Laura and Jonathan appointed to Wales Golf captaincy roles
Wales Golf has appointed new Captains for the Men’s and Women’s teams for the next two years, doing so through an open application process for the first time.
Former junior international Laura Griffith will lead the Wales Women’s teams into top action this summer, while experienced county player Jonathan Williams will lead the men.
Griffith, from Holyhead, will start her role on home soil at the European Ladies Team Championships being hosted in Conwy, while Williams, from Merthyr, will take the Men’s team to the European Championships being hosted at Royal St George’s in England.
Two former internationals have also been appointed captains of the Girls and Boys teams, Newport’s Jess Evans is the Girls Captain, and Morlais Castle’s Llewelyn Matthews is the Boys Captain.
“In the past the captains of our national teams have been appointed and we have had many very good people in those roles, but we wanted to open up the process and offer people the opportunity to put themselves forward”, explained Wales Golf Director of High Performance Gillian O’Leary.
“In Laura and Jonathan we believe we have two people who can help the players of our national teams to perform to the best of their ability while wearing the red shirt.”
Both NHS worker Griffith and independent financial advisor Williams are delighted to be taking on their new roles, hoping to find ways of contributing to Welsh golfing success in the future.
Griffith played for Wales Under 18’s for six years, including four Girls Home Internationals, and also represented Wales at international levels, winning the Welsh Open Girls Championship and Welsh Schools titles.
Her own golfing career at the top level was cut short by illness, but she has stayed involved through caddying for Tara Davies on the Ladies European Tour and also playing at county level herself.
“When I was playing people were approached to be captain, so when I heard we could apply I thought it was a great chance for me to get back into golf,” said the 32-year-old assistant practitioner at Ysbyty Gwynedd hospital.
“It is an honour to be able to do the role, I am excited about it and cannot wait to get started.
“The first competition is the European Team Championships in Conwy, just up the coast from me here in North Wales, so it will be nice to be on home soil.”
Williams, aged 47, has been a regular player around the Glamorgan County, before moving into to the Channel League team manager role. He has also has experience being first team captain at Morlais Castle and Pyle and Kenfig Golf Club. He has played more than 300 first team matches in the Glamorgan Leagues
“I never achieved playing for Wales so this is the next best thing, and chance to make a real contribution,” he said.
“I had the chance to shadow the Wales team at the Home Internationals last year and learned a huge amount from team captain Andy Ingram (former Walker Cup captain).
“I really wanted the opportunity to do this role this year, to help the teams perform, so it was always my intention to apply.
“It helped me know what the players are looking for when they are away to help them concentrate on their performance.
“Every one percent we can help their preparation will help them perform. We cannot hit the shots for them, but we can give them the best possible platform and that is what I will be trying to do.”