Lee Westwood officially opened the fourth London Golf Show on Friday and hailed it a ‘great success’. The 35-year-old admitted it’s the first golf show he has ever been to and was amazed at the scale of the show.
He spent the day touring the show, signing autographs, giving interviews and taking part in some of the show’s most popular features such as the floating green and the 100ft putt – where he made a charity donation for SPARKS.
Speaking at the Your Place Abroad stand, Westwood paid tribute to the show, even though he admitted to not performing quite up to scratch on the golf challenges. He said, “The show has been great. From a golfer’s point of view it is terrific because they get to see all the equipment under one roof and actually give it a try. I’ve enjoyed having a go at the 100ft putt and the floating green although my attempt on the putting green was abysmal.”
Westwood wasn’t the only famous face to praise the show, ex-Arsenal and England defender Kenny Sansom was among the other celebrity visitors to eulogise about the show:
“I’ve looked round and I think it’s great – if you’re a golf lover there’s no better place to be,” he said. “You can get free lessons here; they’ll tell you little things you can iron out. I was here last year and I got a lovely belt which has got a pitchmark repairer and ball marker on it. There’s a lot here. If you’re a golfer then this is the place to come.”
Westwood attended the show as an ambassador of Your Place Abroad who had a very successful show. Chris Davies, the company’s chief executive said, “We had a local businessman from London come down to the show and he’s putting deposits down on 12 properties in the Bahamas worth $2m each. That’s the only confirmed sales but we’ve also had about 1,000 entrants to our competition and just over 40 solid property enquiries so it’s been a very good show.
“We’ve already been speaking about coming to Birmingham and hopefully we’ll be bringing some more celebrities there. The quality of visitors has been excellent for our industry and obviously the numbers have been fantastic.”
And Davies’ thoughts were echoed by other exhibitors. Ben Davis, Cleveland’s marketing manager for the UK and northern Europe, said, “The London Golf Show team continues to put on first-class shows that deliver exactly what we need. It’s a great opportunity for us to showcase our product and get clubs in people’s hands. As always it’s been a great success and I’m looking forward to the next one.”
YourGolfTravel.com’s managing director, Andrew Harding, was emphatic in his praise for the show and believes it has become integral to the golf industry. He said, “Because we’re an internet business we don’t get to meet our clients very often face to face and get a bit of interaction and feedback, so that’s been really, really invaluable to us as a business. As we don’t have a shop where people can walk in and meet us it gives us a unique experience really.
“There’s this show and the NEC show and that’s it – two opportunities a year we get to do it. We’ve had tons of interest and hundreds of leads that potentially will turn in to business.
“Sponsoring the 100ft putt has been brilliant. We’ll be speaking to the organisers trying to negotiate the 100ft putt sponsorship for the NEC in Birmingham. We’re definitely going to Birmingham, 100 per cent, in fact 110 per cent…
“There’s been some really good feedback from visitors this year as well. People have enjoyed it, there’s a lot of things to do; a lot of manufacturers which is important; and the London Golf Show has become part of the golfing calendar.
“Just like tour events the London Golf Show has got to be what people do every year. It’s important for the golf industry that that happens.”
The Golf Show Group’s chairman, Colin Brunton, reflected happily upon the three-day event. He said, “Once again I was able to look back with great satisfaction as we closed the doors on another successful London Golf Show.
“We are again indebted our loyal exhibitors and client base, without whom there would be no success story to report, in 2008 or any other year.
“I was delighted to hear so many people telling me what a great show they’d had and certainly we seem to have the formula right.”
London Golf Show www.londongolfshow.com