Ashton takes over at a time of change for Wales Golf
Ashton Bradbury – Wales Golf Chairman
Former fund manager Ashton Bradbury is taking over as the new chairman of Wales Golf, hoping to be able to build the sport in a time of change.
A specialist investor in small and medium sized businesses, working for various asset management companies over a 25 year career, Bradbury takes over from Dr Val Franklin in a period when clubs around Wales have only recently re-opened after the Coronavirus pandemic lockdown.
With Wales Golf chief executive Richard Dixon planning to step down in the summer, Bradbury and the new CEO, when appointed, will need to plan a strategy to move forward in changed times.
“The role of chairman is to work with the chief executive and the board making sure our strategy is fit for purpose, focussing on our clubs, their members and also our partners such as the R&A and Sport Wales, for the good of the game in Wales” said the former 5 handicapper.
“We are a sounding board and source of constructive challenge for the chief executive setting that strategy and making sure of the delivery.
“Fortunately we have a really strong relationship with the Welsh clubs which is critical to everything we do.
“In the last year almost every club in Wales has had an involvement with Wales Golf getting help and advice in a difficult period. Hopefully, with golf now resuming we can move forward together.
“Sometimes people question what Wales Golf does, but the last year has demonstrated it is there to support its clubs, it provides a tremendous range of services to clubs which continue to build over time.
“When things got difficult, Wales Golf was there to provide help in the most extreme of circumstances.
“We took the decision early on not to furlough any club-facing staff in order to help the clubs through the last year.
“That was the right decision and will have strengthened the relationships, but now it is up to us to build on that, working with the clubs to take the game forward.
“Everything we want to do for the game can only be done through our clubs, they are our partners and we need to help them to present the game in the best light.”
Bradbury is a former member of Cottrell Park in the Vale of Glamorgan and has two daughters Gemma and Katie who both played for the girls and ladies Wales teams for several years – including representing Wales at world championship level.
He enjoyed a successful career in the world of finance, before retiring in 2014. He is a fully qualified golf referee who was chairman of the Wales Golf Championships Committee from 2015-2019.
He paid tribute to leading academic Dr Franklin, whose period as chair comes to an end, as well as Dixon, who has decided to retire after 30 years at the top in Wales from the Welsh Golfing Union through to Wales Golf.
“This is a period of a lot of change. I do not think any of the Home Unions will have a chief executive in charge for 30 years, someone who has given the majority of his career to support the interests of Welsh golf,” said Bradbury.
“While we are sorry to see Richard retire and they will be big shoes to fill, I am confident we will appoint a strong successor to take things forward as we start to review our strategy for the future and a new chief executive can lead that.
“Val has also made a huge contribution and sets a high bar for me, I am hoping to continue her good work.”
Bradbury takes over the new role on April 1, while the recruitment process for a new Wales Golf chief executive has begun.