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Wrexham's World of Golf
August 4, 2010

Golfers hoping to get a little taste of Augusta , Pebble Beach , Carnoustie and Celtic Manor, all in around an hour, will get the chance thanks to a new Ryder Cup Wales funded putting area in Wrexham.

Clays golf club have opened the first of its kind in Britain , a putting area for beginners and experienced golfers alike with nine replica holes based round some of the most famous courses in world golf.

The aim of the new 'Just your Putter' course is to make the game accessible and fun for anyone to try, from families through to junior development and corporate team building, with an 18 hole golf course, a nine hole starter course and state-of-the-art practice facilities already available at Clays.

The holes are anything from 40-50 metres long and are miniature versions of some of the classic holes in world golf, appropriately two from The Ryder Cup Twenty Ten course at The Celtic Manor, as well as Pebble Beach, Augusta, The Belfry, Valderrama, Royal County Down in Northern Ireland, Royal St David's in Harlech and Carnoustie - all designed to be played with 'Just your Putter'.

"It was really forward-thinking of the Ryder Cup Wales Legacy Fund panel to back us in a generous way. It is the first of its kind in Britain and we could not have taken a go at this without the support of Ryder Cup Wales," explained Clays General Manager, Steve Williams.

"It was a big decision to give £40,000 towards this and there is no way it could have happened without Ryder Cup Wales and the Welsh Assembly Government, but we feel we need to make a big impact so that if we are successful then the idea can be rolled out elsewhere.

"We aim to be a family centre in Clays and we are marketing this with a fun character called Pete the Putter.

"It can be used for corporate team building but the main aim is to provide somewhere for families to try the basics of golf together and in a fun way.

"There is no pressure on them to do any more than that, but all the rest of the facilities are nearby if they are interested in taking it further.

"They do not have to have played golf before, but hopefully it will give them a taste for trying to get the ball in the hole.

"The holes are replicas of famous golf clubs, three in Wales and two from America , one each from England , Scotland , Ireland and Spain scaled down and designed for putters. Each area is landscaped in the style of where the holes come from and they are anything from a par three to a par five.

"This can be enjoyed by people who know nothing about golf, if they go into the hazards they just drop out, but it should also be fun for recognised golfers with an artificial putting surface which runs at the speed of a real green.

"This new course can be tied with certificates for schoolchildren as well as free coaching through Golf Development Wales schemes."

The holes chosen are the 5 th and 11 th at The Celtic Manor, the 18 th at Pebble Beach and Carnoustie, the 10 th at The Belfry, 16 th at Augusta , 17 th at Valderrama, 9 th at Royal County Down and the 11 th at Harlech.

Clays is one of the most forward-thinking clubs in Wales , a Golf Union of Wales centre of excellence, the base of a Mizuno club-fitting centre and also the holders of a world record for the greatest number of juniors to be coached at the same time.

"This is definitely something very special, even for Ryder Cup Wales, that has supported a wide range of golf initiatives throughout Wales ," said Ryder Cup Wales chairman John Jermine.

"I am looking forward to playing it myself - having played some of the courses and watched the others on television the course will bring back many happy memories.

"Many of the grants given out by Ryder Cup Wales have helped to improve practice and starter facilities all around Wales and Clays was already a world class facility but this is something unique and exciting.

"Putting is one of the most important parts of the game and this course is an innovative way of attracting new people into the game. It is important that this is a proper golfing test, albeit with lots of fun, and this course will help Clays expand their established programme for beginners and family memberships.

"Clays offers a complete range of practice and training facilities that compare with anything in Europe and Ryder Cup Wales is delighted to have supported this latest facility that will be a permanent legacy of hosting the Ryder Cup long after the match itself has been played."

All Local Authorities and clubs in Wales were invited to submit proposals to the Ryder Cup Wales Legacy Fund and 41 projects, in 28 clubs and 15 Local Authorities, were successful. In total the £2m Legacy Fund, financed by the Welsh Assembly Government, has helped to build over 200 new holes and 32 new chipping and putting greens making golf more accessible to the 75,000 youngsters introduced to the game during the last 7 years by Golf Development Wales, as well as to established golfers, across the whole of Wales.

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