Golf Skills Cymru
Rhys launches Golf Skills Cymru
Rhys launches Golf Skills Cymru

Welsh professional Rhys Davies helped launch the Golf Skills Cymru challenge which could see any golfer in Wales comparing their game with the best.

Everyone has the chance to match their putting against the score set by Davies at the Celtic Manor launch, while there are also tests for all elements of golf in the award-nominated new scheme from Golf Development Wales.

Golf Skills Cymru is one of those ideas which is brilliant in its simplicity, but could have a major impact on Welsh golf after it was launched at the Saab Wales Open.

With a central website for anyone to register their scores, there will be a national leaderboard as well as plenty of advice and guidance. There is a unique opportunity this week to take on the putting challenge in the tented village at the TwentyTen Course and earn a certificate for beating Davies' score.

Golf Skills Cymru is the brainchild of Golf Development Wales' North Wales officer Dilwyn Griffiths, the idea is backed strongly by Davies.

“I think this is a really good idea, these are the sort of things that many pros do in practice and it will be a good incentive for anyone to improve their game,” said Davies, known as one of the best putters on the European Tour and on the fringes of the world's top 50 players.

“These are exactly the sort things to improve your game, just what the pros do to work on their skills. Lots of people just look at their overall score or handicap, but working on their skills can make a big difference to both.

“Having lots of drills helps focus the practice, while these are fun ways of doing it. I practised my putting a lot, with little drills, when I was growing up and that has really helped me to get where I am now.

“I think it will be great if people can beat my score because it shows there are good players coming through in Wales.”

Golf Skills Cymru is also backed by the PGA in Wales and many club professionals will be helping club players to develop their skills through the tests. The European Tour and the Celtic Manor Resort helped provide the facilities for the launch.

As well as the website www.golfskillscymru.co.uk, designed and created by Cardiff based multimedia design company CC4 (www.cc4.co.uk), there are also video examples of each individual challenge demonstrated by Welsh European Tour player Sion Bebb. There is also a special tape measure to make judging the skills easier.

The skills of golf are broken down into four simple categories, putting, short game, recovery and long game. It has been nominated for the Institute of Welsh Affairs - Inspire Wales Awards 2011.

“It is the result of a few ideas adapted from some of the games that we do in golf, but taking them a step further. It has a huge potential,” explained Griffiths.

“It is something anyone can do and hopefully will be quite a motivating factor for individuals to go back to those challenges and work at those areas of their game.

“It is also a fantastic coaching tool because it covers all the basic elements of the game and can be done off-course.

“Anyone can go to the website and there will be plenty of advice, scorecards and video examples – pretty much everything they need to get going.

“They can do one or two of the challenges or all of them and then put their scores into the website to see how they compare with some of the top players and also with the scores from club players all around Wales.

“Anyone can take part and compare themselves, male or female, juniors, adults or seniors, but there are also plenty of different categories so you can compare yourself generally and within your group.”

Anyone visiting the Saab Welsh Open will have the opportunity to have a go at the putting challenges on Huxley greens set up at the Golf Development Wales area in the tented village, supported by the European Tour and Celtic Manor. If anyone can beat the scores set by Davies during that week, they will earn a special certificate.