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ICT fund set to drive Welsh golf clubs forward

8.03am 20th May 2008 - Travel

The golf clubs will benefit from funding towards improvements to their existing IT facilities after the announcement from Ryder Cup Wales that 12 Welsh golf clubs have been successful in their application.

The grant award has been made available via the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) grant, provided by Ryder Cup Wales in association with the Welsh Assembly Government, and is intended to give clubs access for the first time to funds to assist in investing in their ICT facilities.

The purpose of the grant is to arm clubs with the ability to reap the benefits of Wales’ increased profile as a golf destination by operating with the most technically up to date ICT facilities. To deliver this aspiration Ryder Cup Wales set up a £47,000 pilot ICT grant fund last year to distribute between successful applicants which offers up to 50% of total project costs.

Successful clubs include Anglesey Golf Club, one of the most northerly clubs in Wales, which will receive £5,000 as will Pyle and Kenfig in South Wales and Aberdovey in Mid Wales.

Matthew Parry, golf co-ordinator at Anglesey Golf Club, commented, “This grant is vital in enabling us to move our ICT into the 21st century, it will mean the members/visitors have a far better service not only in terms of options the system brings for them, but also because the system is fully integrated (we were on the verge of working on five separate members data bases!) our staff will have more time and therefore a more professional service will be offered. These are exciting times.”

Applications were judged on a case by case basis, however, priority was given to clubs that were best able to prove the need for an improvement in their ICT provision and demonstrate how the club will benefit from the investment. The decisions were made by a panel constituted of representatives from Ryder Cup Wales, the Welsh Assembly Government and Visit Wales.

The grant can be used for hardware, software, infrastructure peripherals and associated training on systems. In addition clubs must have attended, or contract to attend the Visit Wales ‘Driving Change’ programme.

Rob Holt, chief executive of Ryder Cup Wales, said, “The funding that has been allocated to clubs is just one of a number of benefits that has resulted from The Ryder Cup coming to Wales in 2010. It represents a great opportunity for clubs to step up the game in terms of their marketing strategy and by improving their ICT facilities clubs are able to more effectively attract visitors both locally and overseas. Golf clubs are SMEs and contribute greatly to the Welsh economy.”

Clubs had to demonstrate a proven need for hardware and software by way of a recommendation resulting from either the e-business consultancy programme or the ICT health check; services also provided by the Welsh Assembly Government.

Ian Hamilton, Aberdovey golf club manager, explains that thanks to the ICT mentoring programme the club is well on its way to restoring the true links golf experience, “Now we need to tell everybody about our improvements and the ICT programme will be the perfect e-platform to deliver that.

“We are now in a position where we can go global with product presentation and reach out to our customers 24/7 – it’s a quantum leap forward for the golf club and one I believe will be absolutely instrumental in improving our market share,” Mr Hamilton added.

The 12 successful golf clubs receiving the ICT funding are:
Mid Wales: Aberdovey
West Wales: Glyn Abbey, Ashburnham, Cardigan, Neath, Clyne
North Wales: Anglesey, Llandudno
South: Pyle & Kenfig, Cottrell Park, Whitchurch, Newport

The 2008/9 application process is now open. Details from Peter Francombe on 029 2036 8252 or email peter.francombe@wales.gsi.gov.uk

Ryder Cup Wales www.rydercupwales2010.com

       

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