In their own words: Richard Dixon

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir October 22, 2019 06:24

The CEO of Wales Golf talks about the potential for growth of women’s participation following the news that the AIG Women’s British Open will be held in Wales for the first time.

It was recently announced that the AIG Women’s British Open would be held in Wales for the first time. It’s all very well hosting a high-profile event, but there is a danger the circus comes to town for a few days and then leaves without changing anything.

I am glad to say that will not happen in Wales.

There are a host of initiatives which will happen before, during and after the 2021 event in Royal Porthcawl, which will have a lasting and positive impact in Welsh golf. Naturally women and girls will be a particular focus of those efforts.

In fact, it is an opportunity to build further on the work Wales Golf does in encouraging women and girls into the game, which has seen an increase in the numbers joining Welsh golf clubs.

As part of hosting the 2021 AIG Women’s British Open, The R&A and Welsh government will work with Wales Golf in the delivery of the Wales Golf Curtis Cup / AIG Women’s British Open Legacy Project during 2020, 2021 and beyond.

Wales Golf will deliver events in 2020 to give 4,800 young people the chance to try golf and the opportunity to progress within the sport.

This will involve after-school clubs in primary schools and Girls Golf Cymru taster sessions in secondary schools. Those looking to progress will be offered low cost, fun and relaxed coaching in a club environment.

Then there will be opportunities during 2020/21 for those young girls that have shown commitment to begin their golfing journey, to be inspired by attending a world class event and to get up close to their role models.

That will include a coaching clinic by 2018 Women’s British Open champion Georgia Hall for Girls Golf Cymru Ambassadors during the week of the championship, funded and arranged by The R&A.

There would also be tickets for some of the participants and transport to and from the events for both the AIG Women’s British Open and the Curtis Cup in Conwy Golf Club.

Georgia Hall. Credit: Tristan Jones

After the two events have been held in Wales the aim in 2022 will be allow schools to embed a Tri-Golf course into their facility to ensure golf is a long-term element of their physical activity, working collaboratively with local golf clubs.

Wales will host another big international golf event when the Ladies European Team Championships are held in Conwy in 2022.

Wales Golf will also run an annual ‘Legacy Championship’, the first of its type in Wales as a competitive event which integrates all genders, to inspire golf clubs in Wales that golf really can be ‘Everyone’s Game, Anywhere’.

It all builds on the work of recent years, which was given a boost by the appointment of Women and Girls Co-ordinator Simon Lu, in a new role supported by The R&A.

Nine years after the Ryder Cup was hosted in Wales, the changes linked to the successful bid are still having a significant impact on golf in Wales – not least the merger of the men’s and ladies’ golf unions and setting up a development arm.

Hopefully hosting the AIG Women’s British Open in Wales will see a similar long-term impact on the game here for women and girls.

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Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir October 22, 2019 06:24
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1 Comment

  1. Wayne October 20, 13:24

    And well done for Wales in landing next year’s International Golf Travel Mart event.

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