Woburn Golf & Country Club was the venue for the British Golf Industry Association’s AGM, Annual Dinner and Charity Golf Day on 12th and 13th April 2009, raising funds for the Association’s ‘Grow Golf’ Initiative.
Members attending the AGM heard an impressive presentation from The Golf Foundation Chief Executive Mike Round and Chairman Charles Harrison who provided facts and figures on the remarkable progress made by the charity in developing junior golf over the past 5 years.
There was also an election which saw longstanding Chairman David Wells, Motocaddy, stand down after a sterling four years in post, to be replaced by Doug Poole, Golfsmith Europe, who proceeded to outline the value of membership of an industry association in ongoing uncertain economic times.
Three new members were also elected and welcomed onto the BGIA Executive Committee: Angus Moir (Nike Golf), Doug Wright (Wilson) and Paul Jepson (Yonex).
Almost 100 BGIA members and their guests attended the BGIA Annual Gala Dinner on the Monday evening, kindly supported by ‘Golf Monthly’, with attendees entertained by guest speaker and ex honorary physician to H.M The Queen, Dr Jim Greig OBE. Three rounds of Charity Heads and Tails were enjoyed by all, with over £1,500 raised for the Grow Golf Fund.
On Tuesday, 20 golf teams enjoyed the tight fairways of Woburn’s renowned Dukes Course, among the best inland tracks in all of Europe. Bright sunshine welcomed the teams at the 9.15am shotgun start and there were some excellent scores on the day.
Nick McInally, guest of Bauer Media, excelled himself playing from a high tee to green at the 134-yard, par 3 3rd hole finishing closest to the hole and winning the ‘Nearest the Pin’ prize donated by ‘Golf Business Development magazine’, whilst Dan Walker, guest of Taylormade adidas Golf, hit an enormous drive down the 15th to win the Britvic sponsored ‘Longest Drive’.
Golfers also participated in the ‘Charity Challenge’ on the tricky 15th hole where the Federations of Sports and Play Associations (FSPA) offered a prize to those players who managed to land their ball on the green. A total of 23 golfers were up to the 173-yard Par 3 ‘challenge’ with another £375 being netted for the charity.
Live scoring from eGolfScore added yet another dimension to the day with teams able to monitor their own scores and the overall leaderboard throughout their round bringing out their competitive spirit.
The final scores were extremely tight with Steve Prentice’s Bauer Media team and the combined Sports Marketing Surveys and Nippon Shaft team captained by John Bushell coming in with 85 and 87 points respectively. However, the honours went to a team from Golf Monthly captained by Dan Bates coming in with a total of 89 points. Teams were presented with their prizes courtesy of PGA Worldwide Golf Exhibitions, sponsors of the event, with Nick Dugdale-Moore attending to award the prizes.
The excellent highest individual score was tied at the end and after comparing back 18s judges had to go down to the back 9 to determine the winner as Roger Wolfe of Yumax playing with the team from ‘Golf Monthly’.
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.