President of the France 2018 Ryder Cup Committee, Pascal Grizot, has been announced as the incoming Honorary President of the PGAs of Europe, succeeding former Chief Executive of the European Tour, George O’Grady CBE. Grizot, who is also Vice President of the Fédération Française de Golf, will take up the role at the Association’s Annual General Meeting in November having just seen through his French Ryder Cup dream that was over 10 years in the making.
“I was delighted to receive the offer of becoming the Honorary President of the PGAs of Europe,” said Grizot. “I hope my work with the Ryder Cup and Fédération Française de Golf, along with the experience and contacts I have gained throughout my career in business, will prove valuable to the Association as it advances its work for the benefit of golf internationally.
“I would like to congratulate George on his time as President, and I look forward to working with the Board, staff and Members of the PGAs of Europe and playing my part in progressing the Association over the coming years.”
PGAs of Europe Chief Executive, Ian Randell, said, “Pascal’s passion, determination and commitment were at the very core of the success of the 2018 Ryder Cup in Paris. The event exceeded the very high expectations and it will go down in history as the most successful Ryder Cup on many counts.
“We could not be more delighted that Pascal has accepted this role with our Association, and the respect that he has both within our sport and across wider industry will, I am sure, add so much to the PGAs of Europe. I, along with our Board and staff, look forward to working even more closely with Pascal during this exciting chapter in the development of the Association.”
As President of the French Ryder Committee, Grizot was at the forefront from the very start of the bidding process through to the successful conclusion when it was announced the Ryder Cup Matches would return to the continent for only the second time after the 1997 matches Valderrama in Spain.
This bid stemmed from his understanding of the perceptions of golf in France and the need to change them. Grizot adopted a bold strategy to build public enthusiasm for the sport by utilising the unique nature of the Ryder Cup to expose golf to a wide scale audience, and, having secured funding from the public and private sectors, as well as from Federation’s own members, was able to beat stiff competition from five other countries.
As well as the hosting of the Matches themselves, the bid contained various developmental and legacy-focused activities – such as building 100 ‘petites structures’ or ‘urban courses’ closer to the population and the ‘Mon Carnet de Golf’ schools programme that introduces golf and the Ryder Cup to French schoolchildren – which have generated 17,000 new players and further educated and engaged the country.
Grizot’s background has always involved his two passions in life – business and golf. For 20 years he worked in setting up and buying major retail companies, followed by the founding and investment in various different industries across France both in and out of sport.
His strong golfing background comes from a successful playing career as an amateur with many individual titles to his name, as well as being the captain of France’s men’s teams for a number of years, presiding over the country’s maiden Eisenhower Trophy win in 2010 and their 2011 European Amateur Team Championship victory.
As Honorary President of the PGAs of Europe, Grizot will follow in the footsteps of many influential figures including the aforementioned O’Grady and his fellow former European Tour Executive Directors, Ken Schofield CBE and John Jacobs, as well as fellow Frenchmen, Jean-Etienne Lafitte and Pierre Bechmann, and other influential golf figures such as Donato Di Ponziano, Sir Michael Bonallack OBE, Jaime Ortiz-Patiño, Manuel Agrellos, Heinz Fehring and Christer Lindberg.
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