More than 100 women and girls turned out to see Wales top lady golfer Amy Boulden giving clinics in the North and South to help boost the sport
The two clinics to boost the interest of women and girls were part of New2Golf Month, run by Golf Development Wales, with a fantastic turnout of all ages at Conwy and Carmarthen golf clubs.
Ladies European Tour Rookie of the Year Boulden is a life member of Conwy and was brought up playing the course, so she was on familiar territory as she handed out advice and answered questions from the audience of all ages.
Girls from several clubs around West Wales also turned out in Carmarthen, where Amy was also able to play some demonstration holes with host club professional Darren Griffiths, as well as Sian James of Machynys and Alyn Evans from Newport Links.
“Fifteen years ago that would have been me sitting out there in the audience, so it is really good to see how many have come,” said Boulden.
“When I was younger there were not so many girls getting into golf, so it is really good to see so many local girls getting into golf – a fantastic turnout.
“You do not realise how interested they are in how I am doing and how much they know about me, just to be asked for an autograph is quite surreal.
“I would probably have been asking the same questions when I was younger, so I tried to give them as much advice as I could.
“I was very lucky I was brought through the Welsh systems from a young age, without them I would not be where I am today.
“The Welsh system gave me so much through amateur golf, so I will do anything I can give back to Welsh amateur golf.”
The event was part of New2Golf Month, run by Golf Development Wales to encourage people of all ages to take up golf as a sport for life.
‘Using Amy as the Women and Girls ambassador has already seen the popularity of our scheme’s soar and it’s great to see such a good turnout for both the North and South Clinic’s,” said Golf Development Wales officer Stuart Finlay.
“There have been some really inspiring moments and we are lucky to have such a professional and engaging person in Amy to be part of the GDW team.
“We are working with local clubs all over Wales to deliver Women and Girls scheme’s often at little or no cost to grow the sport further and provide opportunities to play the sport.”
The event was sponsored by Principality Building Society, who put in £2,000 to help the grass roots development of women and girls golf at clubs all round Wales – the money to be spent in ways decided at that grass roots level.
James Harper, marketing support manager with the Principality Building Society, said, “It has been such a fun thing to do.
“We love to support junior sport across Wales, we do a lot of work in junior golf, so it has been amazing to work with Amy – a double winner of the Principality Junior Wales Open.
“Everyone has had an amazing time, which is what it is all about. We talk about making a difference to communities, hopefully this has inspired a lot of young female golfers to not only keep playing golf but also to aim for the European Tour and beyond.
“We are going to use our local sponsorship programme to help at club and county levels, we cannot think of better people to support.”
Carmarthen club professional Darren Griffiths said, “Just to see so many people buzzing here today, to have a true professional like Amy to give people some help and inspiration.
“If they are not inspired by this and stay in the game then I will be surprised, it is a brilliant day. Amy is an inspiration for these girls, a true professional and nice with it.”
Conwy golf professional Andy Blake was delighted to host the event in North Wales, adding, “Amy is a world class player now, so just to see someone of that stature here is very important.
“When you go to the Open Championship and big events like that you cannot get near these world class players, so it is nice for everyone to be able to stand next to her.”
Amy’s return brought back pleasant memories for some of those in the audience who had seen and played with her when she was just starting out at Maesddu/Llandudno.
Lorna Walmsley, past Ladies captain of Maesddu,said, “I have been following Amy since she was knee high to a grasshopper. I remember when she was seven or eight years old, getting on the green at a par four in two shots, and thinking then she was going to go a long, long way. We are very proud of her at Maesddu.”
Ann Rimmer from Maesddu added, “The number of young girls who have turned out to see Amy is amazing – I am really impressed. She is a great ambassador for this area.”
For more details please visit the Golf Development Wales website at www.golfdevelopmentwales.org