2010 Ryder Cup
Glyn Abbey chief executive Martin Lane and captain Andrew Shufflebotham receiving the award from CCV managing director Barry Gibb. (Ryder Cup Wales)

Glyn Abbey get winning habit

Glyn Abbey in West Wales won the CCV Welsh Golf Club of the Year in a glittering ceremony at The Celtic Manor Resort, receiving the trophy from First Minister for Wales Rhodri Morgan.

Ryder Cup Captains Colin Montgomerie and Corey Pavin, along with celebrities such as Bryn Terfel, Chris Evans and Gareth Jenkins were among those who congratulated Glyn Abbey on receiving the Golf Union of Wales award at a dinner to celebrate next year's Ryder Cup in Wales.

Solheim Cup star Becky Brewerton was the Professional of the Year for the second time in three years, Tenby's Rhys Harry was the PGA Club Professional of the Year, with Vale of Glamorgan 16 year old Rhys Pugh taking the Amateur of the Year award.

There was more good news for Pugh, he was one of the recipients of the S4C scholarship to help with equipment and expenses along with fellow Vale of Glamorgan member Gemma Bradbury who was the top scorer in Wales's winning Ladies Home Internationals team.

Glyn Abbey's award was a great reward for an incredible turnaround at the club in 11 years.

In 1998 the course, which was built on the site of an open cast coal mine, was in poor condition, with totally inadequate drainage and generally run down. There was no clubhouse, only 73 adult members and one junior member.

Now Glyn Abbey, which is between the Trimsaran and Carway, is a Golf Foundation Junior Starter Centre, has well over well over 300 members including over 50 juniors, a much improved course with an outstanding layout, an excellent clubhouse, a gym, a 9 hole par 3 beginner course and a driving range.

"We are delighted and thrilled to have got the award, particularly for it to have gone to a small club like ours," said the club's managing director Martin Lane.

"It is Welsh golf club of the year, it does not have to be a big club - it is about club spirit and all the people who have worked over the years to make it great.

"In 1998 it was boggy, there was no clubhouse, playing in a muddy field, but a great layout and fantastic potential.

"It has been something of a mission and we have a long way to go yet, but I saw a great golf club and course waiting to happen and hoped I could help get it there.

"There is a tremendously positive club spirit, great club committee and fantastic junior section. They were second in Dyfed this year, by just one point, which is a long way from having just one junior member 11 years ago.

"We have got the facilities now and I would like to thank the Ryder Cup Wales legacy fund for the Mission course, our par three starter course, and also the driving range.

"They have been tremendously helpful and I would also like to thank our former pro Darren Griffiths who helped drive forward everything we have tried to do.

"With the Ryder Cup coming to Wales with all the fantastic support for IT structures and other facilities it is a great time to be trying to improve things in Welsh golf."

The club has a slogan "Rhwybeth I Bobun"
"Something for Everyone", and has put the junior section at the heart of efforts to provide a vibrant community service.

In 2009 the club was awarded GUW Higher Junior Golf Cert accreditation and has produced a junior boys' team which finished runner-up by just one point in the Dyfed Order of Merit.

Thus has all been achieved thanks to an effective partnership between members and management demonstrated by members, junior and adult alike, regularly being involved in fundraising activities and providing a willing workforce for clubhouse and course improvements.

Club captain Andrew Shufflebotham said, "It is a fantastic achievement for everyone in the club from the committee down.

"Everyone has made a big effort over a period of time to plough money back into the course, we are attracting golfers from a wide area - it is a members club and we are really down to earth."

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