WELSH golfing bosses have congratulated Gaynor Jones on the award of an MBE for her contribution to the sport in North Wales for more than 30 years.
The retired head teacher has been heavily involved in junior girls golf at her club Mold and also in Flintshire, as well as being involved with Golf Union of Wales events and championships and managing the Wales Girls team.
“The MBE is thoroughly well deserved and apart from it being nice to see Gaynor being recognised, it is also nice to see the work in the sport of golf being recognised,” said Golf Union of Wales chief executive Richard Dixon.
“Gaynor has put a tremendous amount of time and effort into the sport, seeing so many players coming through, and people like her play a huge role in helping the game to flourish.
“She has been involved in all levels of the game from players starting out to those winning international honours, she fully deserves her MBE.”
Jones, aged 76, was among those named in the New Year’s Honours list. “It is amazing to get this award and I am very, very grateful, although the biggest reward is seeing the girls improving over the years,” she said.
“I have worked closely with Golf Development Wales, both Dil Griffiths and Kim Boulden, and done a lot with the Welsh championships so I have really enjoyed it all.”
Jones is a former lady captain and lady president of Mold Golf Club since 1960, was already Junior Girls’ manager for the club when she took on responsibility for girls’ golf in the wider county of Flintshire in 1982.
With her daughter Debbie then a 13-year-old player, she took on the role to fill a temporary gap when the previous manager retired. It was a gap that was to last more than 32 years, also subsequently encompassing golf clubs and players in Denbighshire and Wrexham.
Gaynor has also been Chairman of the Welsh Girls’ Sub- Committee, Manager of the Welsh Girls’ International team on two occasions and has worked closely with Golf Development Wales on many initiatives to promote the growth and health of the sport.
In 1999 Gaynor was presented with the Sir Henry Cotton Award by the Golf Foundation – an honour given each year to one individual in the UK for `outstanding service in the development of young golfers over a sustained period of time.’ The award was presented at Wentworth Golf Club by former Ryder Cup captain Bernard Gallacher.
Gaynor has introduced Tri-Golf into a number of local primary and secondary schools. In recent years she also launched the County Girls’ Order of Merit which encourages girls to compete against each other in a league table, experiencing various local courses over the season.
Gaynor said, “My passion has been to promote and support junior girls’ golf and I am extremely proud of all the girls who have moved through the ranks over the years.
“I have been privileged to witness the progress of so many girls, those who have enjoyed the game at club level, and others who have gone on to represent their county, Welsh Northern Counties, Wales and in some cases Great Britain and Ireland. Some have even achieved professional status.
“The beauty of golf is the ability to play the game at all stages of life and at every ability. So many lasting friendships are forged and I hope that more and more girls will take up the game in the future.”
Gaynor handed over the junior girl reins in 2014 but continues to support junior girls’ golf at every opportunity.