PGAs of EuropeGolf Development – PGAs of Europe http://www.pgae.com Home of the PGAE Fri, 19 Jan 2018 13:02:05 +0000 en-gb hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.1 Italy’s Di Ponziano Honoured With Christer Lindberg Bowl http://www.pgae.com/ask/italys-di-ponziano-honoured-with-christer-lindberg-bowl/ Tue, 09 Jan 2018 13:11:10 +0000 PGAs of Europe http://www.pgae.com/?p=20890 Donato Di Ponziano, has been awarded the 2017 Christer Lindberg Bowl in recognition of his impact on, and services to, European golf...]]>

Leading PGA of Italy Member Professional, Donato Di Ponziano, has been awarded the 2017 Christer Lindberg Bowl at the 2017 Annual Congress Gala Awards supported by Rolex, in recognition of his impact on, and services to, European golf.

The Christer Lindberg Bowl is named after the PGAs of Europe’s first Chairman, reflecting the importance and influence of its winners.  Di Ponziano’s worthy naming as this year’s recipient acknowledges the role he has played within golf, from grass roots level all the way to top-level elite performers.

 

“It is a big privilege and I know what it means because it comes from Christer Lindberg who was a very special man,” said Di Ponziano after receiving the award at the 2017 Annual Congress Gala Awards Dinner at Costa Navarino in Greece.

“I don’t know if I deserve it, but what I know for sure is that I have a lot of colleagues in Europe that helped me a lot…so I am very proud of it.”

The Italian has been instrumental in the development of the PGA of Italy and its education programme, ran the Men’s, Women’s and Seniors’ Italian Opens for a number of years and is currently Technical Director of the Performance Centre at ‘Royal Park I Roveri’ in Turin and a TV commentator for Sky Italia.

His influence has not just been limited to Italy, however, having worked extensively for golf in Europe as a PGAs of Europe Board Member for over 20 years. He was then PGAs of Europe Honorary President in 2014-15 recognising his service to the Association and the stature that he has had across the continent.

“At the beginning of my time with the PGAs of Europe, it was not easy,” Di Ponziano added. “Different nationalities, characters, egos – but then golf helped everybody to be what Europe expected – a group of Professionals who worked together to achieve great results. Our role was not to be a genius, but to build bridges between knowledge and the people who don’t have the opportunity to be close to golf.

“I think the world of golf is better than it was before, and the PGAs of Europe has been an important part of my life and I am very thankful to my colleagues from across this time.”

This was also shown with his role as a Ryder Cup Policy Board Member and his work as a Golf Developer in carrying missions much further afield than just Europe.

India has become particularly close to Di Ponziano’s heart having visited many times across 20 years, working to teach a large number of coaches and players and also having helped established the National Golf Academy of India (NGAI).

In 2015, in recognition of his efforts in India, he was given the honour of becoming India’s first ‘Master Teaching Professional’ by the Indian Golf Union (IGU).

He is also hugely well known for his role in developing the first European Teaching & Coaching Conference (TCC) in Milan, Italy, in 1990. The TCCs became a fixture on the PGAs of Europe’s schedule with the hugely successful and ground-breaking events taking place in France, Switzerland Germany, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom, with many led by Di Ponziano or featuring him as a speaker.

These TCC events were designed to help standardise and improve the development of educational knowledge and methods among the PGA Professionals across Europe and resulted in thousands of individuals gaining knowledge that at the time was unavailable to them elsewhere.

Di Ponziano’s impact on golf has been wide reaching in various elements of the sport making him a very worthy recipient of the Christer Lindberg Bowl.

For More Information On All of 2017’s Award Winners Visit http://eur.pe/2017AnnualCongress

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For more information on the 2017 Annual Award Winners visit Annual Congress Hub Page (http://eur.pe/2017AnnualCongress), follow @PGAsofEurope on Twitter and search the hashtag ‘#AnnualCongress’ or like the PGAs of Europe Facebook Page.

The Annual Congress Gala Awards are partnered by Rolex, Costa Navarino, the Ryder Cup European Development Trust, BMW and Aegean Airlines, and are supported by The Botanist, The Blue Beetle, Bulldog, G’Vine gins, Marendry apperitivo, and Fever-Tree Premium Natural Mixers.

2017 Annual Congress - http://eur.pe/2017AnnualCongress

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Italy’s Di Ponziano Honoured With Christer Lindberg Bowl
Liam Duggan Earns PGAs of Europe ‘President’s Award for Golf Development’ Honour http://www.pgae.com/news/liam-duggan-earns-pgas-of-europe-presidents-award-for-golf-development-honour/ Sat, 06 Jan 2018 14:53:39 +0000 PGAs of Europe http://www.pgae.com/?p=20806 PGA in Ireland Advanced Professional, Liam Duggan, has been posthumously awarded the President’s Award for Golf Development (Individual)...]]>

PGA in Ireland Advanced Professional, Liam Duggan, has been posthumously awarded the President’s Award for Golf Development (Individual) in recognition of his tireless efforts and huge successes in developing golf in schools and promoting inclusivity in Ireland.

Over a period of six years, Liam created an extensive system for golf coaching in schools across Ireland. This allowed thousands of children to access golf that otherwise would not be able to, engaging in a number of projects that created playing opportunities for people of all ages and physical and mental capabilities, all whilst providing employment for many PGA Professionals.

In early 2017, Liam was diagnosed with an extremely rare condition and after a short period of treatment, passed away suddenly at the University Hospital Kerry aged just 37, leaving behind his much loved wife and two children.

Nominated by the PGA in Ireland, Liam was naturally a worthy recipient of the President’s Award for Golf Development, as it aims to acknowledge the work of an individual or specific project that has excelled in developing golf.

Liam began his PGA career in 2003 and graduated with distinction having finished third, first and second out of all the trainees in the PGA of Great Britain & Ireland training programme. After a short time in the United States at Kiawah Island, the global economic climate led to interviewing for dozens of jobs and work outside of the golf industry. With few opportunities within golf arising, he felt it necessary to make his own.

In April 2011, after realising that there was not enough of a focus on juniors within golf in Ireland, Liam founded LDgolf, a freelance coaching service offering tuition in Limerick & Kerry, with a primary focus on junior coaching and development.

Seeing a clear gap in the market, he focused on delivering golf in schools creating fun and safe learning environments and positive experiences and ensuring he taught the fundamentals of golf, life skills and cognitive and affective intelligence.

This opened the floodgates and after only a few years, the programmes were becoming incorporated into the curriculum and there was enough demand that he was able to create a revenue stream and take on two further PGA Professionals.

By the end of 2015, the ‘Rising Star’ programme had 24 PGA Professionals delivering instruction in over 225 schools, to more than 3,000 children each week on average, with pathways established to 32 golf clubs and coaching venues in the country.

The programme showed success with various high performing juniors coming through the system, but also in engaging PGA Professionals that gained the skills necessary to keep employment in the golf industry at a time when many were not able to.

Liam was then able to take his incredible work much further with the development of the CommuniTEE programme that focuses on bringing golf to the 90% of the population that do not have access to the sport, such as school children, the over 60s, those with special needs, and also families, with structured pathways to golf clubs to provide long-term playing opportunities.

He was then a natural fit to work with other organisations such as The First Tee Ireland and their one day “Primary Days” programmes, and with UNESCO Chair at Tralee IT and the co-developed “Let’s Inclusivize Golf” programme focusing on creating opportunities for people with disabilities in golf.

This work also led to engaging with The Els Foundation and the delivery of “Els for Autism” programmes with the Foundation placing a plaque at their headquarters in Florida in tribute to Liam and his work.

Liam’s wife, Catherine [pictured above], was present at the 2017 Annual Congress Gala Awards Dinner at Costa Navarino in Greece to collect the award in recognition of the legacy for golf in Ireland that he has left. PGAs of Europe Honorary President, George O’Grady CBE, presented Catherine with Liam’s award, receiving an emotional and a much-deserved reception from the attending guests.

For More Information On All of 2017’s Award Winners Visit http://eur.pe/2017AnnualCongress

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For more information on the 2017 Annual Award Winners visit Annual Congress Hub Page (http://eur.pe/2017AnnualCongress), follow @PGAsofEurope on Twitter and search the hashtag ‘#AnnualCongress’ or like the PGAs of Europe Facebook Page.

The Annual Congress Gala Awards are partnered by Rolex, Costa Navarino, the Ryder Cup European Development Trust, BMW and Aegean Airlines, and are supported by The Botanist, The Blue Beetle, Bulldog, G’Vine gins, Marendry apperitivo, and Fever-Tree Premium Natural Mixers.

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Liam Duggan Earns PGAs of Europe ‘President’s Award for Golf Development’ Honour
‘Golf Éducatif’ Programme Recognised With European Golf Development Award http://www.pgae.com/news/golf-educatif-programme-recognised-with-european-golf-development-award/ Fri, 05 Jan 2018 14:18:44 +0000 PGAs of Europe http://www.pgae.com/?p=20790 ‘Golf Éducatif’ has been awarded the 2017 President’s Award for Golf Development (Project) at the Association’s Gala Awards supported by Rolex...]]>

‘Golf Éducatif’ has been awarded the 2017 President’s Award for Golf Development (Project) by the PGAs of Europe at the Association’s Gala Awards supported by Rolex.

The President’s Award for Golf Development acknowledges the work of an individual or specific project that has excelled in developing golf. Since 2003, Golf Éducatif has worked to use golf as an educational tool that promotes the values associated with the game – respect, etiquette, humility, environmental awareness, concentration, and citizenship – to French schoolchildren and adults regardless of their socio-economic background, or physical and mental capabilities.

The Project develops environmental and social awareness and helps people to take responsibility by getting them involved in the construction, development and up-keep of their own golf courses, with well over 20 courses being created across France.

 

The Project is the brainchild of PGA of GB&I Professional, Bill Owens [pictured below, left], who has led it from its very beginning and received the award at the 2017 Annual Congress at Costa Navarino in Greece from PGAs of Europe Honorary President, George O’Grady CBE [pictured below, right].

“I can’t wait to take this into all the golf courses we have built and I know the pupils are going to be so proud,” said Owens after receiving a standing ovation during the awards ceremony. “This could really help us to build more Golf Éducatif courses all over France. A lot of people said we couldn’t do this but I love that kind of challenge – this is a real rocket that will let an awful lot of people know what we’re going to do with golf and what Golf Éducatif is.

“I see Golf Éducatif as an important educational solution because we’re in a serious situation worrying about the environment. The philosophy that the project works on is that there is 82% of the world’s population living in 18% of the territory…so we have to have an education for children that shows how they get in contact with the environment and we believe they can only do this through a game, and that game is golf. They need the tools to do this and Golf Éducatif can be that tool, and is what education will be about in the future…we have a model that can set an example for the world.”

Owens’ specific teaching method called “Le Geste Naturel”, combined with the use of 30% distance golf balls, enable participants to play in a wide variety of environments such as sports grounds, educational facilities, public parks, derelict and un-used land and the grounds of psychological and physiological health units.

Courses are built so they are adapted to the 30% ball and participants are then able to learn using an “educational golf” teaching formula taught to teachers and educators that creates a multi-disciplinary experience including artistic and creative studies, mathematics, physics, sport, history, and civil instruction.

The programme’s strong environmental focus creates awareness and individual responsibility for the ever-increasing urban population through the re-use of existing, inner-city land, and recycling of golf equipment and any items that are available to participants, such as old tyres to build greens, leftover paint, old building materials and even clothing.

The project has worked tirelessly to place golf in the heart of the education system in France with around 50 teachers or educators being taught every year, each of which is working with around 30 pupils.

Owens presented an overview of the project during the 2017 Annual Congress sessions to representatives of Member Country PGAs showing how the model could be rolled out internationally allowing other countries to also see substantial social, physical and psychological benefits.

For More Information On All of 2017’s Award Winners Visit http://eur.pe/2017AnnualCongress

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For more information on the 2017 Annual Award Winners visit Annual Congress Hub Page (http://eur.pe/2017AnnualCongress), follow @PGAsofEurope on Twitter and search the hashtag ‘#AnnualCongress’ or like the PGAs of Europe Facebook Page.

The Annual Congress Gala Awards are partnered by Rolex, Costa Navarino, the Ryder Cup European Development Trust, BMW and Aegean Airlines, and are supported by The Botanist, The Blue Beetle, Bulldog, G’Vine gins, Marendry apperitivo, and Fever-Tree Premium Natural Mixers.

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‘Golf Éducatif’ Programme Recognised With European Golf Development Award
PGA Professional Spotlight: Marie Jeffery (PGA of Austria) [PODCAST] http://www.pgae.com/ask/pga-professional-spotlight-marie-jeffery-pga-of-austria-podcast/ Wed, 18 Oct 2017 10:07:43 +0000 PGAs of Europe http://www.pgae.com/?p=20084 Marie Jeffery tells us about how she got into golf, her work in the world of 'Communicology', and her views on female participation and development in golf...]]>

Marie Jeffery is a Member of the PGAs of Europe Golf Development Team and a PGA of Austria Member. We spoke to Marie to find out more about how she got into golf, her work in the world of ‘Communicology’, her experience with the Austrian Girls National Team and views on female participation and development in golf.

“I think women’s golf has a great future if it can market itself correctly. For me it’s as exciting watching a ladies’ tournament as it is watching a men’s tournament. Sometimes people get a bit drawn to how far the ball flies and they attack impossible pins and take on impossible shots, but the ladies play really clever golf too.

“I was at the Evian Championship last year and what I saw was very impressive – they had a very professional attitude and were really focused on the range so there’s no difference between them and the guys. I would like to see ladies get much more TV time and more acknowledgement for what they are doing.”

Interview Highlights:

00:29 – How Marie got into golf…

01:39 – Entering a golf club as a young girl golfer…

02:21 – The changes in golf in Austria…

03:23 – Marie now works at the same facility that she started her golf career at…

06:25 – Being driven by those that originally discouraged her golf…

08:23 – Getting the Austrian National Team Coach job…

09:20 – Becoming involved in ‘Communicology’…

11:25 – Using ‘Communicology’ to break things down and not get lost in the detail…

12:10 – Key learnings from Marie’s career so far…

14:19 – The difference between teaching & coaching…

16:00 – What changes has Marie seen over the time she worked with the Austrian Girls squads…

18:49 – Working as a National Coach is a 24/7 role…

19:41 – What is the future of girls’ golf…

20:48 – The challenges face in women and girls’ participation…

23:01 – The difference between girls and boys’ sport …

24:26 – What are the mistakes most beginner golfers make…?

28:15 – Who is the best lesser-known coach Marie has worked with…?

30:19 – What advice would you give your 25-year-old self…?

31:09 – Marie’s views on who she feels are ‘successful’ people…

32:05 – Marie’s favourite book…

33:01 – The advice has Marie found beneficial up until now…

35:01 – What might surprise listeners about Marie…

35:19 – The golf equipment that gives Marie the most joy…

35:55 – Marie’s dream Fourball…

36:34 – Advice for aspiring PGA Professionals…


Find out more about Marie at www.functionalgolf.at and at functionalgolfat on Facebook.

Find out more about the PGAs of Europe Golf Development Team at http://eur.pe/GolfDevelopmentTeam

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PGA Professional Spotlight: Marie Jeffery (PGA of Austria) [PODCAST]
KPMG Release 2017 Golf Participation Report http://www.pgae.com/news/kpmg-release-2017-golf-participation-report/ Wed, 27 Sep 2017 17:34:08 +0000 PGAs of Europe http://www.pgae.com/?p=19842 The latest of KPMG’s annual publications offers analysis and insights into Europe’s golf industry, and this year shows slight growth in the industry...]]>

The 2017 Golf Participation in Europe Report, which provides invaluable figures for key stakeholders in the golf industry, is the latest of KPMG’s annual publications offering analysis and insights into Europe’s golf industry. This year’s edition bears good news in store for the golf industry: slight growth.

According to the survey, which is based upon statistics compiled from local golf associations in 43 European countries, the continent’s golf markets are displaying positive signs of growth in 2016.

In fact, when taking a closer look at Europe’s golf markets, 81% of local golf associations indicated in 2016 that their level of participation had either stabilized or increased. The remaining 19% of European markets still experienced some decline, including key markets such as Scotland and Austria.

The research demonstrates that the number of registered golfers showed a slight increase, by 2% (+82,584 players), while the supply of golf courses declined by 28 courses (24 openings and 52 closures). Forty-six per cent of European countries surveyed experienced a growth in participation rates, 35% showed stability and in 19% of the countries surveyed demand declined. The research further shows that men make up 67% of the total registered golfers across Europe in 2016, and the proportion of European population who actively played golf (0.9%) has not changed since 2015.

“As we have identified a moderate level of growth in 2016,” says Andrea Sartori, Partner and KPMG Global Head of Sports, “it is important to reflect upon various creditable golf development initiatives, which have been launched in previous years with the aim of reaching new audiences and retaining existing golfers across Europe. These initiatives and the hard work of many other golf industry stakeholders, provide evidence for a consciously optimistic outlook for the game’s development. Certain markets have demonstrated exemplary performance and highlighted the opportunities a proactive and coordinated approach can achieve.”

Click Here to Download the KPMG 2017 Golf Participation Report for Europe at www.golfbenchmark.com

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KPMG Release 2017 Golf Participation Report
PGA Professional Spotlight: Alastair Spink (PGA of GB&I) [PODCAST] http://www.pgae.com/ask/pga-professional-spotlight-alastair-spink-pga-of-gbi-podcast/ Mon, 25 Sep 2017 14:45:15 +0000 PGAs of Europe http://www.pgae.com/?p=19589 We speak to PGAs of Europe Golf Development Team Member, Alastair Spink, about his journey as a PGA Pro & how he has become a leader in women's golf development]]>

Alastair Spink is a Member of the PGAs of Europe Golf Development Team and a PGA of GB&I Member. Here we speak to Alastair about his how he made it into golf to eventually become a PGA Pro, along with how he has become a leader in women’s golf development and participation taking an academic approach to his work in creating the hugely successful Love.golf programme.

Interview Highlights:

01:14 – Early beginnings in golf…

04:38 – Alastair’s first golf coach…

07:58 – How has the way Alastair learnt golf shaped his coaching style…

08:48 – Turning Professional…

12:58 – Working at Hintlesham Hall Golf Club in Ipswich…

16:16 – An increased in development and working as a County Golf Development Officer…

22:24 – Taking an interest in gender disparity in clubs and golf in general, creating an interest in women’s golf development…

23:54 – How did Alastair create a women’s participation-led programme…

27:37 – Barriers to developing women’s participation programmes…

29:06 – How will female participation help the industry in general?

30:32 – Learning from the stories and communities developed at ‘Park Runs’…

33:12 – What changes have you seen in golf across your career?

35:00 – What’s the main mistake golfers make when taking up the sport?

37:05 – What would you tell your 25 year old self?

38:57 – Alastair’s favourite books…

39:34 – What might surprise us about Alastair Spink?

40:21 – Alastair’s dream fourball…


Follow Alastair on Twitter at @Thegolfcoach and find out more about Love.Golf at www.love.golf.

Find out more about the PGAs of Europe Golf Development Team at http://eur.pe/GolfDevelopmentTeam

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PGA Professional Spotlight: Alastair Spink (PGA of GB&I) [PODCAST]
Robert Kalkman Foundation | Ryder Cup European Development Trust Project Focus http://www.pgae.com/ask/robert-kalkman-foundation-ryder-cup-european-development-trust-project-focus/ Sat, 26 Aug 2017 09:03:32 +0000 PGAs of Europe http://www.pgae.com/?p=19146 The Robert Kalkman Foundation supports children across the Netherlands by encouraging them to find a new passion in life by playing golf...]]>

The Robert Kalkman Foundation was established in 2007 by former Dutch international footballer, Robert Kalkman, and is designed to support children with cancer and/or a physical limitation by encouraging them to find a new passion in life by playing golf.

The Robert Kalkman Foundation has received funding from the Ryder Cup European Development Trust in order to continue providing opportunities to children across the Netherlands and allow the Foundation’s clinics to increase in size and frequency.

Golfing World caught up with Robert at the Foundation’s golf day to find out more about the great work being done…


To Find Out More About the Robert Kalkman Foundation visit www.robertkalkmanfoundation.com.

For more information on the Ryder Cup European Development Trust visit www.RCTrust.info, and follow @RyderCupTrust on Twitter.

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Robert Kalkman Foundation | Ryder Cup European Development Trust Project Focus
PGAs of Europe Strengthen Provision of International Golf Development Expertise http://www.pgae.com/news/pgas-of-europe-strengthen-provision-of-international-golf-development-expertise/ Mon, 14 Aug 2017 06:00:46 +0000 PGAs of Europe http://www.pgae.com/?p=19391 The association is strengthening its position through the formalisation of its Golf Development Team and an increased strategic focus in golf development...]]>

The PGAs of Europe has taken steps to strengthen its position as a leader in the provision of international golf development expertise through the formalisation of its Golf Development Team [pictured] and an increased strategic focus in this area.

The Association has long been at the forefront of golf development, utilising its network of 35 Member Countries and the 21,000+ PGA Professionals they represent. It is now taking further steps to ensure that it is positioned and equipped to provide a comprehensive and effective set of services, guidance, tools, initiatives and expertise to assist countries in growing and promoting golf in their territories.

 

“The PGAs of Europe are uniquely positioned to provide services and expertise for developing golf on an international basis, said Chief Executive of the PGAs of Europe, Ian Randell. “This is both through our own Golf Development Team and our network of National PGAs and their PGA Professionals who provide a skilled workforce for the advancement of the game and golfers.

“We are building on the experience and knowledge that has been gained over the past 20 years or so around the globe to move forward with a holistic view to the provision of expertise. This ranges from strategic, structural and political guidance, to sharing good practice and expertise in areas such as education and coaching to help a country achieve its golf development objectives in whatever form they may take.”

A major step toward this has been the formalisation and continued integration of the Golf Development Team – a group of 24 Golf Developers that are highly skilled in a wide variety of areas relating to golf development such as, beginner and elite coaching, management, participation activity with key focus areas such as juniors, women and disabled players, as well as consultancy and professional education.

The Golf Development Team, managed by PGAs of Europe Director of Education & Membership, Tony Bennett, have been deployed in a wide variety of golf development missions and activity for over two decades, in particular for The R&A and their ‘Working For Golf’ Programme. The Association will place greater emphasis on shining light on this hugely valuable activity moving into the future through its communications and ongoing activity.

The Association recently hosted a Golf Development Team meeting at its Belfry HQ that brought together many of its existing members, and some that are newly added, to continually develop the Team and inform them of the PGAs of Europe’s current activity and updated strategic undertakings and to share the latest good practice initiatives, along with details of new tools and strategies now available.

The Team Members also attended the Golf Development Team A.S.K. Workshops, the latest edition of the initiative that gives PGA Professionals a platform to share experiences, ideas and stories in front of a live audience in short, sharp and concise 20 minute sessions, ensuring the Team Members also took part in CPD activity for their personal and professional development.

For more information on the PGAs of Europe Golf Development Team visit http://eur.pe/GolfDevelopmentTeam

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PGAs of Europe Strengthen Provision of International Golf Development Expertise
1st Schools Championship in Lebanon Creates a New National Buzz Around the game! http://www.pgae.com/news/1st-schools-championship-in-lebanon-creates-a-new-national-buzz-around-the-game/ Wed, 05 Jul 2017 10:33:41 +0000 Mark Taylor http://www.pgae.com/?p=19246 After a successful first visit to Lebanon within the ‘R&A Working for Golf’ remit earlier in the year, we (The...]]>

After a successful first visit to Lebanon within the ‘R&A Working for Golf’ remit earlier in the year, we (The PGAs Europe) were requested to help organise and implement a Schools Championship for students, parents and train the workforce in succession management to facilitate future Schools Championships in conjunction with the Lebanese Golf Federation and Golf Club of Lebanon.

The Schools Championship proved a huge success with over 70 children attending the day at Golf Club Lebanon, Beirut, the children aged between 6 and 11 years represented six schools which had all received prior coaching through the Lebanese Golf Federations’ ‘Golf in Schools Programme’.

The event which removed the barriers to participation by inviting teachers, parents and friends of the participating children, coaching taster sessions were also delivered to attending parents whilst the event took place. Further coaching offers and entry level memberships were available along with general information on golf and its many benefits, including tours of the golf clubhouse and golf course.

The three hour event showcased golf to VIP guests and high ranking Government officials including the Minister of Tourism and the assistant to the Lebanese Sports Minister being also in attendance…The blistering midday heat did require more Parasols to be brought in for the dignitaries though!!

As desired the event aided in changing the negative political perception of golf in Lebanon, also empowering parents and local officials to view how much fun golf can be, alongside all of the many health and social benefits that golf can offer. This was ultimately justified in the Golf Club Lebanon securing an indefinite extension to the lease of the land from the Aviation Authorities. Both Club and Federation are now better positioned to continue to move forward with their business plan – with the future of their only facility to date secured.

Upon interviewing attending parents they were amazed at the location and readily stated that they didn’t even know that the Golf Club existed, with the demand for green space increasing as housing developments continue to monopolise the area, they all suggested that golf would provide an excellent activity in which all the family could participate in beautiful surroundings.

We were able to attract coverage from local TV stations and newspapers who later wrote a full page article on the event, again another first here as golf received its first full page mention in the Lebanese National Press!!

Such events continue to justify how important it remains for Federations and Golf Facilities to reach out and engage the local community, developing support and relationships with both the community and political stakeholders…more importantly to shift golfs’ stereotypical perception and increase participation in our sport to new players of all ages. Both The Federation and Golf Club have been inundated with enquiries since the event, attaining new sponsorship opportunities, recruiting new schools to their programme and participants of all demographics to their club coaching and membership offers.

Please contact The PGAs Europe if you would like further information or assistance on such events.

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1st Schools Championship in Lebanon Creates a New National Buzz Around the game!
Noteworthy European Golf Club Trends in 2017 http://www.pgae.com/ask/noteworthy-european-golf-club-trends-in-2017/ Thu, 22 Jun 2017 13:50:28 +0000 Golf Business Monitor http://www.pgae.com/?p=19083 Golf Business Monitor & Rob Hill examine key trends and data from golf facilities throughout the EMEA territory...]]>

Golf Business Monitor & Global Golf Advisors’ Rob Hill examine key trends and data that could help you plan and make business decisions that will ultimately benefit your business…


Through our numerous assignments and research initiatives at Global Golf Advisors over the last twelve months, we have encountered both unique challenges and consistent trends at golf facilities throughout the EMEA territory. Here, I have identified five that are particularly noteworthy for their influence on current golf facility performance at European Clubs.

1. Capital Maintenance Trends

Capital maintenance, capital improvements and the funding of both are amongst the greatest challenge facing golf facilities now and are expected to continue to be so into the immediate future. 40% of clubs are reporting that they have more than three year’s worth of deferred capital maintenance and expenditure, largely a consequence of economic recession/stagnancy between 2009 and 2015.

Long-term capital planning is rare, with most clubs lacking a formal plan to fund capital requirements, using whatever cash is available each year to fund their reserves. Less than 50% have a capital reserve study in place informing long-term capital requirements. Of those that are investing in capital, almost 6 in 10 are using a combination of debt and membership levy to fund their programs.

Clubs spend on average 7.6% of gross annual revenue on capital maintenance but estimate they need to spend 9.6% to keep pace with capital maintenance.

2. Women make the ‘buy’ decision

Historically golf clubs have been institutions that served male viewpoints, wants and needs. New programs and services are changing membership structures, methods of club governance and the feasibility of many clubs.

In her book, “Marketing to women” Martha Barletta indicates that 91% of home purchase decisions are made by a woman. Typically, the club membership decision is a part of the home choice decision due to location, psychographic and demographic profile.

As such, clubs must reset membership programs to address the primary push/pull factors that influence the buy decision. Women prize their clubs as a platform for socialization. Clubs must demonstrate in clear and appealing ways that the lifestyle of the club is diverse, active and accessible for busy women and their families.

Sales and marketing tactics in forward- thinking clubs are seeking to address schedule flexibility, interesting and current programs and the opportunities for meeting and keeping friends.

3. Business Intelligence

There is increasing adoption amongst clubs of more sophisticated business intelligence for decision-making. This includes the tracking and analysis of financial and operational performance trends, market pricing trends and positioning, member satisfaction and net promoter score (NPS), comparable club benchmarking and targeted market segmentation.

Club Boards/Management have an increasing need for quantitative, interfaced data to afford informed decision-making about the club.

Club Managers continue to report feeling pressure due to performance comparisons to benchmarks and competitors in all areas, especially as they relate to dues, fees, compensation, benefits, pricing, and staff levels. Other leaders struggle to meet their Board’s demand for data which has led to an increase in staff hours to track, monitor, analyze, and produce data. Some GMs have found traditional sources of data to be insufficient in providing the data their Board/Owner wants.

Top performers are tracking specific internal and external market KPIs and act upon them to sustain the market position. Many clubs – which lack the comfort of capital or staff resources to execute their own intelligence program – rely on frequent, concise surveys that monitor customer satisfaction, such as the secret shopper program provided so effectively by 59Cub. Some have even tied staff bonus incentives to member/customer satisfaction ratings.

More recently many clubs have turned to subscription-based services such Global Golf Advisors’ Strategic Intelligence Platform to track operating performance, customer satisfaction, and competitive market data all in one central portal.

4. Sustainability

Last July, London’s new Mayor Sadiq Khan announced a ‘crackdown’ on pollutants. His goal is to “Make London one of the World’s most environmentally friendly cities”. His plan to achieve this goal includes amongst other things creating an ‘Ultra-Low Emission Zone in central London by 2019 and beyond central London by 2020.

The fact that Mr. Khan has placed this issue near the very top of his agenda, is a great indicator of just how much influence sustainability and environmentalism has on the public mindset – politicians don’t tend to tackle issues unless they are going to improve their popularity.

Many clubs are now rightly keen to present their sustainability credentials, but to have resonance, consumers want to know the details/specifics and the outcomes. For clubs, this means their efforts in this space should be measured and proactively reported, with the support of a trusted third party.

The Golf Environment Organization is doing extraordinary work in supporting clubs achieve exactly this. Their club tools are not just providing vital guidance on best practice for sustainable performance, but are now also providing measurement and reporting tools to aid in effective communication of the results of such performance.

5. Membership

Gone are the days when most clubs were operating with waitlists and a pipeline full of members lined up to join the club. The reality is that most clubs must now aggressively seek and find new members. Successful clubs are adopting a more data-driven approach to membership recruitment/retention and are adjusting membership and amenity offerings to be more competitive in their business space.

61% of clubs map the location of their members to identify trends and areas for new member growth. Global Golf Advisors recommends that clubs do this annually to maximize membership sales effectiveness.

Six in ten clubs have encountered challenges with an aging membership or growing senior member category. Two-thirds of this group has adopted a set of tactics to address these challenges, among which adjustments to age bands and entry fees are most common solutions.

More than one in four (28%) clubs have experienced a decline in their total number of members in the last 5 years. The annual attrition rate of clubs in the UK is 3.5% while in the rest of Europe that rate is 4.7%.

The top three factors for creating a sustainable membership strategy include

  1. improve overall amenity quality,
  2. embracing modern technologies to complement modern lifestyles, and
  3. further enhancing the club’s platform for connecting its membership.

Trends such as these, although not universally applicable, are highly valuable indicators of change. The capacity to be prepared for change and take advantage of the opportunities that come with it, is what marks a successful club. Best put by Darwin, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is most adaptable to change”.

Rob Hill is a Partner at GGA with responsibility for their EMEA Office. A former recipient of Boardroom Magazine’s “Strategic Planning Firm of the Year” award, GGA brings an unmatched financial, marketing and operational focus to each of its strategic assignments. The firm serves over 2,700 clients around the world from offices in USA, Canada, Sydney (Asia-Pacific) and Dublin (EMEA). Rob can be reached at rhill@globalgolfadvisors.com.

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Noteworthy European Golf Club Trends in 2017
Karl Villwock (PGA of Germany) – SNAG Teaching Experiences (Part 1) http://www.pgae.com/ask/karl-villwock-pga-of-germany-snag-teaching-experiences-part-1/ Thu, 13 Apr 2017 16:01:26 +0000 SNAG Golf http://www.pgae.com/?p=18671 Our fantastic partners at SNAG Golf EMEA & India spoke with PGA of Germany Professional, Karl Villwock, about how Karl uses SNAG equipment in his coaching...]]>

Our fantastic partners at SNAG Golf EMEA & India spoke with PGA of Germany Professional, Karl Villwock, about how Karl uses SNAG equipment in his coaching with beginners and juniors…

How does SNAG create interest and fun for playing golf?

Using the bigger clubface and balls it is easier, especially for kids to start playing golf. The bigger targets help a lot, with the ball sticking to them children are very excited to try to hit the target. Generally the simplified equipment makes the students success rate much higher to start, so they have more interest.

Click Here to Read the Full Q&A…

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Karl Villwock (PGA of Germany) – SNAG Teaching Experiences (Part 1)
How to Make your Company Sustainable, In 2 Simple Steps http://www.pgae.com/ask/how-to-make-your-company-sustainable-in-2-simple-steps/ Tue, 11 Apr 2017 16:53:48 +0000 Inc.com http://www.pgae.com/?p=12106 Sustainability is a journey. On the road, you'll need to consistently deploy two important actions: measuring and engaging...]]>

Maureen Kline writes about corporate sustainability and social responsibility. She is in charge of public affairs and sustainability for Pirelli Tire North America. She lived in Italy for 23 years and is a former correspondent for The Wall Street Journal Europe, BusinessWeek, and BreakingViews. She can be reached at maureenkline@gmail.com.

@kline_maureen


Sustainability is based on continuous measurement and constant engagement

Sustainability is a journey. On the road, you’ll need to consistently deploy two important actions: measuring and engaging.

You’ll need to measure, because sustainability is a continuous SWOT analysis; you need to be aware of your company’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats so that you know where you’re coming from and where you’re going. Sustainability is about measuring where you are today, setting goals about how sustainable your company will be in the future, working backward to define how to get there, and then measuring progress along the way. The more specific and quantitative you are, the greater your chances of effectiveness.

Normally, goals will fall into three categories: environmental, social and governance. Environmental goals can include CO2 emissions reductions, energy efficiency targets, environmentally friendly product development, use of biodegradable packaging, involvement in a biodiversity project, reduced water usage, recycling, and many more. Social goals can range from goals regarding the welfare of your employees to community projects to helping alleviate hunger in developing countries. And governance goals might include setting up an ethics committee for your company, or having a diverse board of directors.

Once you know where you are and what you want to achieve in the future, you need to follow an action plan, and your success will depend on your ability to engage with stakeholders inside and outside the company. Engagement with them will be the key to acceptance and implementation of your sustainability plans, as well as outside recognition of your company as a sustainable one. Some of the stakeholders you may want to interact with are employees, customers, suppliers, investors, the local community, local government, environmental or human rights groups, and competitors.

Competitors? Indeed. There are now many stories of industry collaboration in order to effect change, particularly in raw materials purchasing and in recycling of end-of-life products. The cocoa industry has banded together to insist on certifiable sustainable practices among cocoa farmers, and the electronics industry is working on getting the minerals they need from mines certified as respectful of human rights (and not controlled by violent warlords).

Suppliers can be engaged through insisting on sustainable practices in purchasing agreements, and through training and audits. Customers can be engaged in all kinds of creative ways that marketing departments like to dream up. The local community can be engaged through charity donations and volunteering projects and partnerships.

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Employees are the most important piece of the puzzle. Without employee involvement in sustainability, big plans may go nowhere and promises remain shallow. Employees need to be engaged in a way that convinces them to understand and believe in what the company is trying to achieve, and participate. It is not just about getting employees to volunteer to plant trees or serve meals at the community soup kitchen. Employees need to understand the broad strategy, the company’s goals, and the specific action plan. They need to be asked for ideas and listened to. They need to see sustainability on the ground (recycling bins, a strategy on coffee cups, health and safety compliance) in order to believe you really mean it. They need to get excited about sustainable packaging and sustainable product development, and feel they are part of a team. Probably the easiest way to make all this happen is to involve people cross-functionally in committees.

Now that you have engaged everyone, don’t forget to keep measuring your progress and results, and communicating these back to your stakeholders. Once they see the improvement, they will be more interested in getting on board. If the improvement really looks good, it will enhance your company’s reputation in a meaningful way. This will attract customers, and make your employees proud and productive. And the journey continues.

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How to Make your Company Sustainable, In 2 Simple Steps
How to Provide the Right Golf Experience for Women http://www.pgae.com/ask/how-to-provide-the-right-golf-experience-for-women/ Wed, 05 Apr 2017 10:56:48 +0000 Golf Business Monitor http://www.pgae.com/?p=18590 GBM's Miklós Breitner explains why he thinks PGA Pros have to make the female golfer the heroines of the game...]]>

I like the proverb of Confucius who said:

“Tell people – and they may forget….show them – they may remember…involve them and they will understand”

In the last couple of years, I have seen many initiatives that tried to foster women’s participation in golf:

  • Golf For Her: This is dedicated to women and girls, but a very simple program. It needs some pushing.
  • Get Golf Ready: by the PGA of America: probably the most advanced golf program. 107,485 men and women participated in this program in 2015. But it is not dedicated to women.

I think all of us went through that tiresome learning process (in my case it was very technical) on the driving range before we got our HCP what we call the basics of golf. We could hardly see what will be like playing on a normal golf course, except those few instances when we were taken by our PGA Pro on his golf cart around the golf course or when we looked out from the balcony of the clubhouse.

If this is not annoying enough for you as a golfer then let’s add to this what Syngenta found about women‘s expectations from golf.

They want a fun social golf experience. Yes, golf coaches and PGA Pros equally have to understand that they have to provide lessons not just based on the golfer’s knowledge and skills, but they also have to consider the other needs (e.g. to socialize with other people; cheerful conversations instead of preaching) of the female “want-to-be golfer”.

PGA Pros have to make the female golfer the heroines of the game to succeed and keep up these women’s engagement with the game. This will not happen on the driving range that is for sure.

To activate 36.9 million latent female golfers and “want-to-be” female golfers, I think the golf industry needs a much more focused approach than the above-mentioned initiatives. Any future initiative should not only be a program of a couple of lessons, but rather a series of lessons that are building on each other. So the female golfer will not stop and get lost after the “intro lessons”.

What comes close to my ideal solution is the love.golf program (supported by Syngenta) in the UK. It is a fun social golf experience designed specifically for women. The lessons are happening in a relaxed and informal atmosphere. This could be implemented also for men. What is more interesting that the participants are learning the game in real life environment, on the golf course and not on the driving range. What a difference!

It is also promising in this program that the female golfer can get follow-on programs.

I cannot agree more with Syngenta Golf Ambassador Carin Koch, who said last year:

“While love.golf has been designed specifically with women in mind, it’s actually a great way for anyone to learn the game and it was nice to see male and female work colleagues getting out on a course and enjoying their first taste of golf…”

It seems like the knowledge and insights of love.golf is valuable for other players in the golf industry. Love.golf is cooperating now with the TGI Golf Partnership and its network of more than 450 PGA Professionals. These PGA Professionals will learn how to sell golf equipment more effectively to women.

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How to Provide the Right Golf Experience for Women
Communicating With Members & Reviewing Membership: Mark Taylor – A.S.K. Workshops http://www.pgae.com/ask/communicating-with-members-reviewing-membership-mark-taylor-a-s-k-workshops/ Wed, 01 Mar 2017 15:07:40 +0000 Mark Taylor http://www.pgae.com/?p=16153 A.S.K. Workshops speaker, Mark Taylor (PGA of GB&I), explains how to speak to current and potential members more effectively...]]>

A.S.K. Workshops speaker, Mark Taylor (PGA of GB&I), explains how to speak to current and potential members more effectively…

Communicating with members more effectively

Once we know who it is we are talking to and what they like or dislike about the golf club then it becomes easier to communicate and market to them more effectively.

This is particularly useful when marketing to visitors and potential members but is also important for communicating with existing members.

These days there are many more ways of communicating directly with members than relying on word of mouth and the club notice board. Direct mail can be cost effective as the message is well targeted, while email communication has a proven record in golf clubs looking to communicate quickly and easily.

Emails are highly targeted, cheap to send out and also enable a facility to respond quickly and effectively to its current needs, such as promoting an upcoming social function for example.

But, however a club decides to communicate with its members,  a consistent approach is needed. So many golf clubs launch a monthly newsletter, for example and after a few issues when there is nothing to say (!), the whole idea tails away.

The same applies to the club news section on the website which is fervently updated for the first few weeks and then again, the novelty wears off and it falls down the ‘to do’ list.

Intermittent communication is almost as bad as not communicating at all as it makes it doubly difficult to pick up where you left off after a spell of silence.

The secret to making a successful communication programme work is to make someone take responsibility for it. In most private member clubs this will be the Secretary or a member of the Marketing Committee.

A simple communication plan such as weekly update of the website, a monthly newsletter and email, a regular ‘what’s coming’ poster on the notice board…..the ideas are numerous but the key is to commit to them and make sure they happen.

Reviewing membership

You will by now have built up an excellent picture of your members and how they are using their membership. This is an excellent starting point for input into a marketing plan.

However, once having analysed membership there is still a need to keep doing so on a regular basis. A snapshot every six months would be the minimum especially as the nature of the game makes it a very cyclical business, with the results in the height of summer very different to those in off peak times.

Things change much faster than they ever used to and clubs must be aware of external influences as well as internal ones. For example, the completion of a new housing estate a few miles down could explain an influx of members during the past few months – and could point to a source of more.

Regular reviews will also allow the monitoring of changing membership demographics.

The average age of a golf club membership has been increasing steadily in recent years, mirroring general population demographics. This has had economic consequences for many clubs who have seen their senior membership (often paying reduced fees) grow out of proportion with their club membership.

A regular review and the statistics to back it up would have meant many golf clubs addressing this issue long before it became a problem. For example, exit surveys may help to spot a worrying trend which could be acted upon.

For more information visit http://eur.pe/ASKWorkshops-Hungary

For more information about the 2016 A.S.K. Workshops visit http://eur.pe/ASKWorkshops-Hungary, follow @PGAsofEurope on Twitter and search #ASKWorkshops, or like the PGAs of Europe Facebook Page.

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Communicating With Members & Reviewing Membership: Mark Taylor – A.S.K. Workshops
Real Results – 8 Ways To Implement Sustainable Initiatives at Your Facility http://www.pgae.com/news/real-results-8-ways-to-implement-sustainable-initiatives-at-your-facility/ Tue, 14 Feb 2017 09:03:37 +0000 Golf Environment Organization http://www.pgae.com/?p=11616 Golf facilities around the world make use of the Golf Environment Organization’s (GEO) OnCourse online programme to manage their club's sustainability and save]]>

Golf facilities around the world make use of the Golf Environment Organization’s (GEO) OnCourse online programme to manage their club’s sustainability and save money at the same time.

Here we look at just a few examples of how anyone involved with a golf facility can make impactful and sustainable changes leading to economic, environmental and social benefits…

Electric Equipment Initiative

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Bear Trace at Harrison Bay, USA

GEO Certified® 04/2014

Conversion of 18 pieces of gasoline powered golf course maintenance equipment to fully electric powered units allowed The Bear Trace at Harrison Bay to eliminate the use of over 9,000 gallons of gasoline in a single year saving over $27,000, cutting point source CO2 emissions by over 182,000 pounds of CO2, and eliminating possible contamination from leaking or spilled oils or fluids.

More Biodiversity, Greater Savings, Less Maintenance

Carnoustie Golf Links, Scotland

GEO Certified® 12/2013

By minimizing the amount of amenity turfgrass and increasing the size of habitat corridors Carnoustie Golf Links has saved between £2–3,000 since becoming GEO Certified®.  Apart from the cost savings, the creation of habitat corridors acts as a buffer zone between sensitive landscapes and has ensured that habitat fragmentation is kept to a minimum.  With scrub management programmes, the club continues to identify further ways in which to increase these areas.

Reduced Mowing Results in Cost and Nature Benefits

Golfpark Nuolen, Wangen, Switzerland

GEO Re-Certified® 12/2012

By reducing the mowing of the out of play areas by 15%, Golfpark Nuolen has saved €2-3,000 annually.  Subsequently this has encouraged the re-naturalization of native areas and the creation of wild life corridors.

On top of this, any fertilizers that are required for the course have been purchased in bulk in conjunction with 3 other clubs.  This has resulted in savings of €8,000 to each club and bulk purchasing allows for attaining a better product at a 15-30% lower price.

Finding Cost-savings Through Efficient Energy

Coventry Golf Club, West Midlands, England

GEO Certified® 05/2012

Looking to lower electricity use – and costs – Coventry Golf Club completely re-lamped the club’s buildings with low energy, sensor lighting. Solar panels were also installed to help reduce costs, with the excess electricity produced being sold back to the energy company. In the first full year since the work was done, the club cut their electricity costs by 28.5%, amounting to £8,000, which will offset their investment quickly.

OnCourse to Cost and Water Saving at The Home of Golf

St Andrews Links, Fife, Scotland

GEO Re-Certified® 12/2014

After an audit of the irrigation system prompted by their participation in the OnCourse programme, some simple steps were taken to become more efficient. For example, the arcs of water nozzles were altered to avoid watering rough while some others were removed altogether. Overall they accomplished a 25% reduction in water use on a greens cycle and a 20% reduction for the fairways; Subsequently the energy use for the pumping system has also reduced.

Turning Waste into Savings

Broken Sound Club, Florida, USA

GEO Certified® 07/2014

As part of their overall commitment to sustainability Broken Sound Club invested in a Central Composting Facility, to turn all available biodegradable waste into sterilized organic mulch. This is spread on the fairways and used in the landscape beds. $12,000 was saved on fertilizer expenditure in year one and the money invested in the composting facility will be recouped within 4-5 years.

Cost-savings No Rough Task

Hill Side Golf & Country Club, Vihti, Finland

GEO Certified® 07/2012

Finland’s first private golf club considered the amount of rough being maintained and with a more efficient rough maintenance plan they achieved cost savings of €3,500 in 2012. 392 fewer hours were spent mowing rough while fuel and machinery use was reduced. Savings in fuel were part of overall net savings of over €10k from the overall improvements in club resource and management efficiencies.

Looking to Locals for Supplies Cuts Costs and Footprint

Highlands Country Club, Tennessee, USA

GEO Certified® 09/2014

Situated in a remote part of Tennessee, the new outlook Highlands Country Club took to make its supply chain more local has been very successful. For example, the uniforms and sanitary products are now purchased from local suppliers who opened the door to negotiate a better deal for the club; while boosting the local economy and thereby strengthening the outside view of the golf club; and a new point of pride in being part of lowering overall pollution from transport.

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For more ‘Real Results’ examples visit www.golfenvironment.org/get_involved/real_results.


OnCourse® Programme

The benefits of sustainability for golf businesses are beyond question, the hold-up has been simply where and how to start. In part, because of misconceptions that sustainability must first require study, policy writing and a vast amount of planning.  That doesn’t need to be the case. Today there are a few practical tools available that can take the guesswork and hassle out of sustainability.

A good place to dive in is OnCourse®, a free web-based programme that guides you step-by-step, asking the right questions about the key sustainability hotspots around your course, clubhouse, and maintenance facility. OnCourse® will help you tell the story of the good work you’re already doing and enable you to improve; saving time and money, enhancing the natural qualities of your course, and boosting your reputation. Rather than spending a lot of time in discussions, drafting a detailed policy or developing a sustainability plan, your focus can be on actions that bring immediate benefit.

OnCourse® serves as your policy and plan – a statement of your commitment, and the path to accessing all the benefits sustainability can bring. And, if you would like to, you can use your OnCourse® report to qualify you for GEO Certified®, golf’s international ecolabel and a great platform for communications and publicity.

The programme is free, widely endorsed and only takes a few minutes to sign up at www.golfenvironment.org/oncourse.

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Real Results – 8 Ways To Implement Sustainable Initiatives at Your Facility
The Future of Golf Development http://www.pgae.com/ask/the-future-of-golf-development/ Thu, 01 Dec 2016 10:34:47 +0000 Tony Bennett http://www.pgae.com/?p=17336 "Despite years of gloomy forecasts from commentators and consumer surveys on the popularity of the game, golf will survive, and I believe it will thrive..."]]>

Despite several years of gloomy forecasts from commentators and consumer surveys on the popularity of the game, golf will survive, and I believe that it will thrive.

Golf will thrive because of the open air environment in which the game is consumed. Golf supports moderate physical activity, satisfying social interaction, distraction from the never ending roller coaster of life’s ups and downs, and not least the game offers a personal challenge.

The game is fundamentally one in which, you take a stick, to hit an object to a target, that is in, on, or above the ground.

Golf is not only a game but also an industry. An industry that ‘services the game‘. Be mindful of those three words – ‘services the game‘.

Without doubt, the game and the industry must be aligned to deliver an experience that men and women want to consume in the way that they want to consume it. Golf should entertain, challenge, and above all be an enjoyable experience. Even though the game and the industry must work together, the game should not become a service provider to the industry.

From this standpoint, there are many questions that continue to attract my attention, two of which are as follows:

Q1.

Imagine if we drop a handful of clubs and balls into a remote part of the Amazonian Rain Forest, where the villagers had never heard of Tiger Woods, and there were no TV or golf magazines. What game would they invent?

Would the villagers design a game where they take a stick, to hit an object to a target, that is in, on, or above the ground? Perhaps so. Would it be the same as we find in the some 200+ golf playing nations in the world? Would it have four par fives and four par threes on a 6,000m + course? Would it have miles of buggy paths and two starting points and finishing points, each near to a clubhouse?

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Q2.

Imagine that the golf ball travelled just 30% of the distance of the current ball. What effect would that have on the game? I suspect very little. Golf would still entertain, challenge, and above all be an enjoyable experience. I do however think that such a change would change the industry.

Certainly, courses could be made that were just 30% of the current length. So 2,000 metres would offer the same challenge as we have now over a much longer course. Golf course developers would need less land, and so potentially less investment; the course would perhaps be easier to design, certainly easier and cheaper to construct and maintain. Smaller parcels of land could be more easily found near to areas of population, so making the game more accessible. Would golf take less time on this shorter course? Is it reasonable to expect that if the ball travelled just 30% of the ‘normal’ distance, then it would also only go 30% of the distance into trouble? Perhaps there would be less time spent looking for golf balls? Would this form of golf become both a quick way for established golfers to play a few holes and at the same time be a simple but effective way for newcomers to be introduced to the game?

Softball in the US, has legions of participants, soft tennis and soft cricket, all forms of the mainstream sport, have introduced a ball to make their game more accessible. Could this simple act give golf a much-needed boost to reach new communities? The commentators say that golf needs to be more accessible, less expensive, quicker and easier. Perhaps a ball that travels significantly less distance will help.

In any case, I advise continually questioning why we do what we do, and also how we do it. Perhaps the answers will be surprising.

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The Future of Golf Development
PGAs of Europe and SNAG Golf Continue Successful Development Partnership http://www.pgae.com/news/pgas-of-europe-and-snag-golf-continue-successful-development-partnership/ Mon, 28 Nov 2016 15:22:58 +0000 PGAs of Europe http://www.pgae.com/?p=17340 SNAG and the PGAs of Europe have renewed their Corporate Partnership, with an even stronger emphasis on golf development than ever before...]]>

SNAG (Starting New At Golf) and the PGAs of Europe have renewed their Corporate Partnership, with an even stronger emphasis on golf development than ever before.

The PGAs of Europe continues to forge ahead in its provision of golf development expertise and sharing of good practice to grow the sport across Europe and around the globe.

The partnership with SNAG will continue for a third three-year term and secures the leading first touch product and programme as a Golf Development Partner and Corporate Partner of the Association, further supporting the developmental initiatives and activities being undertaken by the PGAs of Europe.

SNAG is passionate about getting individuals from grassroots level and upwards involved in the sport of golf by using specially adapted equipment that enhances the basics of traditional golf in a way that allows an individual to easily develop and enhance putting, chipping, launching and full swing skills.

“We are proud to be extending the partnership between GSA Golfsports/SNAG and the PGAs of Europe,” said Christian Piott, Managing Director of GSA Golfsports/SNAG Europe, Middle East, Africa and India.

“With more focus on golf development, we are excited for our programmes and concepts to be involved in the continued development of golf across Europe. Together we look forward to achieving the combined objective of creating even more new golfers.”

The PGAs of Europe’s unique position in providing expertise in golf development around the globe means that the Association’s Golf Development Partners are able to assist various programmes, projects and initiatives to grow the sport.

The influence of SNAG has spread across many of the PGAs of Europe’s Member Countries, increasing participation levels, becoming part of national curriculums in schools, and establishing itself as a first point of entry for golf development on a global scale.

SNAG is often a major feature at tour events, exhibitions, parks, school programmes, corporate events, tournaments and charity fun days.

“Our partnership with SNAG has been very fruitful over the past few years,” said PGAs of Europe Chief Executive, Ian Randell. “As a leader in the provision of first touch equipment and programmes, we have been delighted to promote them, as well as recommend the adoption of SNAG across several countries.

“As the PGAs of Europe look to assist countries with their golf development plans and share good practice, SNAG products and programmes can be integral to improving the infrastructure and participation through introducing the game in a fun, safe and family-friendly environment.”

For More Information on SNAG Golf Visit www.SNAG.golf

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PGAs of Europe and SNAG Golf Continue Successful Development Partnership
Golf & Health Project Launches to Highlight How Golf Can Benefit All http://www.pgae.com/news/golf-health-project-launches-to-highlight-how-golf-can-benefit-all/ Wed, 19 Oct 2016 10:48:50 +0000 PGAs of Europe http://www.pgae.com/?p=16996 The recently launched Golf & Health Project will academically research and highlight how the game can benefit peoples’ lives, and ultimately help to grow golf]]>
  • New and unique project aiming to assess the health and wellbeing benefits of golf has launched around the world
  • An academically rigorous methodology examines pre-existing research
  • Innovative new research will fill knowledge gaps and show golf’s role in health and wellbeing

(ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla., USA) – World Golf Foundation (WGF) – the non-profit organization developing and supporting initiatives that positively impact lives through the game of golf and its traditional values – announces the launch of the Golf & Health Project, academically researching and highlighting how the game can benefit peoples’ lives.

Researchers at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, led by Dr. Andrew Murray and under the supervision of leading international academics, Professor Nanette Mutrie and Professor Liz Grant, have conducted the largest, most comprehensive study of golf and health, with the results shown in a Scoping Review published in the world’s leading sports medicine and science journal, The British Journal of Sports Medicine. In total, 5,000 papers were reviewed to provide a comprehensive view on the impact of the game on health, illness prevention (and management) and associated injuries (infographic).

Key benefits include improvements in life expectancy and quality of life, as well as physical and mental health benefits. Golf is expected to decrease the risk of more than 40 major chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart attacks, colon and breast cancer. Current research shows that golf has positive impacts on cholesterol, body composition, metabolism, and longevity.

golf-and-health_infographic_main_webThe Project launches with support from all of golf’s major organisations, along with an initial eight ambassadors from around the world with more than 30 majors and 350 wins between them – Aaron Baddeley (Australia), Annika Sorenstam (Sweden), Brooke Henderson (Canada), Gary Player (South Africa), Padraig Harrington (Ireland), Ryann O’Toole (USA), So Yeon Ryu (South Korea), and Zach Johnson (USA).

“I am delighted to be an Ambassador for the Golf & Health Project and wholeheartedly support the work they are doing to prove the health and wellbeing benefits of golf,” explained Gary Player, nine-time Major champion and World Golf Hall of Fame member. “The systematic and academic confirmation of the physical and mental benefits golf gives people will be of great use to us all to spread the word to institutions, governments and the entire world!”

Current information from the Scoping Review and future research findings will continue to be available through the Golf & Health website – www.golfandhealth.org. This information is designed to be practical and usable by golf’s stakeholders to help develop the sport around the world.

The project also aims to show existing and future benefits that are identified are applicable to individuals of all ages throughout society, not just a specific sub-section of the population.

The WGF and the major golf organizations represented on its Board of Directors, along with partners such as the PGAs of Europe and the University of Edinburgh, academic collaborators and supporters from the University of California at San Francisco, and various other organizations, are working together on the Project with a view to sharing its work around the globe.

“The importance of the Golf & Health Project in the development of the sport is vital, not just for the WGF’s partners, but everyone involved with golf around the world,” said Steve Mona, CEO of the World Golf Foundation. “This Project is something we can all get behind, as it is universally agreed that golf is good for you. It is going to provide real, tangible resources that can be used by governments and politicians, professional tours, governing bodies, golf businesses, PGA Professionals and more – all to the sport’s benefit.”

The Project is planning various research-led activities to further prove areas of interest and also expand into currently under-researched areas such as the mental health benefits of golf, physical benefits in older players and the positive effects of spectating.

“For a number of years we’ve felt we’ve underplayed the likely benefits of golf on peoples’ health,” added Golf & Health Project Executive Director and European Tour Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Roger Hawkes. “Over the last two or three years, there seems to be an interest from various bodies and we’ve been able to bring together that interest to actually study this area.”

Further information, news and features on the Golf & Health Project: www.golfandhealth.org, @GolfAndHealth on Twitter and ‘Golf and Health’ on Facebook.

For queries relating to the Project, contact info@golfandhealth.org and for media queries contact media@golfandhealth.org.

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Golf & Health Project Launches to Highlight How Golf Can Benefit All
[INFOGRAPHIC] Exploring the Health & Well Being Benefits of Golf http://www.pgae.com/news/exploring-the-health-well-being-benefits-of-golf-infographic/ Wed, 19 Oct 2016 10:31:11 +0000 PGAs of Europe http://www.pgae.com/?p=17001 The Golf & Health Project have produced a free and open to use infographic looking at just some of the many and varied benefits of golf...]]>

The Golf & Health Project have produced a free and open to use infographic looking at just some of the many and varied benefits of golf already identified by the Project’s initial research Scoping Review.

The Scoping Review was carried out together with the University of Edinburgh and published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Right-click the infographic to save your copy to use at your club, facility, or business.

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Further information, news and features on the Golf & Health Project: www.golfandhealth.org, @GolfAndHealth on Twitter and ‘Golf and Health’ on Facebook.

For queries relating to the Project, contact info@golfandhealth.org and for media queries contact media@golfandhealth.org.

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[INFOGRAPHIC] Exploring the Health & Well Being Benefits of Golf
Golf’s Many Benefits Brought to the Fore in Health Study – University of Edinburgh http://www.pgae.com/news/golfs-many-benefits-brought-to-the-fore-in-health-study-university-of-edinburgh/ Mon, 17 Oct 2016 11:08:52 +0000 PGAs of Europe http://www.pgae.com/?p=17004 Playing golf is likely to increase life expectancy, help prevent chronic diseases and improve mental health, a study suggests.]]>

Playing golf is likely to increase life expectancy, help prevent chronic diseases and improve mental health, a study suggests.

The sport has physical and mental health benefits for people of all ages, genders and backgrounds, a study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine shows.

Researchers reviewed 5000 studies into golf and wellbeing to build a comprehensive picture of the sport’s health benefits, as well as its potential drawbacks.

Findings show that golf is likely to improve cardiovascular, respiratory and metabolic health.

Playing golf could also help those who suffer chronic diseases including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, colon and breast cancer and stroke, the study found.

The physical benefits of golf increase with age, researchers from the University of Edinburgh said.

Balance and muscle endurance in older people are improved by playing the sport, the review also found.

A regular game of golf can help players meet and exceed minimum government recommendations for moderate to vigorous physical activity.

The study found that golfers typically burn a minimum of 500 calories over 18 holes.

Golfers walking 18 holes can cover four to eight miles, while those using an electric golf cart typically chalk up four miles.

Increased exposure to sunshine and fresh air were found to be additional benefits.

The physical aspects of golf could also help reduce the risk of anxiety, depression and dementia, the researchers say.

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The study is part of the Golf & Health Project, which is led by the World Golf Foundation. The initiative aims to increase the understanding of golf in health and wellbeing.

Future research will include the effects of golf on mental health, muscle strengthening and balance.

Lead researcher Dr Andrew Murray, from the Physical Activity for Health Research Centre at the University of Edinburgh, said: “We know that the moderate physical activity that golf provides increases life expectancy, has mental health benefits, and can help prevent and treat more than 40 major chronic diseases such as heart attacks, stroke, diabetes, breast and colon cancer.”

“Evidence suggests golfers live longer than non-golfers, enjoying improvements in cholesterol levels, body composition, wellness, self-esteem and self-worth. Given that the sport can be played by the very young to the very old, this demonstrates a wide variety of health benefits for people of all ages.”

Padraig Harrington, a vice-captain at the 2016 Ryder Cup, three-time major champion and Golf & Health Ambassador, said: “The Golf & Health Project is clearly taking an important step forward to shine a light on the benefits of our sport. I have seen how impactful golf can be on peoples’ wellbeing – now it’s time to get this message out there.”

Fellow ambassador Annika Sorenstam, a 12-time major champion, said: “Healthy living is a subject that’s very close to my heart, especially when it comes to educating the next generation. I strongly believe playing golf helps people stay fit, active and healthy. The Golf & Health Project will help all of us better promote the sport’s physical and mental benefits.”

For further information, video footage and images please contact:

Andrew Moffat, Press and PR Office; Tel +44 131 650 9836; Email andrew.moffat@ed.ac.uk

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Golf’s Many Benefits Brought to the Fore in Health Study – University of Edinburgh
Recruiting Women to Golf http://www.pgae.com/ask/recruiting-women-to-golf/ Fri, 09 Sep 2016 13:28:47 +0000 Mark Taylor http://www.pgae.com/?p=16607 Women are potentially one of the largest growth areas in golf..So, is your Golf Club looking at new ways to recruit and retain women golfers??]]>

Why offer a women’s Open Day?

Women are potentially one of the largest growth areas in golf..So, is your Golf Club looking at new ways to recruit and retain women golfers??

Firstly it is important to understand your golf club and completing a club profile may help to identify your club’s strengths and weaknesses, analysing and highlighting why your current women members re-join every year and why they may have left?

Open Days help raise the profile of golf within the local community, change perception of golf and;

  • Promote your club as a welcoming and safe environment
  • Increase revenue streams
  • Increase membership

The majority of women will want an offer that reflects;

  • Value for money
  • Something that will fit into their lifestyles
  • Range of opportunities
  • How golf can keep them fit and active and help them meet new people.

Listed below are ideas of where you could recruit women…

  • Member referral schemes (wives or partners)
  • Local businesses
  • Target other sports and activities (hockey, tennis, fitness classes, etc.)
  • School teachers and mums
  • Chamber of commerce
  • Local Women’s Groups (Women’s Institute, Mums in the Know).

Create a facility/club plan

Creating a plan will help you establish…

Key elements:

Club members; meet and greet buddies to show around facility, inform members of the activity and they will help find participants

Professional; in charge of activity keep the activities fun and ensure participants get to see or play the game (golf course/shortened holes/par 3)

Equipment; all equipment provided

Dress Code; Casual attire, trainers can be worn

On the day..

  • Clear signage for visitors
  • Have your volunteers and staff ready to welcome
  • Include a Club ‘Walk Around’ to familiarise participants
  • Collect contact information to use for future communications
  • Provide information of follow-on opportunities
  • Collect pictures and testimonials

After activity..

  • Ask for feedback from participants
  • Allow time for social engagement include drinks and cake in your offer
  • Collect contact information to use for future communications
  • Set up a social group from your attending participants
  • Provide information of follow-on opportunities further coaching, social events, discounted driving range and bring a friend offers
  • Collect pictures and testimonials and celebrate your success with local press and media!
  • Send a thank you letter or email including details of follow-on opportunities.
Vector Image Designed by Freepik
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Recruiting Women to Golf
Will I Be Better?: David Kearney – A.S.K. Workshops http://www.pgae.com/news/will-i-be-better-david-kearney-a-s-k-workshops/ Fri, 22 Jul 2016 13:35:39 +0000 David Kearney http://www.pgae.com/?p=16106 David Kearney reveals an extra tip in helping develop the players of tomorrow from his A.S.K. Workshops presentation...]]>

When I was a kid we used to watch ‘Top of The Pops’ every Thursday evening, 7:30pm…never missed it! Too of the Pops would count down the top songs on the music charts of that particular week and the excitement was palpable as we waited to see who was Number 1! No social media or internet back then. Just a good old week long wait to see if your favourite track had hit the top spot.

A lot has changed since those days but some things have remained the same.

In my presentation in Hungary, I will kick-start the day with my Top 5 (In honour of TOTP!) tips to do our bit, as coaches and administrators, in helping the players of tomorrow develop. My top 5, in keeping with the modern Holistic approach we have to our game, include Psychological, Physiological and technical nuggets.

To whet the appetite, I will give you number 6, didn’t make it into the top 5, but important none the less.

Communicate with young players’ parents:

When beginning the journey with these kids, it is almost as important to keep the parents as up to speed as the kids on what you are doing and the reasons and rationale behind your interventions. It is an investment that can be taxing and time consuming but definitely worth investing in. Parents like to know what the plan is and what their kids are up to.

Studies show that Parents of performing players reduce their involvement as time goes on, so the key here is to invest early when it is appropriate and effective.

See you all in Hungary!

For more information and to register visit http://eur.pe/ASKWorkshops-Hungary

For more information about the 2016 A.S.K. Workshops visit http://eur.pe/ASKWorkshops-Hungary, follow @PGAsofEurope on Twitter and search #ASKWorkshops, or like the PGAs of Europe Facebook Page.

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Will I Be Better?: David Kearney – A.S.K. Workshops
The Importance of Play: Stéphane Bachoz – A.S.K. Workshops http://www.pgae.com/news/the-importance-of-play-stephane-bachoz-a-s-k-workshops/ Fri, 22 Jul 2016 12:07:14 +0000 Stéphane Bachoz http://www.pgae.com/?p=16102 Could golf be a solution for modern day educational, economical, social & environmental problems? Stéphane Bachoz and Golf Educatif definitely think so...]]>

At a time where problems are well identified, Education, Economy, Social, Environnement etc… I have been doing my best since 1995 to help create a better Future and give alternative solutions for our coming new generations.

To create happy and well-educated Citizen Golfers is my dedication.

I was very lucky to meet Bill Owens in 1993 and decided to work with him since 1995.

Bill is Golf Professional Member of PGA of Great Britain & Ireland since 1976 who moved to France in 1991. Shortly afterwards he created a very unique approach based on sensations, balance and co-ordination that allows everyone to find their inner natural swing and therefore enables them to play golf very quickly.

A lot has happened since 1997 when we first created the “Association pour le Golf Educatif”.

Since then, Golf has become THE Educational and Environment Tool for tomorrow !

In fact, it’s one of the best ways to teach moral and civic education (like all sports you might say!) although it is not only a sport but also a GAME, filled with values and virtues. This is what makes it accessible to everyone and not just to sportsmen. As a matter of fact, golf is probably “the” game for all sportsmen !

I believe it therefore essential to put the GAME back into our daily lives.

PLAYING helps to reconsolidate the rules, to stop fighting, and to recreate a social bond between different kinds of people.

Redefining the fundamental principles (for oneself and for the game) thanks to a personal instruction guide will inevitably boost behaviour as a group.

The project is called “Educational Golf” but it’s no longer a project!  As part of their school syllabus, hundreds of kids from 18 different French towns, now PLAY at auto-educating themselves each week and are proud of their actions, replanting trees on waste and uncultivated land. Some have even found employment in this new environment.

I’m sure that you’ll look at our game differently afterwards, which I hope you’ll go on to share the idea with as many people as possible.

Ready to PLAY ?

How about Golf…? (Why not Golf…?)

Pre-Reading:

For more information and to register visit http://eur.pe/ASKWorkshops-Hungary

For more information about the 2016 A.S.K. Workshops visit http://eur.pe/ASKWorkshops-Hungary, follow @PGAsofEurope on Twitter and search #ASKWorkshops, or like the PGAs of Europe Facebook Page.

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The Importance of  Play: Stéphane Bachoz – A.S.K. Workshops
Finding Out About Your Members: Mark Taylor – A.S.K. Workshops http://www.pgae.com/news/finding-out-about-your-members-mark-taylor-a-s-k-workshops/ Fri, 22 Jul 2016 11:03:40 +0000 Mark Taylor http://www.pgae.com/?p=16097 Conducting a member survey in your facility is an easy way to get to know your customers and communicate with them effectively...]]>

It is simple and cost effective to conduct your own market research almost without your members realising it. A member survey once a year should be at the top of your agenda in getting to know your customer base. It’s relatively easy to administer as you have a captive market and should be able to communicate with them on a regular basis.

The key to any survey is to understand what it is you are trying to find out. It may be about a specific area where you are having problems such as the catering or encouraging use of the bar, it may be a general survey about their membership, a new member survey after 3 months or perhaps an exit survey.

Surveys only work if they are conducted regularly and the members receive feedback – on both the results and the next steps i.e. what you plan to do. You may also want to consider incentivising your surveys which always improves response rates.

Full details on member surveys can be found here.

As well as a more formal survey, there should be plenty of opportunity to talk to members and get a general idea of how they regard the club. Your staff and committee members can be very useful here as they will be regularly playing with or talking to the membership. Beware of people feeding back what they want you to hear. This is often not deliberate but if it is a subject they themselves feel strongly about they may not really be an independent observer.

Once you have gathered and analysed the information you have about your members then you can begin sorting them into distinct groups. These may be governed by factors such as age, frequency of visits, time they play, use of the bar or restaurant but however you choose to categorise them you will have a clear profile of your key customer segments.

Profiling members and visitors in this way means that you will now be able to talk to them much more effectively.

For more information visit http://eur.pe/ASKWorkshops-Hungary

For more information about the 2016 A.S.K. Workshops visit http://eur.pe/ASKWorkshops-Hungary, follow @PGAsofEurope on Twitter and search #ASKWorkshops, or like the PGAs of Europe Facebook Page.

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Finding Out About Your Members: Mark Taylor – A.S.K. Workshops
“Committed to the Advancement of Golf…” Tony Bennett – A.S.K. Workshops http://www.pgae.com/news/committed-to-the-advancement-of-golf-tony-bennett-a-s-k-workshops/ Sun, 03 Jul 2016 15:29:31 +0000 Tony Bennett http://www.pgae.com/?p=15713 A.S.K. Workshops Speaker, Tony Bennett, explains more about his presentation subject matter for the 2016 #ASKWorkshops event...]]>

PGAs of Europe Director of Education & Membership, Tony Bennett, will speak at the 2016 A.S.K. Workshops in Hungary on 26th July – here Tony explains some of the background to his presentation…


There is nothing much wrong with Golf. The game that we play, which by my definition is a sport where we take a stick, hit an object to a target that is either in, on or above the ground, is old. In fact, Golf is very old. 600 years or more we are informed. Well if it’s old it must be good, otherwise, it would have died, or at least be on its death bed.

Solo Synchronised Swimming (Los Angeles Olympics 1984), yes I could not believe it either, is one such sport that is no longer practised, while Croquet, Tug-of-War and Rackets are little more than niche sports.

The demise of Golf is exaggerated, it is not dying as some people would have you believe. Perhaps, as is the case with an old car or house for that matter, Golf could have done with a little renovation and restoration towards the end of the last century, but when things were going well, why would it change?

Initiatives such as Sprint6Golf and Golf Educatif will at least, in my opinion, make a difference. Each keeps the fundamental principles of golf at their core and address the key issues of time, cost and difficulty. The PGA Junior Golf League is growing the number of kids engaged in the sport in the USA and soon in Europe, while Golf Europe’s GoGolf Europe project is now being trialled in five countries with the objective of keeping adolescents in the game for longer.

Golf development is about making sure that people have a chance to take part in the sport, ensuring that all sections of the community are aware of available activities, and letting them know where they can get involved. I have long been an advocate of the golf professional having the capability to transform into a Golf Developer, a bit like Clark Kent who works as a newspaper journalist for the Daily Planet, only to change into Superman at a moments notice. Golf Developers ooze a passion for the sport, organise golf related activities, distribute information, arrange taster sessions, coaching and put like-minded people together. The golf developer is a facilitator who makes things happen.

If you want some things to change, then you have to change some things. Often it starts with ourselves. Perhaps you can consider the five questions that always get me thinking about the realisation of the things that I want to achieve.

To achieve my objective:

  1. What type of person do I need to become?
  2. What attitude do I need to have?
  3. What do I need to learn?
  4. Who can help me to develop the attitudes, skills and knowledge that I need?
  5. What barriers do I need to overcome?

See you in Budapest.

For more information and to register visit http://eur.pe/ASKWorkshops-Hungary

For more information about the 2016 A.S.K. Workshops visit http://eur.pe/ASKWorkshops-Hungary, follow @PGAsofEurope on Twitter and search #ASKWorkshops, or like the PGAs of Europe Facebook Page.

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“Committed to the Advancement of Golf…” Tony Bennett – A.S.K. Workshops
9 or 90, Golf is a Sport For All… http://www.pgae.com/ask/9-or-90-golf-is-a-sport-for-all/ Mon, 30 May 2016 08:51:06 +0000 Ian Randell http://www.pgae.com/?p=15615 There are many benefits of being involved with golf - the Golf & Health Project will seek to verify these and explore the un-researched areas...]]>

Issue 29 of International Golf Pro News focuses on fitness – not only that, but also health & wellbeing, and the huge variety of benefits that can be gained from playing our glorious sport.

The PGAs of Europe are delighted to be playing our part in the Golf & Health Project that is currently underway, aiming to shine a light on those benefits and back them up with hard, peer-reviewed evidence.

One of these benefits that is widely known and agreed is that golf is a game for life that can incorporate both young and old whilst keeping them on a level playing field for all to enjoy.

Recently there have been a number of good examples but here are a couple of key ones…

Just last week we saw the rise and rise of England’s Danny Willett taking his first major championship and the first green jacket to land on European shoulders in 17 years. Whilst Danny might not be as much of a young-gun as the likes of Jordan Spieth or Bryson DeChambeau he is still a great example of a young athlete fulfilling his potential in the sport.

But did you notice who was up there in the final round of the Masters this year? None other than our 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award Winner, Bernhard Langer. Continuing to mature like a fine wine, Langer’s 58 years were far from a barrier to his performance throughout the week and was a great example of how a golfer can still be highly competitive not just amongst his peers on the Champions Tour, but also with the future legends of the game like McIlroy, Spieth and Day.

But it’s not just at the elite end of the game where there are some great life-long examples. Our friends at GolfForHer.com drew our attention to this fantastic story in the USA about The Los Verdes Golden Golfers at the Los Verdes Women’s Golf Club in California.

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If you are over 90 and a member of the club then you automatically become one of the club’s hall of famers – a ‘Golden Golfer’. They play 18 holes every Thursday from the junior tees to make the game as enjoyable as possible for them. They play on their terms to enjoy themselves and say the game offers exercise, social interaction, maths skills and humour.

“The fact that these gals are still swinging at 90-plus proves that golf is an ageless game.” Ginny Oreb, President of The Los Verdes Women’s Golf Club

We cannot wait to see more of the research findings that are coming out of the Golf & Health project. The research and work produced will give PGAs, their Member Professionals, and everyone involved in the sport, the tools they need to promote it to the outside world as being the most inclusive sporting activity out there.

I hope this Issue of IGPN gives you some insight into a variety of those health & wellbeing benefits, along with some really interesting areas of performance sport, coaching and sports science to really sink your teeth into the subject.

Enjoy the issue, get out on the course and stay healthy! After all as the Farahmand et al. (2009) study in Sweden has evidenced, golfers live five years longer!

Enjoy the issue and as always feel free to get in touch with Editor Aston Ward (aw@pgae.com) if you have feedback, ideas or would like to contribute to IGPN and A.S.K.

This article originally featured in International Golf Pro News. Visit the IGPN Page to find out more and subscribe for free.

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9 or 90, Golf is a Sport For All…
More to Win Than the Ryder Cup: The Health Benefits of Golf http://www.pgae.com/ask/more-to-win-than-the-ryder-cup-the-health-benefits-of-golf/ Fri, 13 May 2016 09:48:35 +0000 Golf & Health http://www.pgae.com/?p=15448 The Golf & Health Team look at just a handful of the many benefits of taking part in golf...]]>

By Steffan Griffen, Andrew Murray (@docAndyMurray) & Roger Hawkes

Golf is played by around 55 million people on 32,000 courses in over 100 countries.¹ With over half a billion homes worldwide tuning in for each day of the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles, a series pitting Europe’s best against the cream of the American crop. We look at the health benefits of playing golf available not only to Rory McIlroy and the game’s elite, but also to those inspired to visit their local course.

Indeed former British Prime Minister David Lloyd George viewed less talented golfers as reaping more benefits than those bestowed upon the likes of McIlroy:

“Golf is the only game where the worst player gets the best of it. He obtains more out of it as regards both exercise and enjoyment, for the good player gets worried over the slightest mistake, whereas the poor player makes too many mistakes to worry about them.”

But what of the available evidence? Do golfers really live longer happier lives?

A landmark Scandinavian study² of over 300,000 golfers estimated they lived a remarkable 5 years longer than those who do not play golf, regardless of age, gender, or socio-economic status. Evidence also suggests that golf has a role in preventing and treating many chronic diseases, and has positive mental health effects.

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Golf & Walking

A 2006 study³ found a mean of 11,948 steps are taken per 18-hole round, exceeding the commonly recommended daily amount of steps for health.  With technological advances coming into the game, calls have been made to reduce the use and availability of motorised carts to transport players around the course. Cart use reduces walking distance from an average 8+km to 3.86km per round.⁴

Another study⁵ found that walking 18-holes was the equivalent of moderate-high intensity exercise for the elderly, moderate for the middle-aged, and low for the young. A 1998 study⁶ determined that golf should be classified as a form of aerobic training for middle-aged people.

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An Inclusive Sport

Golf suits participants of all ages, with people of mixed ability, sex, and age able to play together.  The Walker Research Group concludes: “golf is well suited for the development of social capital” with designated social spaces and natural breaks providing unparalleled socialisation opportunities and thus potential psychosocial benefit to participants of all ages⁷.

A 2006 study⁸ engaged children in non-traditional sports such as golf during extra-curricular time and found that such an intervention coupled with lifestyle activities such as walking, significantly increased physical activity in primary school aged children. This also slowed unhealthy weight gain.

In regards to gender inclusion, the recent news of women winning the right to R&A membership at St. Andrews after a 260-year wait, exhibits a positive step by the game’s administrators to quash these barriers and see more women playing and staying in the game9.

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Was David Lloyd George right?

There is clear evidence that regular physical activity, in the form of golf, increases life expectancy.  And although Lloyd George was correct that the benefits can be accrued by players of all abilities, research suggests that low handicap players tend to play more often and have the lowest mortality rates.  Encouraging friends, family, and patients to take part in regular physical activity is time well invested, and golf can offer significant benefit to Joe and Jane Public and Rory McIlroy alike.  Just don’t hire a buggy!

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References

  1. Wilson B. Golf industry facing challenges: BBC News Online: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-12731099, 2011:Online News Article.
  2. Farahmand B, Broman G, de Faire U, Vagero D, Ahlbom A. Golf: a game of life and death–reduced mortality in Swedish golf players. Scand J Med Sci Sports 2009;19(3):419-24.
  3. Kobriger, S. L., Smith, J., Hollman, J. H., & Smith, A. M. (2006). The contribution of golf to daily physical activity recommendations: How many steps does it take to complete a round of golf? May Clinic Proceedings, 81(8), 1041-1043
  4. Sell, T. C, Abt, J. P., Lephart, S, M. (2008) Physical activity-related benefits of walking during golf. Science and Gold V: Proceedings of the World Scientific Congress of Golf. 128-132
  5. Broman, G., Johnsson, L., & kaijser, L. (2004) Golf: a high intensity interval activity for elderly men. Aging – Clinical and Experimental Research, 16(5), 375-381
  6. Magnussen, G. (1998). Science and golf III: Proceedings of the 1998 World Scientific Congress of Golf. (eds.) Martin R. Farrally, Alastair J. Cochran. Human Kinetics
  7. Walker Research Group. The Health & Wellness Benefits of Golf Participation & Involvement. Review of Academic Literature. Golf 20/20 & World Golf Foundation. (2011)
  8. Taylor, R., Mculey, K., Williams, S., Barbezat, W., Nielsen, G., & Mann, J. (2006). Reducing weight gain in children through enhancing physical activity and nutrition: The APPLE project. International Journal of Pediatric Obesity, 1(3), 146-152
  9. Women win right to R&A membership after 260-year wait as other clubs are told to remove barriers. The Telegraph. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/golf/11107633/Women-win-right-to-RandA-membership-after-260-year-wait-as-other-clubs-are-told-to-remove-barriers.html Online news article.
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More to Win Than the Ryder Cup: The Health Benefits of Golf
Golf Development Missions – Madagascar http://www.pgae.com/news/golf-development-missions-madagascar/ Thu, 05 May 2016 17:43:14 +0000 PGA of Great Britain & Ireland http://www.pgae.com/?p=10906 Forget the penguins - it could be the golfers of Madagascar after input from PGA of Great Britain & Ireland Master Professional, David Johnson.]]>
Location: Madagascar, Africa
PGA Professional: David Johnson (GB&I)

PGA Pro Helps Madagascar Get to Grips With Golf

By Nat Sylvester

Forget the penguins – it could be the golfers of Madagascar after input from PGA of Great Britain & Ireland Master Professional, David Johnson.

The island off the south east coast of Africa, which served as the focus for a hit Hollywood kids’ movie, has benefited from the golfing expertise and knowledge of Johnson.

The Lavender Park Golf Centre pro is one of the PGAs of Europe’s 22-man golf development team playing a key role in implementing the R&A’s Working for Golf programme.

In 2014 PGA pros have been active in Chile, India, Bulgaria and Brazil with Johnson charged with lending his expertise to Madagascar’s fledgling golfing scene.

Johnson, who previously helped Botswana develop its golf education programme, spent 10 days on the island with a wide ranging brief all with the aim of raising standards of golf.

It included coaching its junior team, training its trainers, guidance on the strategic development of the Federation of Madagascar Golf, giving advice on the quality of golf courses on the island and reviewing the handicap system.

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“Madagascar is very sparse as far as golf is concerned with only about five courses,” explained Johnson.

“The clubs have a lot of talented caddies and I was helping to teach them how to coach but also being mindful that they were not becoming golf professionals.

“My brief was to assess golf on the island, to teach the caddies and juniors and players at a couple of clubs because they don’t have a single golf pro on the island.

“I was also trying to achieve some unity between the golf clubs and the Federation so it will become a body that reports to The R&A,” he added.

“While I was there I also met the British ambassador to see how golf can be brought to the island. While Madagascar has only about five courses and it’s five times the size of Britain so there is a lot of potential.”

Since his visit Johnson has regularly kept in contact with the country and hopes to go back as part of the PGAs of Europe development team.

He clearly made an impact too with a golf academy for underprivileged children renamed the David Johnson Golf Academy.

“That tickled me, it was lovely when you think those kids don’t have two halfpennies to rub together.

“Madagascar is crying out for golf development and we looked at several sites for potential golf courses.

“I think it offers a fantastic tourist opportunity and also a great opportunity for local people where the average wage is only £1 a day.”

Also helping the R&A deliver its Working for Golf programme in 2014 have been Steven Orr (Cranfield Golf Academy) and Jonathan Mannie (Swiss Golf Association) in India, Craig Thomas (The Golf Academy) in Brazil, Kevin Flynn (Tournerbury Golf Centre) in Chile and Tony Bennett in Bulgaria.

Bennett, who is the PGAs of Europe’s Director of Education and Membership, added: “These PGA Professionals have been selected to make these visits by the PGAs of Europe and are part of our Golf Development Team, which is a group of 22 professionals from ten different countries.”

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Golf Development Missions – Madagascar
Ten Facts About Golf in Celebration of Earth Day 2016 http://www.pgae.com/news/ten-facts-about-golf-in-celebration-of-earth-day-2016/ Sun, 17 Apr 2016 13:46:42 +0000 PGAs of Europe http://www.pgae.com/?p=15155 As part of the celebration of “Earth Day” on April 22, here are 10 facts about golf that help promote the sport and the environment]]>

Golf is a sport for a lifetime that delivers more than 2 million jobs and $69 billion in annual economic impact while contributing $3.9 billion per year for philanthropic causes — more than all other sports combined.

A professionally managed golf course also can demonstrate environmental stewardship and provide a place to meet exercise and fitness goals. Just walking 18 holes, for example, can burn more than 2,000 calories.

As part of the celebration of “Earth Day” on April 22, here are 10 facts about golf that help promote the sport and the environment:

  1. Golf courses are professionally managed landscapes where environmental stewardship is important – from using water and nutrients more efficiently to implementing improved methods of erosion control.
  2. In general, the golf industry is striving to deliver firm playing surfaces that are better for everyone and improve the bottom line. More than two-thirds of golf courses report that they are keeping turfgrass drier than in the past.
  3. The golf industry is continually investing in research to identify drought-tolerant grasses and improve water conservation through best management practices.
  4. Golf courses continue to adopt water conservation practices, reduce irrigated acreage and use innovative technologies, such as targeted irrigation systems and ground moisture measurement tools, along with weather monitoring systems, providing the science to water only when and where it is needed.
  5. Irrigated areas on golf courses have decreased by more than 14,000 acres between 2006 and 2014.

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  1. Use of recycled water has increased by 32.7 percent from 2006 to 2014. Recycled water now counts for 25 percent of all water used on golf courses.
  2. Golf courses routinely have recycling programs to reduce and reuse.
  3. More than 90 percent of a typical golf course is comprised of turfgrass, a water body or other natural areas that prevent erosion, filter runoff, and provide for cooler temperatures when compared to urban settings.
  4. More than 70 percent of acreage on an 18-hole golf course is considered green space that provides benefits to the ecosystem, reduces maintenance and supports wildlife habitat, including protected species.
  5. Through governmental affairs involvement, professional education and public information, the golf industry continues to promote environmental responsibility as a widespread industry practice.

Find out more about Earth Day at www.earthday.org and tweet using #EarthDay2016. For more information form the World Golf Foundation visit www.worldgolffoundation.org.

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Ten Facts About Golf in Celebration of Earth Day 2016
The Language of Sustainability http://www.pgae.com/ask/the-language-of-sustainability/ Sat, 02 Apr 2016 16:33:10 +0000 Golf Environment Organization http://www.pgae.com/?p=12100 The ability to articulate the true social and environmental impact of your development has never been more important...]]>

What people understand as ‘sustainable’ is evolving all the time. Our collective knowledge is ever broader and deeper. Individuals and governments are better equipped to identify the real from the perceived. The overall bar of expectation is rising and the ability to articulate the true social and environmental impact of your development has never been more important.

Governments, environmental and community-based organisations around the world are using new tools and concepts to try to determine how much and what forms of economic and leisure development can be deemed ‘sustainable’ in locations. It’s recognised as important for society to try to understand at what point development moves from being beneficial to damaging.

Of course, none of this is an exact science, nor is it rigorously and consistently applied around the world, and much depends on the type of development being considered.

However, the following methodologies are being applied to help stakeholders gain a better understanding of when development will start to exceed the aesthetic, biological, energy, water, social and cultural capacity of our surroundings.

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Cumulative Impacts

Cumulative impacts result when the effects of one action are added to or interact with other effects.

For example, several golf developments in close proximity may give rise to significant landscape, ecological or resource effects in combination, when none would have by itself. Analysis of cumulative impacts is important in identifying the carrying capacity of a bio-diverse area under threat by humans, known as a hotspot, to accommodate multiple golf developments. Such analysis can also help reveal appropriate thresholds for sustainable development.

On the other hand, clusters of golf facilities that have been well planned, designed and constructed can help to preserve the landscape and ecosystem fabric of larger units of land, and bring them under conservation-based management for decades and centuries to follow. Golf can be associated positively with increasing the ecosystem and resource-carrying capacity of a region.

Carrying Capacity

Broadly, carrying capacity refers to the amount of an activity or resource use that a system can support sustainably, without showing economic, social and environmental deterioration and decline in the longer term.

This fundamental concept underpins modern-day approaches to sustainable development. Strategic planning now seeks to define the capacity of areas to accommodate various levels of development of different types, and when accumulated.

Carrying capacity studies can be beneficial to developers in anticipating and addressing competition for limited resources and customers. Such studies can also help in phasing development. Energy and water capacities might increase through the use of new technologies, increasing the amount of permitted development.

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Thresholds

By better understanding the carrying capacity for golf development for a defined area or region, taking into account its other land and resource use needs, it is possible to
begin to identify thresholds for sustainable development.

Although not usually precise, given the complexity and subjectivity involved, this concept is increasingly tied to strategic land-use planning decisions.

For example, when governments release parcels of land for macro-scale tourism development, they often set a pre-determined ratio for the number of golf courses and density of residential units for that area. Doing so creates a planning framework that protects sensitive and vulnerable ecological and cultural zones. This approach also ensures that soft landscapes will be present amongst harder elements of development.

Threshold-guided plans for development are often of great interest to the local community, which may wish to see economic development and the creation of employment and wealth, but which also wants to protect other valued assets, such as access to green space, protection of historical sites and biodiversity hotspots.

A Common Language for Discourse

In many places where concern about the sustainability of golf development exists, the concepts of cumulative impact, carrying capacity, and threshold level can be used to help understand whether the concerns are legitimate or unfounded. Often people simply want to know that thoughtful consideration of environmental issues has guided the types and overall levels of economic and tourism development.

Within reason, the application of these concepts can help everyone generate an understanding of issues that need to be considered when seeking to evaluate sustainable levels of golf development.

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OnCourse® Programme

The benefits of sustainability for golf businesses are beyond question, the hold-up has been simply where and how to start. In part, because of misconceptions that sustainability must first require study, policy writing and a vast amount of planning.  That doesn’t need to be the case. Today there are a few practical tools available that can take the guesswork and hassle out of sustainability.

A good place to dive in is OnCourse®, a free web-based programme that guides you step-by-step, asking the right questions about the key sustainability hotspots around your course, clubhouse, and maintenance facility. OnCourse® will help you tell the story of the good work you’re already doing and enable you to improve; saving time and money, enhancing the natural qualities of your course, and boosting your reputation. Rather than spending a lot of time in discussions, drafting a detailed policy or developing a sustainability plan, your focus can be on actions that bring immediate benefit.

OnCourse® serves as your policy and plan – a statement of your commitment, and the path to accessing all the benefits sustainability can bring. And, if you would like to, you can use your OnCourse® report to qualify you for GEO Certified®, golf’s international ecolabel and a great platform for communications and publicity.

The programme is free, widely endorsed and only takes a few minutes to sign up at www.golfenvironment.org/oncourse.

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The Language of Sustainability