With the Ryder Cup just 12 months away, a new three quarter of a million pounds state of the art Golf Academy has opened its doors to the public at Machynys Golf Club and Spa, Llanelli in Carmarthenshire.
It has been designated a ‘Golf Union of Wales Regional Centre of Excellence’ and is the final piece of a jigsaw that completes a strategic network of five key facilities across Wales - four received National Lottery funding from the Sports Council for Wales and the fifth by Ryder Cup Wales in a bid to further boost the success of Welsh golf.
Jim Anderson, Managing Director of Machynys Peninsula Golf Club and Spa, said “We are really pleased with the way the facilities at the Welsh Golf Union Regional Centre of Excellence have come together.
"We are very grateful to Machynys Construction for the quality of build, to budget and on programme. We are the only facility of this type in the UK with real grass target greens and we are proud to boast the largest indoor putting green in Britain.
"Whilst this is an outstanding facility for improving top golfers games, it is also here for beginners and will feature in our existing local schools programme, where we have 10 local primary and secondary schools learning to play golf under the guidance of our 7 Golf Professionals at Machynys as part of their curriculum”.
Philip Carling – of the Sports Council for Wales – explained:“The Sports Council is committed to helping our golfers to compete at the very highest level which is why we have invested almost £1million in total funding to develop facilities at Llangefni, Clays in Wrexham, Vale of Glamorgan and now Machynys Peninsula.
“Wales can already boast a number of world-class golfers and I am sure that these facilities will help build on this success. I would like to commend Machynys on what is a fantastic asset for elite and community golf.”
The facility includes a hi-spec public golf range which includes the UK’s biggest indoor putting green, 21 floodlit bays and a 380 yard driving range outfield incorporating three full size USGA spec target greens, the only real grass target greens to be found anywhere. A custom fitting and coaching suite is also featured on site.
As part of the celebrations, British Lion, Stephen Jones and Ex Lion Derek Quinnell led a star-studded field – which included Swansea and Llanelli footballers - in a long drive competition against those at the helm of Sports Council for Wales, Ryder Cup Wales, Golf Union of Wales and Golf Development Wales.
Former Ryder Cup captain and club president Brian Huggett MBE was also on hand, together with Walker Cup player Nigel Edwards, to demonstrate the advantages of the short game facilities available.