Woburn Golf & Country Club’s was the venue for the British Golf Industry Association’s most popular and most successful Annual Gala Dinner and Charity Golf Day event to date, which took place on 23 and 24 April, raising vital funds for the BGIA’s ‘Grow Golf’ Initiative.
Over 120 BGIA members and their industry executive guests attended the Gala Dinner on the Monday evening, kindly supported by Golf Monthly. Attendees were entertained by a very interesting speech by special guest PGA Chairman Sandy Jones, who brought the Ryder Cup which added a nice touch to the evening, which then finished with lively after dinner games and a charity auction raising over £2,235 for the BGIA ‘Grow Golf’ Fund.
Grow Golf Chairman Bob Smith presented a cheque for £40,000 to The Golf Foundation at the dinner on behalf of the Grow Golf Trustees which was the last of a three year pledge committed to awarding a total of £120,000 to support the excellent work of the Golf Foundation in developing the grassroots game.
Earlier that afternoon, the BGIA held its Annual General Meeting where members heard an update from the Chairman Doug Poole, who highlighted the strength of the ever-growing membership base, along with providing an overview of the Association’s current activities, events, and benefits and services provision – all undertaken on behalf of members.
The AGM then saw the Chairman (Doug Poole) and Vice Chairman (Nigel Freemantle) re-elected for another term, alongside six of the current BGIA Executive Committee, with the final vacant place being given to the nominated Conor Dillon (Golfpride)
After the AGM, the BGIA played host to its first ‘Growing Golf’ Conference which provided a unique opportunity to bring together key bodies in UK and European Golf to discuss how they were working together to combat the decline in the game and the various initiatives bringing new players into and old players back to, the game.
Ian Randell, (PGAE), Rob Maxfield (PGA), John Petrie (EGU), Roger Moreland (EGP), Colin Mayes (UKGCOA), and Mike Round (Golf Foundation) all kindly provided informative presentations to a large audience of BGIA members and industry executives. A lively discussion and debate then ensued after which the industry concluded that improved communication and an emphasis on working together was key to an effective and combined approach.
The following day, 26 golf teams enjoyed the challenges of Woburn’s renowned Duchess Course, among the best inland tracks in all of Europe. A 9.15am shotgun start set off the teams and luckily as the rain stayed away, there were some excellent scores on the day
Sean Jenner of Nike Golf, (Playing for Today’s Golfer 3rd team) was clearly the player of the day, excelling himself by earning the best individual score (37 points) and finishing closest to the 16th hole and winning the ‘Nearest the Pin’ prize kindly donated by Golf Business Development magazine.
Daniel Gathercole of Arvato Entertainment Europe hit a fantastic drive down the 14th to win the ‘Longest Drive’ prize, kindly donated by the BGIA’s parent company; the Federation of Sports and Play Associations (FSPA).
The final scores were extremely tight with the Net60Six and Arvato team, and John Bushell’s SMS INC team coming in with 79 and 80 points respectively. However, the honours went to Today’s Golfer’s 3rd team captained by TMAG’s Nick Robbie coming in with a total of 83 points.
A good time was had by all and, more importantly, significant funds were raised to support the BGIA’s Grow Golf Fund which aims to stimulate golf participation across all age groups, geographic regions and social backgrounds in the UK with a view to become a major contributor to the future growth of the game.
The BGIA wishes to thank all attendees and sponsors for their support of the two day event, and Woburn GC for use of their fantastic venue for what is now a most enjoyable and popular occasion in the golf industry calendar.
GBN.com would like to apologise that this story was omitted from previous editions