The starring feature of this year’s PGAs of Europe Annual Congress Gala Awards Dinner was the recognition of industry professionals in the development of the game across the continent, including acknowledgement of Ryder Cup legend, Tony Jacklin, and his efforts in the game.
The Lifetime Achievement Award this year went to Tony Jacklin CBE for his efforts and success in driving the game forward, and arguably providing the catalyst for the development of European golf as it is today.
Jacklin spoke passionately about his Ryder Cup experiences, as well as his great friend Severiano Ballesteros, who was posthumously awarded the same award, collected by Seve’s brother, Vicente Ballesteros, at last year’s emotional Congress Gala Dinner.
The awards also included the presentation of the ‘President’s Grow the Game Award’ to Fellow of the PGA of GB&I and advanced PGA Professional, Peter Ball, whose efforts in developing the game throughout his early career in the Midlands and latterly in Sheffield, were worthy of reward.
The John Jacobs Coach of the Year award was given to Dominique Larretche for his embodiment of the same standards and skills that made John Jacobs a world-renowned coach, including Larretche’s involvement in a teaching, coaching and training programme that is used across 30 different clubs and 50 golf professionals.
The Special Recognition Award this year went to long-time friend of the association, Leif Ohlsson, for his incredible dedication and work in promoting the values of the PGAs of Europe. Having served as a Director on the PGAs of Europe Board and Education Committee, Ohlsson has been involved and aided golf in Sweden and across Europe for over 20 years.
The 5 Star Professional Award winner, nominated by their peers for embodying the many and varied elements that go into making a PGA Professional, was John Barnett. Barnett has excelled in playing, leadership, education and coaching, and administration of the game, and in his 36th year of being the professional at Royal St Davids, it was fitting that he be recognised.
An award that is very close to the hearts of the PGAs of Europe is the Christer Lindberg Bowl, which recognises people who have made a significant contribution to the game in the name of the first PGAs of Europe Chairman, Christer Lindberg.
Previous winners include the Solheim family, George O’Grady, and Annika Sorrenstam, and joining this illustrious list – the first company to do so – is Glenmuir.
Their continued service to professional golf, as well as in the amateur game, across Europe has been noted multiple times this year, including at 40,000 feet by the Ryder Cup Captain, Jose Maria Olazabal, and the PGAs of Europe brought them back to terra firma in Portugal with the awarding of this treasured prize to Managing Director of Glenmuir, Colin Mee.
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.
PGAs of Europewww.pgae.com
Image PGAE Tony Jacklin
Tony Jacklin CBE speaks whilst receiving his Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s Annual Congress Gala Awards Dinner