Jamie Donaldson was the last Welshman to represent Europe at a Ryder Cup back in 2014, but with a new winning mindset introduced by Golf Wales, hopes are high that the next Welsh golfing star may be just around the corner.
Gillian O’Leary - director of performance for Golf Wales - says one of her biggest tasks since swapping her native Ireland for Wales has been to change the mindset of some of the golfers she works with.
“I want Welsh golfers to focus on not just being the best in Wales but the best in the world,” says O’Leary, who started working for Golf Wales five years ago after joining from the Irish Ladies Golf Union.
“It is possible for any of them to achieve that, but not just with talent. It requires hard work and resilience.
“That’s the key message that we have tried to convey to everybody over the last number of years.
“It’s about getting everyone to think and dream bigger. With that mindset, who knows how far they may go?”
One of the highlights of Gillian’s time at Golf Wales so far, has been working with Sport Wales to open a short game academy at Parc Golf Club in Newport.
The academy is designed to help people of all abilities and backgrounds and focuses on a number of key golfing aspects such as driving, chipping and putting.
The set-up also gives golfers an opportunity to practice on a range of different surfaces.
“Earlier this year we opened a short game academy at Parc golf club. It was a partnership between us, Sport Wales and Parc, who really wanted to make it happen,” says O’Leary, who represented Ireland for eight years at senior international level.
“We managed to scramble everything together, even during Covid, which was a great achievement by everyone.
“It was great that we managed to get it done with a very tight turnaround.
“It’s a fantastic facility that I hope can help to create a legacy for everyone involved.
“We, as a high-performance squad, can use it and it’s very useful due to the surfaces and the quality of it.
“But it’s also designed with inclusivity in mind, so it can used as a place for people with disabilities to start their golfing journeys.
“I think it epitomises Golf Wales - with everybody coming together to create a facility that is accessible to people from all backgrounds and all abilities.