Up to 180 Delegates joined this year’s 6th European Golf Business Conference in Marbella Spain. Over 25 countries were represented spanning for every corner of the globe and from a variety of industry disciplines.
Day 1 opened with the 3rd edition of the EGCOA Multi-Course Owners Meeting. Over 20 ofEurope’s largest and most prestigious multi course organisations gathered at the influential meeting to discuss and collaborate solutions to run more profitable and stable businesses. The meeting was followed by the main conference opening cocktail reception.
On Day 2 delegates arose to the sunshine of Marbella and a full day conference programme. The event was opened by EGCOA president Marcel Welling who gave delegates an overview of the current state of the industry inEurope. The stage was now set for leading sports and business development coach Jamie Edwards of theUK. Jamie’s unique style and inspirational presentation was a big hit with conference delegates and set the tone for a successful and motivational day. Mike Tinkey Deputy CEO of the NGCOA followed Jamie with an equally informative and creative approach to capturing the opportunities that now exist in the golfing industry. Mike explored the impact of the recession on theUSgolfing industry outlining the ramifications of the current economic situation and highlighted solutions to help cope with the declining revenues generated from golf business.
Leading social media consultant Peter Wilkinson untangled the ever-growing ball of social media terminology and simplified the concept and direct benefits of its use to conference delegates. His presentation enthused guests and opened their eyes to possibilities of social media. Carlos Roca President of the PGA of Spain explored initiatives to grow the game of golf. His presentation underlined the key markets that should be targeted to ensure the game continues to grow into the future.
Eric Wilborts of Blue Green related to conference delegates on a personal level, the basic fundamentals in the progression of his success in the golf and fitness markets inEurope. His presentation entitled Titanic Golf emphasized the need to be proactive in such a competitive environment such as the golfing industry. The day programme was closed by an inspiring and interactive presentation by Mike Leemhuis the CEO of the Congressional Country Club in theUnited States. Mike explored the concept of leadership and gave attendees an insight into what truly makes a great leader. Delegates were engaged with interactivity sessions throughout the presentation.
Following the presentations was an unforgettable Gala Dinner event which also hosted the EGCOA & SGCOA awards. Jaime Ortiz Patiño (founder of Valderamma Golf Club) received the 2011 EGCOA award for his outstanding contribution to grow the growth of golf throughout Europe most notably in Spain. Jaime’s acceptance speech was applauded with a standing ovation from conference delegates.
Day 3 was opened by Kelli Jerome of the Golf Environment Organisation. She focused on providing the facts and bottom line behind the benefits of introducing sustainable practices on golf courses. Kelli’s tactical approach to this ever growing concept clarified for delegates the importance it has in the future of golf course development. Her key message was that embracing sustainability makes good business sense, and becoming more and more expected in today’s society.
KPMG’S Golf Business Advisory Service presented the most recent research undertaken into the performance of Golf Courses in the EMA. The statistical findings along with recommendations to counter act the declining numbers gave delegates a great overview of what needs to be done to increase golf business.
The Conference Programme was closed by two panel discussions the first being led by Antonio Garrido SGCOA President. He was joined on stage by Felipe Ortiz Patino (Valderamma Golf Club), Ramon Davila and Ricardo Arranz. The panel discussion focused on golf and tourism inSpainand highlighted the importance of the model they have developed in attracting overseas visitors.
The final panel discussion with “the big guns” was led by EGCOA directorLodewijk Klootwijk. Stephen Lewis (Crown Golf),Stephane Coste (Open Golf Club), HenkJande Boer (Burggolf), Joakim Sabel ( Svenska Toptee) and Alexander Freiherr von Spoercken (Club Haus AG) were all in attendance to share their expertise and opinions on the hot conference topics presented over the three days.
EGCOA Conference Golf Tournament
The conference was closed by the Golf Day live tournament which was hosted at Cabopino Golf Club. The tournament was a big success with over 65 Players competing interactively with the new Golf Day Live scoring application.
European Golf Course Owners Association www.egcoa.eu