Llanwern Golf Club has officially opened their indoor Academy, which includes a two bay driving area and putting green, funded with assistance from the Ryder Cup Wales Legacy Fund, designed specifically to encourage junior participation and those new to the game.
The project, which received £48,223 from the Legacy Fund, is aimed at making golf more accessible all year round, regardless of weather conditions, and encouraging new players to the game as well as helping the club’s juniors to improve their games before playing on the main course.
The Ryder Cup Wales Legacy Fund, provided by the Welsh Assembly Government as part of the successful 2010 Ryder Cup bid, demonstrates the positive effect the investment is having on grassroots golf and links to the Welsh Assembly’s wider commitment to make it easier for people to be more active and healthy as part of daily life. The development of new and existing facilities throughout Wales is creating more opportunities for people of all ages and at all levels of ability to enjoy and take part in the sport.
John Jermine, chairman of Ryder Cup Wales, said, “Our Legacy Fund is supporting over 40 projects throughout Wales that will benefit future generations for years to come and Llanwern is a wonderful example of making golf accessible to all ages and to the whole community.”
The club works closely with Golf Development Wales to deliver free girl and ladies taster sessions and has been identified as a GDW Starter Centre offering the Junior Golf Passport scheme.
David Harrhy, president of Llanwern Golf Club, said, “The club is working hard to attract a newer and younger playing membership through the introduction of starter facilities and development programmes for beginners. With the recent appointment of our Assistant Teaching Pro, and the development of the indoor area, we hope to build on the success achieved to date by offering all year round programmes to our members and beginners who want to take up lessons.
“In conjunction with the opening of the indoor teaching area, we’ve also launched our nine-hole Academy course on the practice area adjacent to the main course, which has been developed over the last year. This development will further complement the indoor training centre, allowing the club to offer a great range of facilities to encourage participation from grass roots through to elite level.”
Junior Llanwern members, Alex Price and Amelia Cook, were present at the official opening and were both keen to try out their skills in the new indoor facility. Youngsters from local primary schools were among the first to tee off on the newly developed Academy course, as part of the Sports Council for Wales’ Dragon Sport programme.
Llanwern is the latest in a long line of golf clubs to sign up to the lottery-funded Dragon Sport programme and has already held taster sessions at local schools and hosted Dragon Sport Golf festivals in a bid to encourage more youngsters to take to the green.
Councillor Matthew Evans, Leader of Newport City Council said: “The Ryder Cup coming to The Celtic Manor, Newport, in 2010 is already benefiting the whole of Wales and is providing a catalyst for tourism and business as well as golf itself. Grassroots golf is receiving a tremendous boost throughout the region thanks to a range of initiatives and is helping to increase interest among new players as well as providing a lasting legacy for the local community.”
The Legacy Fund forms part of the winning 2010 Ryder Cup bid and is supported by the golfing organisations behind the Ryder Cup in Europe – the European Tour and the Professional Golfers Association, as well as the Golf Union of Wales.
Ryder Cup Wales www.rydercupwales2010.com