Former Captain of The R&A, Pierre Bechmann, has been named Honorary President-Elect of the PGAs of Europe and will take up the reins from current Honorary President, Donato Di Ponziano, at the Association’s AGM in December.
Bechmann will bring with him a wealth of experience having played a key part in the administration of the game across a number of years and various countries, most notably as Captain of The R&A in 2012/13 as well as currently holding positions on the Executive Committee of the French Golf Federation and a member of the Championship Committee of the European Golf Association (EGA).
“I am deeply honoured to have been invited to become the Honorary President of the PGAs of Europe,” said Bechmann. “Having been brought up in golf by people, such as the late Jean-Louis Dupont, who rated the professional golfers so highly, I look forward to serving the PGAs of Europe.
“I have many friends in the professional ranks whom I have known for decades as players or teachers. The professionals have the most crucial task of educating golfers in the fullest sense of the word: above and beyond the art of playing golf, by teaching etiquette and respect for other golfers, by showing how to move at a good pace on the golf course, and also by convincing all golfers of the relevance of our great game’s history and traditions. As players and teachers, the professionals are the most natural and effective promoters and protectors of the game of golf.”
Born in Neuilly-sur-Seine, Paris in 1957, Bechmann has been influential throughout the game from local club level where he has been President of his home club, Golf de Chantilly, since 2010, all the way up to national and international levels, including time served on The R&A’s General Committee, Championship and Rules of Golf Committees, as well as The R&A Coaching Panel. Pierre is also a former captain of The Royal St George’s Golf Club and plays to a handicap of 9.
“We are very excited that Pierre has accepted our invitation to become Honorary President of the PGAs of Europe for 2015 and 2016,” said Ian Randell, PGAs of Europe Chief Executive.
“Pierre’s achievements in the game, and his on-going involvement and strong relationships across the world of golf, will no doubt prove of great benefit in continuing to promote the important role that the PGAs of Europe, our Member PGAs and PGA Professionals play across the continent and beyond.
“I am sure Pierre will continue the great work that Donato and our previous Honorary Presidents have done over the years, and will also have a special part to play in the prevalence of French golf as we look ahead to the 2018 Ryder Cup at Le Golf National in Paris and the continuing legacy work taking place around that.”
Bechmann follows in the footsteps of some of the sport’s most instrumental figures such as World Golf Hall of Fame member and former Chief Executive of the European Tour, Ken Schofield CBE, golf education pioneer and former head of the PGA of France, Jean-Etienne Lafitte, his direct predecessor former Ryder Cup Policy Board Member and influential Italian golf figure, Donato Di Ponziano, as well as John Jacobs OBE, Sir Michael Bonallack OBE, Jaime Ortiz-Patiño, Manuel Agrellos, Heinz Fehring and Christer Lindberg.