Machynys Peninsula Golf and Country Club, which opens in Llanelli this May, is to become one of only four Welsh Golfing Union Centres of Excellence.
The latest additions to its golf operations team are Gareth Lewis, who has joined Machynys from his post as golf services manager at The Belfry, and respected coach and player John Peters, former head professional at St Mary’s Golf and Country Club, Bridgend.
Gareth, 26, originally from Pencoed near Bridgend, will be taking on the role of golf operations manager and senior teaching professional. A Welsh-speaker and former student at Ysgol Gyfun Llanhari and the University of Wales Swansea – where he captained the University golf team – he joined the De Vere Belfry in 2001.
At the end of his first winter at the Belfry he was selected as the top trainee and sent to the Nad Al Sheba Club in Dubai for six months, training staff in various aspects of the golf operation.
On his return Gareth was appointed as a custom fit specialist for Callaway at the National Custom Fit Centre, a service he will look forward to offering at Machynys. Six months later the opportunity was given to move into management and he was duly promoted to golf services manager, which involved running three golf courses and managing a team of 20 golf services staff and 25 golf professionals.
“I‘m thrilled to be given the opportunity that doesn‘t come along every day of having an input into a brand new resort and starting something from scratch,” said Gareth. “We‘ll pride ourselves on offering a complete golfing experience and the highest standard of customer service.”
Gareth, also a keen player has been having lessons with John since he started playing as a teenager. He will now employ his coach to run the academy and shop, and front the teaching aspect of the business as head teaching professional and academy manager.
John, 39, started playing golf at Southerndown Golf Club near Bridgend and was a Welsh amateur international and a reserve for Great Britain and Ireland. Since turning professional, his performance highlights include playing on the European Challenge Tour, runner-up in the Lombard Trophy and winning the 2002 West Region Club Pro Championship.
In 2003, John was appointed Welsh Golfing Union national coach for South Wales under-14s and u16s junior squads, and in 2005, he became head coach of the Glamorgan County Juniors and a WGU national coach for South Wales junior squads.
Wales’s first Nicklaus-designed golf course, the 7,100-yard links-style, par 72 layout will have exceptional coaching and practice facilities, including a driving range and short play areas.
John said, “The course is unique in that it has many lakes which you wouldn‘t normally find on a links layout. Yet being right next to the sea means it has the windy conditions and flat look of a links course – along with the challenge of your ball being carried 200 yards across water!”
Machynys Peninsula Golf and Country Club general manager and director of coaching, Mark Reed said, “Any new course’s first year is a test for those running it. Machynys’s first six months will be true examination – but we have every confidence we‘ll pass with flying colours.
Machynys Peninsula Golf and Country Club www.machynys.com