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Rhondda to invest in the future.

Byline: ByCHRIS SMART Western Mail

A new initiative aimed at increasing the number of youngsters taking up golf in the Rhondda has been launched.

The Boys and Girls Clubs of Wales are developing the scheme in conjunction with the Rhondda Golf Club,Driving Range and Golf Developnment Wales.

Golf is the new sport to be targeted within the Rhondda Cynon Taff area providing young people with the opportunity to pick up a club, hit some balls,receive professional coaching and a reduced membership to the Rhondda club, all free of charge.

To add to this there is a scheme in place for parents which is being promoted by Rhondda driving range.

The taster day is a week today at 10.30 a.m.

Scheme co-ordinator Cerys Young, who is also the Training Projects Development Officer for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Wales, said, 'Golf is a sport that needs to break down barriers and stigma.

'Rhondda Golf Club is very welcoming to this new scheme to entice new and younger members to the club and keep them involved in the sport.'

He added, 'The young people are the future and definitely need to be invested in.'

And the Rhondda Club's Steve Edwards is also excited at the prospect of more youngsters taking up the game.

'We want to get far more people in the Rhondda Valleys interested in golf.'

Meanwhile, Rumours that flooding problems could cause a major delay in the opening of the Machyys Penninsula Golf and Country Club on the outskirts of Llanelli and plans for the staging of the prestigious Wales Ladies Championship of Europe in August thrown into turmoil were strongly denied last night.

But it was revealed that the tournament director Huw Jones and the tour's top agronomist Julian Mooney would make a full course inspection on March 10 - five months before the event - earlier than usual and will make a full report on the state of the course.

Club managing director Jim Anderson is adamant that the course is proceeding without difficulties and on hearing of the rumours issued a statement.

'I am pleased to confirm that the growing in of the course is proceeding to programme and rumoours that the course will be delayed due to problems are completely without foundation,' said the statement.

But Anderson did announce one change to the arrangements.

'The original plan was to open the front nine holes in April and the back nine sometime in June. But, as the back nine has matured faster than expected, it makes sense to open all 18 in May.'

And he went on, 'We are obviously delighted that Ryder Cup Wales and the Ladies European tour have chosen Machynys to host the 2005 Wales Ladies Championship of Europe here in August.

'But that decision would not have been made without the full backing of the European tour's agronomist, a leading expert in golf course turf and conditioning.

'He has made several visits with Ryder Cup Wales' representatives to check on progress and like is 100 per cent confident the course will be in fantastic condition for the tournament in August.

'In fact, he has said he would be confident of holding it at Machynys in June.'

But tournament director Jones is more cautious. 'Julian Mooney our agronomist is hugely experienced and he and I will visit Machynys on March 10 for a full inspection and assessment.'
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Feb 11, 2005
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