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Woosnam On Wales
Captain of the successful European team in the 2006 Ryder Cup, Ian Woosnam has more than a soft spot for his home country – he’s our enthusiastic ‘Ambassador of Welsh Golf’.
‘I know Wales – and Welsh golf – like the back of my hand. We have
some of the best, friendliest courses in the world. I have a special
feeling for Aberdovey, the magnificent links course on Cardigan Bay.
Part of the attraction has always been its great condition throughout
the winter so I could keep my hand in. It’s a magic place and I return
there whenever I can. In fact, I still keep a caravan behind the first
‘My home course of Llanymynech is another favourite, even though three of its 18 holes are in England! As a youngster I worked on the family farm, and only when I’d finished my tasks was I allowed to play golf. Those years of farm work gave me strength and may be responsible for my reputation as a long hitter. It certainly came in handy at Llanymynech and elsewhere.
‘The view from the 12th tee at Llanymynech is one of the most magnificent you’ll see anywhere. Other favourites include the links at Royal St David’s, where you play in the shadow of Harlech Castle, and Royal Porthcawl overlooking Swansea Bay.
‘I can personally recommend many more courses: Prestatyn, Maesdu, North Wales and Conwy along the North Wales coast, Nefyn on the Llyn Peninsula, and Ashburnham down south. In the south-east, I won two tour events at St Pierre and I have very close ties with the Ryder Cup 2010 venue at Celtic Manor.
’My connection with Terry Matthews’s masterpiece goes back to the early 1990s. I was attached to the club as touring professional for seven years and it has been great to watch the complex grow. The Twenty Ten course is a world-class venue that will set the seal on Wales’s arrival as a major magnet for golf tourists.
Uplifted noses are not encouraged
‘But there is more to golf than playing. Our clubhouses share a special talent for hospitality – the friendly bar, the inevitable snooker table, the animated discussions. People who think golf is a snobbish game should visit a Welsh clubhouse. Uplifted noses are not encouraged. We specialise more in laughter and banter. The clubhouses haven’t changed throughout the years and I hope they never will.
The Welsh Sports Association (WSA) was established in 1972 as an independent body to support and represent the National Governing Bodies (NGBs) of sport and physical recreation in Wales.
It acts in the national and international interests of all
Welsh NGBs, from archery to yachting, and is actively involved
with its governing body members in promoting a range of initiatives
and good practice in areas such as equality and diversity, child
protection and risk management.