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PGAs of Europe Annual Congress – Day One4 min read

Posted on: 21st Nov 2012

This year’s Annual Congress, got underway in fantastic style featuring an array of subject matter and speakers befitting of the varied interests and skills that make up the professional golf industry, culminating in the Welcome Cocktail Reception.

Day One of the Congress began with a welcome message from Chief Executive of the PGAs of Europe, Ian Randell, following a highlights package from this year’s Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Club in Chicago:

It’s been a pretty memorable year for European sport and European golf, and all of us in this room have got a lot to be proud of in the performance of the European Team with so many countries represented, and it is part of what the PGAs of Europe is all about – in the same way the Ryder Cup does – it brings all of Europe together, and some of international colleagues as well.

The first speaker of the day was Managing Director of the PGA of Sweden, Mikael Sorling, whose insights and expertise from his administrative experiences, as well as from his time as Vice Chairman of the PGAs of Europe, were put to use in explaining the development of a Strategic Plan.

Following Sorling was branding expert and Founder and President of Catalyst Branding, David Martin. Martin provided great detail about the PGA of Great Britain & Ireland’s 9 Principles that go into making up the PGA brand, as well as the background of his work with the PGA and the Ryder Cup brands.

Workshops and breakout sessions lead by the previous two speakers, as well as by Dr. Kyle Philpotts, Director of Education & Career Development of the PGA of GB&I, specifically looking at how to develop Strategic Plans, using the questions and work created by Martin, Sorling, and Philpotts.

Following lunch, the delegates had the pleasure of listening to Ken Schofield, current PGAs of Europe board member and former Chief Executive of the European Tour, about his experiences at attending an astounding 19 Ryder Cups. Schofield’s incredible recollection skills for each of the tournaments was evident as he gave great detail on each and every match and the way in which they shaped the look of European golf as the tournament evolved to what it has become today.

Next on stage was Nikola Smoljenovic, the General Secretary of the PGA of Croatia, giving his account of the Initial Professional Education (IPE) programme that took place recently with nine professionals at Golf & Country Club Zagreb, ensuring the attending PGA countries got an insight into the programme and it’s offering directly from those that have experienced it.

The penultimate grouping of presenters for the day was lead by Director of Education for the PGAs of Europe, Tony Bennett, alongside Ben Gittus from SkillsActive, who explained the meaning and relevance of their work within the recently completed Golf Stand Project (European Occupational Standards for Golf) – a project with the main objective to produce a range of indispensable European occupational standards aiming at defining the competences, skills and knowledge needed for those working in the sector as golf professionals.

Bennett and Gittus illustrated the project’s use by using Dr. Kyle Philpotts (PGA of GB&I), Martin Hasenbein (PGA of Germany), Rodrigo Ulrich (Golf & Operations Director, Boavista Golf), and David Shepherd (Director of golf) and James Beesley (Golf Professional) from Monte Rei Golf Club, as examples in how the project standards are of use to them and can be applied directly to their own specific area of work as an employer, employee, education provider, or governing body.

The last speakers of the day were Morne Botha, Managing Director of Corporate Golf Magazine and member of the PGA of South Africa, to discuss the exciting new project for a digital publication from the PGAs of Europe, alongside Ivano Ficalbi, Chief Executive of the PGA of South Africa.

The evening cocktail welcome reception was an opportunity for all the delegates to meet and discuss the first day’s events – Day Two will see the delegates visit Boavista Golf Club for the ‘President’s Challenge Golf Day’, and then return to the Congress rooms on Thursday for the next group of speakers.


For updates, results and news from the Annual Congress 2012, visit the Annual Congress Hub Page, follow @PGAsofEurope on Twitter, or like the PGAs of Europe Facebook Page.

The 2012 Congress is supported by Glenmuir, Associaçäo Turismo do Algarve, Hotel Vila Galé Lagos, Onyria Palmares Beach and Golf Resort, and the European Ryder Cup Development Trust – For more information on our partners, visit http://bit.ly/SkAMWD.