Pyle and Kenfig golf club have received a national award for helping young people to learn to play golf, in a glittering ceremony at Wentworth.
The club, near Bridgend, were presented with The Bonallack Award at the Golf Foundation Presidents Awards which celebrated the “inspirational work” of volunteers and professionals who have given their time and enthusiasm to provide young people from all backgrounds and abilities with a start in the game.
The Welsh club earned the recognition for a project that has helped young people to ‘Start, Learn, Stay’ in golf, creating a pathway that has resulted in a significant increase in junior membership at the golf facility.
Pyle and Kenfig has embraced the development of junior golf over the past 12 months, taking golf into schools and working closely with Golf Development Wales, which has resulted in 47 new junior members, 20 of these being girls.
The club’s vision for junior golf is “to share with the local community the benefits and enjoyment of playing golf, removing all barriers to participation and in doing so introduce new junior boys and girls to the golf club with the aim of them becoming part of our club for the future”.
Club manager Simon Hopkin said, “Thanks to the Golf Foundation and we certainly couldn’t have done this without the great help of Golf Development Wales; we’re so grateful to Hannah, Zoe, Stuart, Theo and the whole team.”
Theo Baker of Golf Development Wales added, “Pyle and Kenfig have already been recognised as the Golf Union of Wales Club of the Year, but to take that a stage further and earn this national award is great recognition for the work they have done.
“From a low point a few years ago they have gone from strength to strength and they are a great club to work with because of their enthusiasm and commitment to growing the game of golf.
““They have increased membership, will host pre-qualifying the the British Senior Open this summer, invested in the course and practice facilities, achieved Golf Development Wales Junior Golf Cert status and won the GUW Junior Inter Club Team Championship.”
Thanks to support from the European Tour, a total of 10 awards were presented in Wentworth Club’s elegant Ballroom to individuals and group projects who exemplify how junior golf can flourish for the good of all.
Chief Executive Brendon Pyle introduced the awards by saying, “When Sir Henry Cotton helped set up this charity in 1952 he recognised the wider value of the sport and how it can bring out the best in young people.
“Today is a celebration of the inspirational work that is being done to help young people enjoy the personal and playing benefits of golf.”
Chairman Stephen Lewis said, “All the winners here today embody the values of our charity and the people behind these projects are really very special.
“They all recognise that our children represent the future of the game and that in turn golf can help nurture good citizens, so it is an absolute privilege to be here to meet them.
“This day wouldn’t be possible without the support of the European Tour and also all of our core supporters who are helping us to make great progress in opening up the game to more youngsters from all backgrounds and abilities.”
Foundation President Sandy Jones added: “This is one of our most wonderful days of the year as we all feel inspired to be part of this dynamic group. The desire and commitment to support young people shines through in every case and makes me feel they are making the game better now, and for the future.”