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18-year-old Welsh golf star urges youngsters to perform above par
Wales young golfing sensation, Rhys Pugh, is helping to find the stars of the future by backing a new initiative offered by the Vale Resort to encourage more young people to take up the sport.
The Pontypridd 18-year-old, who was recently crowned the BBC Cymru Wales Carwyn James Junior Sportsman of the Year after becoming the youngest ever person to win a Wales Amateur Order of Merit, started off his glittering career with the Vale Resort’s Junior Coaching Programme in 2002.
Since then, he has gone on to win three out of three matches for Great Britain and Ireland at the 2011 Walker Cup, the amateur equivalent of the Ryder Cup, and was awarded joint Wales Top Amateur Golfer of 2011 by the Golfing Union of Wales, along with Amy Boulden. He holds the record as youngest player to represent Wales, an honour he achieved as a 15-year-old in the 2009 Home Internationals.
Now studying in East Tennessee University, USA, he is already one of the top players in his university golfing team and competes on the challenging US collegiate golf tour. He plans to continue competing at the highest level of the sport, and is keen to urge other young people to take up golfing.
Rhys said: “I’ve been a member of the golf club at the Vale Resort since I was eight years old, and the teaching and encouragement I received from instructors there all those years ago has been invaluable grounding for my career so far.
“Unfortunately, golf has traditionally been seen as a game for older men, where time is spent on the fairway discussing business matters. However, in the lead up to and following the 2010 Ryder Cup Golf Tournament that was held in Wales, this stereotype has been changing as younger people are becoming increasingly interested in the sport.
“I hope that the Vale’s new scheme will harness this renewed interest young people are showing for golf, and encourage more young people to follow in my footsteps by picking up a club and getting out on to the green.”
The new junior golfing package at the Vale Resort at Hensol is aimed at enabling more young people to take up the sport. Open to young people aged between 8-18 years it includes free access to the Vale’s Academy Coaching Scheme, a copy of the Academy’s coaching manual and over 50% off Junior Membership subscription fee for the first year.
Clive Coombs, Golf Manager at the Vale Resort, said: “Rhys is just one of our members who has achieved great things by using the facilities and coaching here at Vale Resort, and we’re extremely grateful that he’s helping us encourage the next generation to get excited about golf.
“The Vale Resort’s roots stem from its history as a golf club, and it’s a part of our heritage that we’ve always been proud of. The increase in enthusiasm we’ve already seen for the sport since the Ryder Cup has been fantastic, but we’re keen to sustain this into 2012 and beyond with the help of our new membership package for junior members.
“We have assembled a high level of coaching expertise in our team and we place a strong focus on our investment in our Academy and junior golf. We have invested in golf technology and facilities to support and encourage golfers of all abilities and give them the very best advice on offer backed up by the latest computer analysis so they can improve their techniques and build on their game”.
The launch of the Junior Golfing Package comes hot on the heels of the Vale Resort winning a major national accolade for the high standards and quality of its golf and coaching facilities at the end of last year. The Vale Resort took the number two spot in a new UK-wide listing by the Association of British Travel Agent’s Golf 2012 publication and was highlighted for hosting one of the best junior golf academies in the UK.
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