Neil Bell to drive Direct Golf UK’s retail sales growth plans; Rain Bird Europe – new appointment; Club Car restructures as a response to emerging & growing markets; Loch Lomond Golf Club appoints General Manager; Inauguration of Asian Golf Course Owners Association; Golfaid raises £9,300 for charity
Neil Bell to drive Direct Golf UK’s retail sales growth plans
Direct Golf UK has announced the appointment of Neil Bell to the new position of Retail Sales Director responsible for managing and increasing all sales within the companies growing national network of retail outlets. Neil, a fully qualified PGA professional, joined Direct Golf UK in 1998 and immediately made his mark turning the company’s Bury store into a sales success story before overseeing further store openings in Walsall and Doncaster.
Direct Golf UK’s Managing Director John Andrew commented, “Our network of stores is an integral part of consolidating and growing Direct Golf UK’s position as Europe’s leading multi channel golf retailer. We open our 10th store later this year at Sandown Park and my target is to expand this to 20 in the next 3 years. Neil has a proven track record demonstrating that he has what it takes to ensure our retail stores perform at the highest level in what is a highly competitive marketplace.”
Rain Bird Europe – new appointment
Irrigation specialist Rain Bird shows its continuing commitment to the UK and Ireland golf market by appointing Kneale Diamond as Golf District Manager. Kneale previously worked as Course Manager for the Marriott Hanbury Manor Hotel and Country Club.
“Besides strengthening our sales force Kneale will also provide valuable training for greenkeepers in the use of Rain Bird central control software,” says Victor Jamieson, Regional Manager Northern Europe. “His in-depth knowledge of greenkeeping and hands-on experience of managing a comprehensive Rain Bird irrigation system at Hanbury Manor will be of great benefit in his new role.”
Rain Bird Europe www.rainbird.fr
Club Car restructures as a response to emerging & growing markets
A series of new appointments and internal reorganisation is intended to enhance the company’s market leading position within Europe and Africa.
Conor O’Neill, formerly of Textron Golf & Turf, has been appointed New Business Development Manager for Africa & Central Europe. During his four years at Textron Conor was Export Manager and brings with him valuable knowledge of the International Golf and Grounds Care Industries. Conor’s territory includes Austria, Belgium, Germany, Mauritius, Netherlands, Luxembourg, The Seychelles, Slovenia and South Africa.
Another new position at Club Car is Utility Vehicle Product Manager for Europe, Africa & The Middle East. Steen Scherff, previously Business Development Manager for Northern Europe and Africa, has accepted this new post and will work alongside other Business Development Managers to ensure that all systems are in place to effectively reach new customer sectors and emerging markets
Finally, John Mooney has been promoted to Business Development Manager for Southern Europe. As part of the appointment John has been seconded to Spain to set up a Club Car office in the thriving golf haven of Marbella. John’s move comes as a response to the sustained rapid growth of the golf market in Spain. With offices now in the UK, Ireland, Denmark and Spain combined with its extensive distribution network, Club Car is able to offer the largest customer support footprint within the industry. www.clubcar.com
Loch Lomond Golf Club appoints General Manager
Stephen Coupe, formerly Managing Director of The Royal Scotsman train, has been appointed General Manager of Loch Lomond Golf Club, near Glasgow.Stephen will be responsible for day-to-day operations at the private club, where facilities include 41 suites and an 18th century clubhouse, Rossdhu House.
Considered by many to be one of the most exclusive clubs in the world, Loch Lomond has members from over 30 countries who can enjoy golf on the Club’s two championship courses. There are also a variety of traditional sporting pursuits including fishing, driven pheasant shooting and boating. Future plans at the Club include a luxurious spa, which is to be built in the historic walled garden on the estate, and a third golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus. www.lochlomond.com
Inauguration of Asian Golf Course Owners Association
Dr. Chanchai Ruayrungruang and Mr. Masahiro Kimura have been elected as the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the AGCOA respectively. In a subsequent meeting of the executive Board, Mr Sia Leng Yuen was elected as the Secretary General of the AGCOA
Dr. Chanchai Ruayrungruang is the Chairman of Pine Valley Golf Resort & Country Club, China, which successfully hosted Jonnie Walker Classic last April and is ranked as number one of China’s most influential golf courses.
Mr. Masahiro Kimura has been the Director of Tomei Country Club, Japan since 1995. Concurrently, he is also serving as Executive Director of Golf Digest Japan and a member of the Japan Golf Industry Association.
Mr. Sia Leng Yuen is Chairman and CEO of Blue Canyon Country Club, Phuket, Thailand. Through his leadership and passion, Blue Canyon enjoys an International reputation as being one of Asia’s best courses. Attestation of the fact can be found in many awards that Blue Canyon has received over the years.
The AGCOA got off to an auspicious launch with over 90 golf course owners gathered together to witness this historic event. Also in attendance were Mr. Jay Karen, Director of Membership of National Golf Course Owners Association (NGCOA), Mr. Lodewijk Klootwijk, Executive Director of European Golf Course Owners Association (EGCOA), Dr. John Reynolds, Vice President of Global Business Development of Club Car, Inc., Mr. Scott Ferrell, President of Gary Player Design, Mr. Joseph E. Lenihan, President of Pacific Golf Management, and Mr. O’Brien McGarey, President of Dye Designs Group. www.agcoa.org
Golfaid raises £9,300 for charity
The European Tour Wives Association (ETWA), an organisation comprised of the wives and partners of members of The European Tour, has announced that £9300 was raised through the generosity of the golfing public who bought the GOLFAID charity wristbands sold during the recent BMW Championship at Wentworth Club.
Pernilla Björn, whose idea it was to launch GOLFAID, said, “The support and promotion of these charity wristbands by the players have made this successful beyond our dreams. Their backing in wearing these bands at the tournament and beyond means we have raised so much money for the Teenage Cancer Trust, which my husband, Thomas, chose as the beneficiary of this fundraising.
“Some of the top players have also offered to pay for more bands to be produced. They will then nominate their chosen charity and 100% of the proceeds will go directly to those in need once again. This is something we feel very strongly about as these bands are sold purely for the gain of the charity and there is no ‘middle man’.
“The wives and partners have worked hard and put in time and effort to make this happen and the players have given us their full support in promoting our cause to be ‘Golfers Giving Back’.”
GOLFAID wristbands, in the colours of the European flag, are now available on The European Tour website www.europeantour.com and at selected tournaments throughout Europe