Following the first holding of the UK Golf Show at Whittlebury Park Golf & Country Club on 10th – 13th April Kevin Blair from the organisers has issued the following statement.
“The main aim for 2008 was to host a public golfing experience outside, for the first time in Europe. It was clear that there would be unique challenges; logistically and perhaps with the weather.
“Whittlebury Park was the ideal venue for the launch of this new format and most who visited were quick to realise the reason for its 2007 Clubhouse of the year award. It is a stunning golf facility.
“For 2008 the focus was on what existing players could learn to improve their game and how new players could be introduced to golf. The course was open, allowing visitors to play a full 18 holes of golf at a much reduced rate.
“The first year saw a total of 1,739 visitors which if volume matters, doesn’t feel a great deal. If quality is more important then how long each visitor stayed speaks volumes and we were recording 6-7 hours onsite experience.
“Instead of picking up the usual freebies from exhibitors, visitors were picking up free one to one instruction from some of the professionals on hand including the World Golf Teaching Federation who so kindly volunteered their services. Tony Westwood & Gail Smirthwick picked up the mantle for the seminars and bunker lessons with trick shot master David Edwards wowing visitors with his unique talents.
“The competitions ran in a similar vein to other shows but instead of computers telling you where your ball landed, visitors were fortunate enough to be able to watch the real flight of the ball. A special mention however must be made to Sports Coach for their help when the weather turned nasty on the Friday. Just as a tornado was being photographed a few miles down the road, visitors rushed inside for a hot drink and a shot on the sim, without them we would have had no ‘Nearest the Pin’ competition that day.
“Proving the formula works, The UK Golf Show is currently in talks with Whittlebury Park who are keen to host the show again next year. Dates for a three day show are currently being considered. Discussion are also being held regarding a tighter format, lower admission price and the inclusion of a nine hole tournament for visitors.
“More seminars and conferences would greatly improve the concept and the facilities are available to cater for both. With year one at a close, the show looks forward to the backing and support of the golf industry to help make this experiential golf show a major event in the public golf show calendar.”
UK Golf Show www.theukgolfshow.co.uk