He has also represented the UK at the European Championships, before playing alongside three Rewards4Golf competition winners at the Bridgestone Challenge Pro Am at the start of September.
We caught with up Rhys to discuss his recent performances, the items in his golf bag and the golf breaks that he would recommend for Rewards4Golf members…
Firstly, you won the Bridgestone Challenge Pro Am alongside our three competition winners a couple of weeks ago, you must have been pretty happy with that!
Absolutely, we were delighted to win on the day and it was great to be a part of. You never really know what you’re going to get for Pro Am events and most of the time you’re meeting people for the first time. Peter, Steve and Bob were three really nice guys to play with, and we played some good golf together. I was happy to be able to contribute and it was fantastic to win at the end of it.
And Peter, Steve and Bob, did they impress you with their game? They certainly were impressed with your game!
I could tell that they had played a lot of golf and all three players had quite similar games, and they were really solid throughout. We were consistent and they were able to keep the ball in play a lot, and the ground was really firm which certainly helped. They were hitting greens in two and two-putting for net birdies so it was an amazing effort. I had great fun on the day and it was a really good team effort.
It's been a few weeks since Carnoustie now, how has your game been since playing in The Open?
Since The Open I have felt like a different person. Experiencing the highs and lows at Carnoustie, going through the adrenaline and how well I played at times, it means that my expectations have risen quite a bit. I didn’t have too much game after The Open but I felt I scored well both in Northern Ireland and Sweden in the following couple of events. I’m now looking forward to having a good week in France.
You have recently performed well in tournaments in Sweden and Northern Ireland and even represented the UK at the European Championships. Tell us about those experiences.
It was awesome to represent the UK, it’s a very fun and friendly event where you are learning all the time. There is so much potential there for the future and it was nice to experience a different scenario and be part of a team in a different format. I was happy with how I played in Northern Ireland and Sweden as I said it has been a bit up and down in the last few weeks so it’s important for me to play well in France.
Would you be able to talk us through your golf bag? What have you currently got in the bag (irons, woods, golf balls) and what would you recommend to golfers?
I’m pretty much Titleist head to toe and I’m very happy with it. I use the Titleist TS3 driver which a lot of pro’s are using at the moment. I use the 917 3 Wood and the TMB 2 and 3 Irons. I use the Titleist 818 hybrid and then 718 Mb Irons from the 3 Iron right up to a 9 Iron. All of my wedges are Titleist Vokeys, I have a 46, 50, a 54 and a 58, and then I’ve got a Scotty Cameron putter. Finally, the balls I use are the Pro V1X balls which are very popular. I would definitely recommend Titleist to other golfers, especially the AP2 irons, and these clubs have certainly helped to improve my own game.
What gives these irons, woods, golf balls etc the edge over others that you’ve used in the past?
I just think it’s a really solid choice, AP2 irons are great if you hit the ball particularly well and the blade is great for players like me who play with a lot of speed. It has been performance enhancing for me in particular and it’s great to have some of the best gear out there.
I’m presuming that you are sponsored to wear the golf gear that you have on? Tell us about the golf clothes that you like to wear and what makes them work for you.
I have always been a traditionalist really in terms of what I wear. I’ve always liked the look of Titleist and FJ. I enjoy having just the one brand, I’m not one to mix and match but I know some other players have different clothing. I think the clothing looks really smart, it fits really well and if you’re feeling good then you’re going to go and perform better.
Rewards4Golf allows golfers to spend their valuable points with golf’s top retailers to gain a discount on their next purchase. If a golfer had £100 to spend, what would you recommend that they buy?
It’s a difficult one as there’s a lot of great stuff available. But if I had to pick one, I would probably say a Vokey lob wedge. It’s really important to have the right wedges for your own individual game. I personally go for the ones I have because of the shape of the head but other people may opt for different ones. There are some great options out there and they’re certainly very affordable.
Members can also use their points to save on their next golf break or trip away. You must have played some great courses over the years. Are there any particular courses that you would recommend for a golf break?
There are some fantastic courses in the UK and abroad and I have played at so many great ones over the years. One that I would definitely recommend is the Monte Rei Golf & Country Club in Portugal, it’s about half an hour outside of The Algarve and up in the mountains. It’s a really great course and the setting is fantastic. Other than that, Belek in Turkey is another great destination. There are about 20-30 courses within a 10-mile radius and obviously the weather is awesome over there!
Finally, what events have you got coming up and what are your hopes for the rest of the season?
I want to have a really good week in France this week and then in Ireland the week after, and I’ve got an eye on the post-season events in China which is a target of mine at the moment. After European Tour Q School, I then go to South Africa and with being in the winners category on the Sunshine Tour I get straight into tournaments such as the Johannesburg Open, the Alfred Dunhill Championship and the Mauritius Open. So it’s really exciting times and I’m focussed on continuing to learn and improve my game.