Sandy Jones has stepped down as chairman of the Association of National PGAs, and will be succeeded by PGA of Holland Chief Executive Frank Kirsten.
After 25 years at the helm of the PGAs of Europe, Jones passes on the chairmanship at an exciting time for the Association, where he had agreed a new vision with the Board of Directors that includes greater collaboration and the exploration of digital opportunities with the membership, which was shared with delegates at the recent Annual Congress.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as chairman of the PGAs of Europe across the past few decades,” said Jones. “To have been there from the beginning, and then from 1994 to have been chairman, and play my part in the success and growth of the Association has been a wonderful privilege.
“Being present as the PGAs of Europe has become an established and influential body within world golf really has been an honour, and is testament to all of the efforts of everyone involved with PGAs across the Association’s membership. I look forward to watching the PGAs of Europe and its Member Country PGAs grow and grow, and wish all of my PGA organisation colleagues the very best for the future.”
PGAs of Europe Chief Executive, Ian Randell, said. “On behalf of all the Member Countries of the PGAs of Europe we wish to thank Sandy for all his time and effort in working with the PGAs of Europe – it really has been a pleasure working with him. No individual has had a bigger influence on the Association than Sandy, and his dedication to the success of the PGAs of Europe has been invaluable to us all.”
The Chairmanship of the Association has been passed to existing PGAs of Europe Board Director, and Chief Executive of the PGA of Holland, Frank Kirsten. He said: “I am very honoured to be following in the footsteps of two fantastic and inspiring leaders in the form of Sandy and Christer Lindberg. The Association continues to advance forward, and our work in uniting our Member Country PGAs more than ever is certainly better for having had these two gentleman as chairmen. I hope I can mirror their passion, efforts, and vigour with the future direction of the Association.”
Kirsten has been a PGAs of Europe Director since 2005, having initially held the position of chairman of the PGA of Holland from 1999 to 2010, and the role of Chief Executive of the PGA of Holland since 2010, and is a PGA of Holland Member Professional himself.
Jones stepped into the role as Chairman after the passing of the first Chairman of the Association, Christer Lindberg, in 1994. “It was an honour to have been asked to take over from Christer, and he has always been missed since his passing,” Jones added. “I had no idea at the time that I would be in this esteemed role for so long, but seeing the development of the Association and its Member Country PGAs over a number of years has been continually eye-opening and has fundamentally impacted my work with various organisations.”
Jones became Chief Executive of the PGA of Great Britain & Ireland in December 1991 and played a significant role in the development of the Association, with initiatives that saw the creation of what is now The PGA National Training Academy, and the continued evolution of the Professional Education programmes and qualifications that PGA Professionals can now undertake in Great Britain and Ireland.
Through his role with the PGAs of Europe his work has spread around the world with initiatives that have had a significant impact on golf across the globe. He has also played an incredibly significant role in the Ryder Cup, being instrumental in bringing the PGAs of Europe into the structure of Ryder Cup Europe, but also developing the matches themselves to become one of the largest sporting events in the world, and helping to secure Ryder Cups at the PGAs of Europe’s home, The Belfry, and at Gleneagles in Scotland.