Experienced golf professional Christian Askins has taken over the role of Wales Golf Championship Manager, looking to build on the improvements over recent years.
Askins is a former professional and assistant club pro who became assistant manager at Radyr Golf Club, also a graduate of golf management at Birmingham University.
He has been secretary of the PGA in South Wales for the last six years before taking over from David Wilson, who has joined golf’s governing body The R&A.
Championships in Welsh golf have become more inclusive, more mixed and with more opportunities for players at all levels of the game while continuing to provide the ultimate domestic test for Welsh players in the national championships.
“I am very excited to be taking over, my main focus is to build on what David has done while also looking to further develop the profile and accessibility of our championships,” said 34-year-old Askins, from Bridgend.
“I love organising something from start to finish, taking it through from setting up the events, players entering, playing and then finishing.
“I can bring a fresh set of eyes, seeing how we can use technology to add to the invention and application of new ways of doing things.
“I have been doing a statistical analysis of the entries over the last few years. For instance, club and team event entries have grown by half in recent years, events that start with club qualifiers and now build to Finals Week.
“Coming from a club background myself I certainly want to see Finals Week continue to become bigger and better, one of the most significant events in the calendar.
“We also want to get events in the calendar early, we are already working on the fixture list for 2025
“There are things like interactive scoring, bigger and better leader boards, live streaming, video content that we can take all that a bit further.”
Askins came through the Wales Golf pathway, playing in events such as the Welsh Boys before turning professional. He won a PGA Assistant Sprint event in Weston-Super-Mare, as well as qualifying for the finals of the PGA Captain and Pro event in Spain.
“My career in golf started at 16 working in the golf shop at St Mary’s Golf Club, then doing golf management at Birmingham University, which included a placement at Machynys,” he said.
“I turned pro after finishing university, joining Radyr as an assistant pro. However I have always been interested in the golf side of the club office and for the last couple of years, I have been the assistant manager, as well as coaching and playing.
“I have played in plenty of big events, so I know what they look like. My last event as an amateur was the Welsh Boys in Pennard, then my first event shadowing for this role was back at Pennard for the Welsh Amateur.”
This year’s Welsh Amateur championships saw men and women competing at the same course over the same period, a new approach for many of the elite Wales Golf events.
Askins and his team are already planning the 2023 calendar for more than 30 Wales Golf championships, including the elite events to find the Welsh champions in all categories through to competitions for all club players in Wales.