Wales Golf has said that it wants to see more players coming through its development ranks following the introduction of a High Performance strategic plan.
The governing body for golf in Wales launched an all-new strategic plan at the end of 2019 with the primary vision of the programme being to inspire the nation’s amateur golfers to achieve success on the world stage.
“Of course we are looking to create more elite level golfers,” said Wales Golf director of performance, Gillian O’Leary.
“With the High Performance programme, we are trying to give each individual golfer in Wales the best opportunity and support to help them to succeed. Of course we are hopeful that we get some players coming through. The way that we are doing things now would not only allow them to do well at junior and amateur level, but within the pro ranks as well.”
As part of the new High Performance programme, that will run from 2019 to 2022, Wales Golf has trimmed down the number of golfers directly involved with the initiative from 100 to around 40 so that they can give each individual a better quality of assistance.
“With fewer numbers involved, the quality of the training sessions is better,” continued O’Leary. “The coaches are able to deliver more innovative and engaging sessions. Every aspect of the High Performance programme can now be delivered with focus on quality, whether that be with performance coaches, conditioning coaches or mindset coaches.”
O’Leary also revealed that the governing body is already seeing the benefits from the system.
“I think we are starting to see bits of improvement already as there’s been a number of our younger players doing very well on the European stage. One of our players, Archie Davies, recently finished ninth at the R&A Amateur Championship and is now off to America on a golf scholarship. Hopefully we will see more of that.”
O’Leary is very aware that the country needs to temper its expectations when it comes to breaking into the elite golf scene due to the stature of Welsh golf.
“We have to realise that this performance system is not going to work miracles. We do need to be realistic and look at the fact that we have a small pool of golfers in the country. We are the 17th biggest country in Europe in terms of the numbers of golfers, so we tend not to focus on what other people are doing or compare ourselves to them.
“We believe that this is a system that is going to work if we follow the strategy outlined. High Performance is everybody doing the best that they can. Whether that’s a player or a coach or me in my role just making the best of what we have and doing that on a daily basis, that’s really what it is.
“We all want to be moving together in the same direction.”