Celtic Manor hosted the Wales Golf Awards Lunch where clubs, volunteers, players and PGA Professionals were recognised for their contribution to the golf industry
The first Welsh-based Captain of golf’s governing body The R&A was recognised with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Wales Golf Awards Lunch at Ryder Cup venue Celtic Manor.
Clive Brown was presented with the accolade at the 2010 Clubhouse in recognition of a long and successful amateur career, including playing for and captaining Wales, captaining the Great Britain and Ireland Walker Cup team in their victorious 1995 match at Royal Porthcawl and the 1997 match at Quaker Ridge.
Llanishen Golf Club in Cardiff received the Club of the Year, sponsored by Howden Insurance, while Conwy General Manager Matt Parsley received the Welsh Golf Club Manager of the Year, supported by the GCMA Wales Region.
Two Wales internationals now studying at college in America were recognised with Royal Porthcawl’s Gracie Mayo the PING Female Amateur Golfer of the Year and Carlisle’s Archie Davies the PING Male Amateur Golfer of the Year.
The Volunteer of the Year Award went to Carmarthen Golf Club’s Brett Walker, Gareth Howell, Pyle and Kenfig, picked up the PGA Development Professional of the Year and Nefyn were awarded with the Junior Club of the Year, including a £250 grant from the Golf Foundation.
Clive Brown - Lifetime Achievement Award
Brown, born in Llandudno and now living in Conwy, is the first Welsh based Captain in the 269 year history of golf’s oldest governing body, The R&A in St Andrew’s.
“I am overwhelmed by this award,” said Brown. “In a very special year for me this is something I will treasure.
“I am really honoured to be here as Captain of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, and to represent The R&A at my home country’s award ceremony.
“The captaincy of The R&A would not have been possible without the many opportunities presented by my involvement in Welsh golf, starting from a very early age at the 1964 Welsh Boys at Conwy.”
PING Amateur Golfer of the Year
Archie Davies achieved top 10 finishes at the World Amateur Team Championships both as an individual and as part of the Wales team, and was also part of a victorious Arnold Palmer Cup International Team who triumphed against Team USA.
“Obviously getting this award for the third time is pretty cool, after having a good 2022,” said the East Tennessee University student.
“It was good to get my second win on the US college circuit, but the highlight was at the World Teams, finishing tied eighth as a Wales team, the best of the Home Nations, and also top 10 in the individual rankings as well.”
University of Oklahoma student Mayo was the Welsh Girls Champion, as well as part of the Welsh Women’s team which reached the A Flight at the European Ladies Team Championships for the first time in 15 years.
“Of course I am delighted to be recognised for this award,” said Mayo. “Wales Golf has given me so much support through my entire junior career and going into this, my first season in the women’s category, so it means a lot.
“It was a great season for me and my personal development, the best part was being picked in the women’s team to represent my country while still a junior.
“I appreciate Wales Golf giving me that opportunity so early and I will never forget the experience of going to Conwy for the European Ladies Team Championships.”
Manager of the Year
Conwy’s Parsley earned the Manager of the Year Award after overseeing a period of exciting initiatives to modernise one of the top traditional golf clubs in Wales.
“It is a lovely honour to get this award,” said Parsley. “A lot of it is down to the foresight of the Board and committee that wanted to move the club forward, modernise and professionalise how we do things.
“I might be the one getting the award, but you are only as good as the people around you and I like to think we have built a good team at Conwy.”
Club of the Year
Llanishen were awarded the Club of the Year. The course is significantly more environmentally friendly, the club is committed to focus on under-represented groups such as juniors and ladies and is a proud holder of the Women in Golf Charter.
A successful ladies New2Golf scheme has brought in 57 new members, bolstering membership to more than 700, while Llanishen also hosted Wales Golf Finals Week, with all the support from staff and members ensuring a big success.
General manager Martin Stevens said, “It really is an honour for the club, the culmination of seven or eight years of hard work.
“There are so many clubs across Wales doing brilliant work that it is great to win this, the greatest accolade we can achieve.
“We have completely embraced New2Golf and half our ladies membership has come through that scheme, having 120 lady members has transformed that underrepresented section. Then hosting Wales Golf Finals Week was another great accolade.”
Welsh PGA Development Coach
PGA pro Gareth Howell has had a big impact on coaching in all sections at Pyle and Kenfig. “I am honoured to receive the award for the Welsh PGA Development Coach of the year,” he said.
“We have seen a significant growth in both the Junior and Ladies sections this year with more than 40 juniors having regular coaching every week and more than 50 ladies taking part in the New2Golf programmes and group coaching sessions I deliver on a weekly basis.
“I look forward to continuing to work with Wales Golf and seeing what the future has in store for me as a Golf Coach.”
Junior Club of the Year
Nefyn were equally excited to be the Junior Club of the Year, with one of the strongest junior sections in Wales, 65 boys and 18 girls currently as paid up members of the club, with a strong junior committee to make it all possible.
“It is nice to get recognised, we have such a good team helping out,” said junior organiser Carol Davies.
“The club has been really supportive, there are eight or nine on the junior committee. We will use the money that goes with this award from the Golf Foundation to get new equipment for the junior section.”
Volunteer of the Year
Walker received the Volunteer of the Year Award after making a huge impression on the junior section in Carmarthen Golf Club in the last five years.
“I am absolutely thrilled to get recognised,” said the former police detective. “I do what I do because I enjoy it and also because we have a fantastic set of kids and parents, we do it all with them and not for them.
“The award may be for one person, but the support and back up from the rest of the club is what makes it possible.”
Wales Golf would like to extend our thanks to our Sponsors, Partners, Clubs and, especially, Sian Lloyd for hosting proceedings.