In their own words: Richard Dixon

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir August 8, 2017 08:30

The chief executive of the Golf Union of Wales, Richard Dixon, writes exclusively for The Golf Business about the work that went on behind the scenes to help grown the game at the Seniors Open Championship 

The world’s top golfers over the age of 50 were in Wales last month: so many of the game’s most famous names – and that is something for Welsh golf at all levels to celebrate.

Golf Union of Wales Awards 2016 Celtic manor Resort 03.02.16 ©Steve Pope – Sportingwales

The Seniors Open Championship returned to Royal Porthcawl and it was an opportunity to use the seniors to spread the game to all ages. Bernhard Langer claimed his third senior major of the season – a record 10th career senior major – and one more than Gary Player.

The development arm of the Golf Union of Wales was at Royal Porthcawl working with local authorities and clubs to give their junior sections a unique opportunity.

It may be parents who are more familiar with the likes of Sir Nick Faldo, Langer, Colin Montgomerie, Tom Watson, our own Ian Woosnam and many more in their pomp, but there were still chances for the juniors to see these great players in action and mingle on the practice ground.

Golf Development Wales ran four sessions a day from the Wednesday, when the players started to gather, right through to the climax of the event on Sunday. The stand was open from 9am to 4pm each day.

Local authorities and clubs sent their junior sections to have a go at the street golf stand. There was also an opportunity to develop their game with one of the PGA professionals from 10 local clubs who helped out.

Some also took part with the Radnor Fizz activity along with players on the driving range and an inflatable driving net, giving everyone a chance to try golf and highlight the benefits of hydration. Radnor Fizz was a sponsor of the event.

Five members of the Golf Union of Wales Youth Panel volunteered to help encourage their fellow juniors.

There was also additional support from local authorities across South Wales, as well as members of the National Leadership Academy run by Sport Wales and the Youth Sport Trust.

Golf Union Wales
Coaching Launch

The Seniors Open Championship is one of golf’s Majors – and it is a major team effort which is going into maximising the benefits for Welsh golf of hosting such a high profile tournament.

The stand was funded by the European Tour, groups from the community and local clubs who were involved in development of the game were invited as a reward.

The aim was to inspire local children to take up or remain in golf, thanks to the help from local volunteers, club professionals and the Youth Panel who ran the area.

The stand was open for anyone to have a go and our Inclusive Ambassador Stewart Harris was also there to help with the coaching.

Stewart is a former soldier who suffered life changing injuries in Afghanistan, he is certainly an inspiring character who is well worth meeting and talking to.

It was more that great golf on Welsh soil from some of the game’s biggest names – it was also a chance to find some great players of the future, or just some more people who will enjoy golf as a social and healthy sport for life!

To find out more on how the Golf Union of Wales can support your club, visit


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir August 8, 2017 08:30
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