I write this from Augusta, where the anticipation of the season’s first Major seems even greater than usual. How will Tiger fare after his self-imposed break from competition? Will Rory complete the “Slam” at just 25? Will Bubba continue to dominate Augusta or will we see another youngster in outstanding form, Jordan Spieth, complete his first Major victory? The storylines are captivating and we look forward to seeing it unfold.
I am very fortunate to be able to represent the PGAs of Europe, along with Board Member and Chief Executive of the PGA of Holland, Frank Kirsten, and join officials from PGAs, Federations, Tours and other golfing bodies from around the world for a week that provides a great deal of opportunity to speak with golfing colleagues on the varying issues affecting the game and initiatives to assist its development.
And this issue of IGPN focuses on exactly that…Golf Development.
Golf Development is at the very heart of the PGAs of Europe as we focus on advancing PGAs, advancing PGA Professionals and as a result advancing the enjoyment and playing standards of golfers and introducing many new potential golfers.
Last month I was pleased to be a part of GolfBIC (The Golf Business and Industry Convention) at the Forest of Arden in the UK not far from our Belfry Headquarters. The yearly gathering of British industry representatives was as insightful as ever and I enjoyed the back and forth with my fellow panel members during our discussions on key issues for the industry. Once again growing the game was at the forefront of discussions.
It is in just about every golf organisation’s interests to get more golfers playing more often and we are uniquely positioned to be able to share good practice across Europe and beyond through the network of some 21,000 PGA Professionals who make up the membership of our 36 Member Associations.
As the sole member of the Ryder Cup European Development Trust as well as being service providers to The R&A in their Working for Golf Programme, along with many other activities, the Association, its PGAs and the PGA Professionals they represent should be viewed as experts at the forefront of the development of our sport carrying out much of the development work for both amateur and professional bodies.
The Ryder Cup and Open Championship are just two great examples of this and they are joined on weekly basis by other initiatives and investment across the globe. Just this week it is great to see the addition of the ‘Drive, Chip & Putt Championship’ to the start of the Masters. Operated by the Masters Tournament, the PGA of America and the USGA, it is another fantastic example of organisations working together to promote the sport and create initiatives that continue to stimulate its growth.
Enjoy the issue and we would be delighted to hear of any golf development initiatives that you are involved in. Please contact Aston Ward on firstname.lastname@example.org with these and we will feature the best initiatives over the coming issues.