It will be the end of an era in Welsh golf as Andy Morgan steps down after 41 years of being involved in the administration of the game.
The Cardiff dental surgeon is finishing after a decade as chairman of Golf Development Wales to concentrate on his captaincy of the European team against Asia Pacific for the Bonallack Trophy inPortugalthis April, as well as his position on the Board for Sport Wales.
Morgan played a key role in the creation of Golf Development Wales as part of the Ryder Cup bid that brought the 2010 event to Celtic Manor. He is also a former president of the European Golf Association, director of the Golf Union of Wales and president of the Welsh Golfing Union in its centenary year.
Under his leadership Golf Development Wales has helped transform the landscape of Welsh golf, with around 180,000 people being introduced to the game through a GDW scheme.
Since 2002 more than 5,000 coaches, volunteers and referees have been trained or upskilled, there are more than 40 new or improved beginner golf facilities around Wales and five new Regional Centres of Excellence, spread around Wales.
“My first role in Welsh golf was as the first non-playing captain of Welsh Boys back in 1971 so it is 41 years since I have been involved and that is enough for anybody, it is time to pass on the mantle,” explained Morgan, a former director of Ryder Cup Wales.
“I got involved early in the bid process for the Ryder Cup. We already had a coaching structure for the elite players, I wanted to put a development structure in place but we did not have any money.
“That was put at the heart of the Ryder Cup bid, it became a major part and one of the deciding factors in our favour. WhenWaleswon the bid we had it all ready to set up and off we went.
“It has been through three distinct phases. When we started the aim was to give kids the experience through Tri-Golf in the schools, then we got golf included as part of Dragon sport so there were officers all roundWaleswho could deliver that.
“Then we concentrated more on ladies and minority areas, now the main focus is helping golf clubs to become businesses and cope with the changes in society.
“Those are three distinct phases and they have achieved an awful lot, I am certainly proud to have played a part in setting it up and then achieving so many objectives.
“I know there are some really good people there in Golf Development Wales who will keep up the good work.”
Morgan will still be able to keep an eye on golfing developments through his role at Sport Wales, though that also involves many other sports. He will also be concentrating on leadingEuropeto victory in April.
“Andy is a life long friend who has been involved with every major initiative in Welsh golf, especially during the last 20 years,” said Golf Union of Wales chairman John Jermine.
“He was the driving force for establishing our groundbreaking coaching academies in the early 1990’s, in the Union building its superb headquarters at Celtic Manor and for raising our golfing standards that have helped establish Walesat the forefront of European golf.
“We will miss him but we know Sport Wales will benefit greatly from his knowledge and commitment and we wish him, and sport inWales, even greater success in the future.”
Golf Union of Wales chief executive Richard Dixon added, “Andy has made a lasting impression on the game inWales– people may not know it, but there are many who are now enjoying the benefits of a sport for life thanks to the initiatives he put in place, especially through Golf Development Wales.
“Everyone in Welsh golf would like to thank him for his efforts and wish Andy all the best in his new roles. We know we will still see plenty of him at golf events in the future.”
Golf Union of Wales www.golfunionwales.org
Golf Development Wales www.golfdevelopmentwales.org