England and Wales (South West) Region
20 Mar 17
Simon Swales with Simon Shanks.
Steve Gould (pictured below left), a PGA professional for over 30 years and now a Fellow Member, was named the PGA Professional of the year at the awards ceremony at the annual meeting of the England & Wales (South West) Region at Woodbury Park.
He heads GASP Systems Ltd, a golf technology company based in Exeter, which is the official supplier to the PGA specialising in video capture systems and golf studio design. The GASP Advanced Coaching System is the most flexible on the market today and is available at several different levels.
Steve was England Regional golf coach, Devon county coach and a swing consultant to the Danish PGA. He is based at Clifton Hill Driving Range which is home to a fully equipped demonstration studio, complete with digital video cameras and specialised lighting.
Devon professional golfers dominated the event. Stuart Disney became the PGA Development coach of the year. The PGA Fellow Professional moved from the Cullompton-based Padbrook Park Hotel, Golf and Country Club to become professional at Fingle Glen last November.
Paul Hendriksen (Ivybridge) was captain Simon Swales’s player of the year. He was the leading money-winner in the West last year, was third in the Order of Merit. A PGA Cup player, he has qualified to make his debut on the European Tour this year in the prestigious BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth in May after finishing in the Top Ten in the PGA Titleist-Footjoy Play-Offs at Saunton.
Ray Ellis was another Devon-based award winner. He has retired from all PGA activities after reaching the age of 70. After 27 years as a regional secretary – initially in the Midlands and from 1992-2008 in South Wales and the West. Since then he visited professionals, offering advice and help in resolving any problems and more recently he has worked in benevolent and welfare.
As a member of the pro-am committee, he helped Exeter Golf and Country Club raise almost £400,000 for charity.
Simon Shanks has become the PGA West Region coach of the year for the second time. This time the Bowood professional’s association with the outstanding Jordan Smith, the early-season sensation on the European Tour who has already broken into the world Top 100 in his first season, helped him win the award.
Wiltshire PGA secretary Shanks, who first became PGA South West coach of the year in 2013 and has been heavily involved with county coaching in Wiltshire, has shaped Smith’s climb up the amateur and professional ladder.
Ladies Tour player Lydia Hall (pictured below right),Hensol Golf Academy, Cardiff, who won both the Wales Professional championship and the West Region women’s title received the Nigel Blenkarne prize as the leading assistant.
Simon Swales, the outgoing West Region captain from Radyr Golf Club, was the fund-raiser of the year. He raised £10,000 for his chosen charity, the Children’s Hospice South West. His Captain’s Pro-Am was a huge success. Later Radyr Golf Club, where he has been head professional for 11 years, granted him a special Captain’s Day.
Falmouth club professional Nick Rogers has taken over as captain.
Robert Moss, the new regional secretary, announced that there will be £264,000 prize money on offer this year from 48 events, £40,000 more than in the 2016 season.
TGI/APAL Awards for best trainees: Year 1 Huw Williams (Pyle and Kenfig), Year 2 Tom Jessamine (Exeter), Year 3 Josh Hancock (Newquay.
The new committee is Somerset: Andrew March (Brean, chairman), Devon: Christian Vine (Woodbury Park, vice-chairman), Dorset: Michael Watson (Wessex Golf Centre), South Wales: Christian Askins (Radyr), Kevin Davies (Caerphilly), Gloucestershire: Ed Goodwin (Cirencester), Wiltshire: Simon Shanks (Bowood), Cornwall: Chris Gill (Newquay).