also includes victory in the South African Open.

“I think the Walker Cup has given me greater respect and profile,” he admitted. “Great Britain and Ireland needed to win that Walker Cup and being part of it was special.

“I am looking forward to the challenge in England, there are a lot more players and a much bigger budget to build on all the good work that is already in place there.”

Seamus Rotherick
By Seamus Rotherick October 18, 2011 16:13
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