Two of the top coaches at the Golf Union of Wales are to move on to new roles in the game, stepping down after helping to develop talented Welsh players and bringing considerable success.
Wales Ladies coach Jeremy Bennett is to become the national coach of England Under 18 boys, while South Wales coach John Peters is to take up the director of golf role at Southerndown Golf Club where he is currently the head professional.
Bennett helped steer Wales Ladies to three Home International triumphs in his seven years in the role, after Wales had won the title only one other time in more than 100 years. He will move job after this year's Home Internationals in September.
“We still have a lot to play for and I would like to end on a high at the World Championships and Home Internationals,” said the former coach of Nick Faldo and Bernhard Langer. “Seven years has been a good run and there have been a lot of successes with the group, so hopefully I will be leaving things in a better position than when I came.
“I have enjoyed every minute with Wales, bringing tears of joy and creating history which is my main goal. They have been a great group of players and it was nice to see more success with Amy Boulden finishing fourth in Germany (on the Ladies European Tour) at the weekend.
“They have been unbeaten through the last two Home Internationals, winning once and unlucky the other time, so they have punched above their weight which is good for a small country.
“I am looking forward to the new challenge with the England Under 18's. There will be more players to work with, who will be thinking of getting onto the European Tour and winning events.
“England have only produced two Major winners in the last 44 years, while Ireland have had four, and there are fewer English players on the European Tour than ten years ago. The next top player will come through the system, particularly at Under 18's level where you can still influence their approach and work ethic.”
Peters will leave his role in appropriate fashion, as part of the coaching team for Wales at the Men's Home Internationals which are being held at Southerndown this year. It will include the majority of the team he led to the European Division Two title in the Czech Republic, one of the many highlights of his time with Wales.
“I have been involved with the coaching set up in Wales for 12 years and as a player before that, so it has been great to serve my country and golf union as a coach,” said Peters.
“I first had Rhys Pugh in my Under 12's group when he was aged 10, and most recently when he was part of the Wales team in the Czech Republic. It has been great to watch his success and to have been involved with so many good players.
“We had a great two days of preparation before heading to the Czech Republic, building team morale, and the way they went about things on and off the course was really impressive – winning the stroke play by 19 shots and then going on to take the title in the match play stages.
“At the same time it is a bit of a dream to have this new role at Southerndown, where I came through as a player and assistant professional, before moving on to St Mary's and Machynys and then coming back.
“It is a great challenge to be in charge of everything at the club and I am looking forward to it.
“We have just hosted qualifying for the Senior British Open at Royal Porthcawl and the players have been wholly complimentary about everything here, they cannot speak highly enough about the course.
“Helping with the coaching at the Home Internationals will be a fitting way to finish with the Golf Union of Wales, but of course I will carry on my own coaching.”
Golf Union of Wales Director of Performance Ben Waterhouse added, “We would like to thank both Jeremy and John for their services to Welsh golf. They have both achieved great success and helped to bring out the talent in a lot of young players.
“Jeremy's contribution to three Home International wins speaks for itself, while John played a crucial role in helping the Wales men's team back into the top flight of European golf.
“While both will be missed, we have to plan ahead and we are fortunate that there are many coaches in Wales coming up through the system who are ready to step up.”