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England and Wales (North) Region

New PGA pro coaches for Welsh golf elite

08 Sep 14

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Former Titleist PGA Assistant of the Year Gareth James (above left) is one of two Golf Union of Wales coaches to have been promoted to help Welsh golf's elite amateur players.

James, who won the coveted award in 2006, has chalked up another career high after being selected along with Wrexham PGA Professional Paul Williams (above right) to play a pivotal role in driving through the next generation of Welsh elite golfers.

For Williams his appointment as Jeremy Bennett’s successor as National Female Coach is the realisation of a long term ambition having previously applied for the role seven years ago.

He will also continue to work with the North Regional Girls squad while James, from another Wrexham course Clays, moves up from North Nursery and North East Academy coach to take over three of the Regional squads. Both will carry on with some of their development roles as well.

Williams revealed he was delighted to have landed his dream job which will see him also coach his talented daughter Chloe.

“I really am over the moon. I applied for this role seven years ago thinking I was ready, but I have learned so much through the Golf Union coaching system over the last seven years that I know now I wasn't,” he said.

“I feel ready now though. I have big shoes to fill, Jeremy has done a really good job, and I am looking forward to going to the Ladies Home Internationals to pick his brains for one last time.

“Hopefully I can move things on in some way. It is amazing what the Golf Union of Wales have put in place for the coaches, as well as the players, with everyone learning from each other.

“I have observed one of the Wales Home Internationals victories under Jeremy so I would hope to keep some of the routines in place and how they were prepared, while we can always look to improve in certain areas.

“Chloe is delighted for me, but she will be treated just the same as any other player – which is what she would expect. She is developing as a leader within the team this year, and I am sure there is more to come from her and the other players.”

James meanwhile is about to become even more familiar with the roads between North and South Wales as a result of his appointments, but he is pleased to be moving further up the Welsh golf coaching ladder.

“I cannot wait to get going,” he said. “I have enjoyed my time looking after the academy and nursery players and am really looking forward to moving up to dealing more with the Wales international players.

“I will be at Clays three days a week and will still keep coaching my players in North Wales, but then I will be travelling down to Celtic Manor at weekend for the South Wales squads.

“I have just been involved with the Wales Boys in the Home Internationals, so it is a continuation of what I have been doing in some ways – I feel as though it is a natural step up for me.

“I am delighted to be part of the Welsh coaching system. I feel we do a really good job of taking the talented players and developing them as well as possible.

“We do not have the numbers of some other countries, but we have a very good record for punching above our weight – the Wales Boys finishing in the top flight in Europe being one example of that.”

The two coaches were appointed after an internal interview process and GUW director of performance Ben Waterhouse believes the fact they have both come up through the GUW ranks casts the development system in a positive light.

“Paul will take over from Jeremy Bennett after the completion of the Ladies Home Internationals in mid-September. Paul will also continue to coach the North Regional Girls squad as he has done for the last few years,” he said.

“In addition Gareth James will move from North Academy coach and will take over as Regional South Boys and Regional South Girls coach from John Peters, he will also take over the Regional North Boys squad from Paul.

“Both Paul and Gareth went through an internal interview process which confirmed the quality of their knowledge and experience alongside a genuine passion for the development of Welsh players and teams. I would like to congratulate them on their promotions.

“This now leaves two vacancies in North Wales for an Academy Coach and a Nursery Coach. The plan is to advertise for these roles shortly.”

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