The 2015 edition of the Annual Congress was hailed the best ever as representatives from the PGAs of Europe’s 37 Member Countries gathered at Gloria Hotels & Resorts in Turkey in December for the annual meeting whilst also celebrating the Association’s 25th Anniversary.
The Annual Congress is the chance for PGA representatives, along with leaders from Federations and other significant golfing bodies from across the continent, to meet and discuss the state of play within their respective territories, as well as learn and share ideas with each other alongside fantastic speakers from not only the world of golf but wider industries as well.
This year the Gloria Serenity Hotel at Gloria Hotels & Resorts in Turkey’s Belek region played host to the event giving delegates a taste of luxury during their stay that included four days of presentations, workshops and networking interspersed with golf at Gloria Golf Club’s New Course.
The Congress week got off on the right foot with in-depth one-to-one sessions with many of the Member PGAs’ representatives looking at elements of their associations such as education, membership and communications.
The second day then began the group sessions with working groups looking at how success and good practice can be shared amongst the members, followed closely by a great example of how collaboration between different amateur and professional bodies in a country can be so beneficial with insights from Director of Golf and Business Development at the Confederation of Golf in Ireland, John Roche. The PGA of Sweden then also shared their work and efforts in the area of using the PGA Professional as a resource for golf in their country.
Day three started with a look at the International Golf Coaching Framework (IGCF) developed by the PGA World Alliance with PGA Executive Director – Education, Global Development for the PGA of Great Britain & Ireland, Dr. Kyle Phillpots.
A hands-on session then followed with Alan McColm from MBR Solutions who looked at helping develop practical leadership skills to help build a sustainable business and operation, giving delegates the chance to develop tangible actions to take back to their teams in their native countries.
The final day consisted of updates on the PGA Junior League, the Association’s recognition of professional standards with Chairman of the Education Committee, Jonathan Mannie, and Director of Education & Membership, Tony Bennett, as well as a look at the upcoming inclusion of golf at the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil with IGF Executive Director, Antony Scanlon.
The Congress sessions closed with anniversary-focused sessions – the first of which took a look back at the first 25 years of the Association with key individuals from across its history: Current Chairman, Sandy Jones, former Secretary, Lawrie Thornton, past Honorary President, Donato di Ponziano, and former Education Committee Chairman, Leif Ohlsson.
Closing out the final section was a look at where the Association is currently, and most importantly what might lie in store for the PGAs of Europe and its members in the future. Chief Executive, Ian Randell, and Communications Manager, Aston Ward, explored how the Association operates in 2015 and then how this could change over the next 10, 15, and 25 years as the world and its inhabitants change rapidly, and how national PGAs should be aware and ready to act in response to, and ahead of, these changes.
As is tradition the Congress closed with the coming together of delegates and the ITC competitors at the Annual Gala Awards Dinner supported by Rolex where awards were handed to six highly deserving winners including Lifetime Achievement Award winner, Bernhard Langer, and 5 Star Professional Award winner, Paul Lawrie.
For more information and news visit the Annual Congress Hub Page (http://eur.pe/2015AnnualCongress), follow @PGAsofEurope on Twitter and search the hashtag ‘#AnnualCongress’ or like the PGAs of Europe Facebook Page.
The 2015 Annual Congress and Gala Awards Dinner are supported by Rolex and the Ryder Cup European Development Trust and hosted by Gloria Hotels & Resorts – for more information on the event partners visit http://eur.pe/2015AnnualCongress.