The former executive director of the European Tour, Ken Schofield CBE, has been appointed chairman of the Golf Show Group Ltd, the company behind the London Golf Show and the NEC Golf Show.
Schofield spent 30 years at the head of the European Tour and took it from a 17-event calendar with a prize fund of £430,000 in 1975 to a 48-event £71m schedule second only to the PGA Tour.
He is also a past president of the PGAs of Europe and of the Golf Foundation.
Schofield said: “I have worked increasingly closely with the team at the Golf Show Group for some years now and believe fervently that the sport benefits hugely from the exposure properly organised golf shows allow.
“The fact that this is probably the only time manufacturers can collectively meet the people who actually use their products day in and day out should never be overlooked.
“I’m delighted to be able to take up this position and look forward to a long and fruitful association, not just personally with the team at the Golf Show Group but also with the golf industry as a whole in my new position.
“We are currently discussing a number of projects and believe the industry and the golfing public will respond positively to what we have planned.”
The former chairman of the company, Colin Brunton, remains on the board and will take on an operational role.
He said: “All of us at the Golf Show Group are delighted that a man of Ken’s stature in golf has joined our board as chairman. His experience will be invaluable as we look to continue developing golf shows and strengthening ties with all aspects of the golf industry. In fact we have already benefitted from Ken’s advice and input, based on his complete knowledge of all aspects of golf.”
Schofield’s first task was to confirm that the 2009 NEC Golf Show will take place at the National Exhibition Centre from November 27-29.
Born and raised in Perthshire, Schofield began his working life in the banking profession, and at the age of 23 became Scotland’s youngest bank manager.
Then in 1975, beginning with a schedule of 17 order of merit events and a total prize fund of £427,917, he succeeded John Jacobs as the first executive director with the task of developing the tour.
He was also instrumental in the development and success of the Ryder Cup since it became a Europe v USA event helping to make it one of the world’s most prestigious sporting occasions.
In 1993, he was awarded the Order of Merit from the Royal Spanish Golf Federation, followed by the Commander of the British Empire award for services to golf and the Christer Lindberg Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Growth of Golf by the PGA of Europe in 1996.
In 2002 he won the Links Golfing Society Award and has been awarded both the Association of Golf Writers’ Award for Outstanding Services to Golf and the Sports Journalists’ Association award for Lifetime Achievement in Sport off the field of play.
Since retiring from the European Tour, Schofield has continued to have an impact on the game. He succeeded Sir Michael Bonallack as president of the Golf Foundation – a national charity committed to making golf accessible to young people – joining a distinguished list of presidents of the Golf Foundation, including former Ryder Cup captains Bernard Gallacher and Sir Henry Cotton.