Golf in Flanders, a joint initiative between the Flemish Golf Federation (VVG) and VisitFlanders (Flemish Tourist Board), has partnered with the European Golf & Travel Media Association to promote the destination to the international golf & travel media.
Although renowned for its history and culture, Flanders is an unknown quantity for golf but with over 50 golf courses to choose from, a round of golf is never far away from a quality meal and a great beer. Culturally vibrant cities like Antwerp, Ghent and Bruges all have their fair share of golf courses dotted around in many cases medieval historic city centres. Flanders is easily accessible via sea, air and road and with one of the most developed road networks in Europe, every golf course is within easy reach. Traditional architects like Seymour Dunn, Hawtree, Colt, Tom Simpson and Mackenzie Ross followed by Paul Rolin, Belgium’s most famous course architect, have created several masterpieces in Royal Antwerp, Royal Zoute, Royal Latem, Royal Belgian Golf Club, Rinkven G&CC, Cleydael GC and many others.
The Flemish Golf Federation (VVG) is relatively new (2001) and the result of the devolution of Belgium where Flanders was granted autonomy and therefore sports structures were obliged to follow the same devolved structure. The VVG governs the sport of golf in Flanders and is as such obliged to work on behalf of the golf courses in the region.
One of their most recent initiatives to assist golf courses is Golf in Flanders which is the brand used to promote the region as a golf destination. For that purpose, the Flemish Tourist Board (VisitFlanders) have provided some funding to assist the VVG to set up a platform to reach golfers from all over Europe to entice them to consider Flanders as an alternative and exciting destination to come and play golf.
As a result and to provide international exposure to Golf in Flanders, the VVG has now formed a partnership with the EGTMA, the European Golf & Travel Media Association, to assist them in providing media coverage for Golf in Flanders through its members and contacts
Jo Maes, EGTMA President: ‘The EGTMA has since 2006 been at the forefront of golf media promotion. Over the past 10 years, we’ve provided invaluable promotion to various regions all over Europe. We started in Turkey and Belek when there were only half of the golf courses available to the public now. We also promoted the North & West Coast Links in Ireland for many years now. Both destinations went on to win significant awards at the IAGTO travel awards and became hot spots for golf. As I am from Flanders myself, I more than welcome the opportunity to be able to promote my home region to golfers worldwide. I’ve always been convinced of the potential Flanders has as a golf destination and this year, we will make sure golfers are aware of what Flanders has to offer for golf.’
Marc Verneirt, Secretary General VVG adds: ‘We in the VVG have a duty to our courses to promote golf in all its aspects and promote participation in its various forms. We are doing significant work locally but what we were missing was a platform to showcase our golf courses to the world and get tourists not only to experience the history, gastronomy and culture of our region but also our golf courses. With Golf in Flanders we now have that platform and we are delighted to be able to work with the EGTMA and provide golfers with an enticing proposition through the media channels the EGTMA offers.’
During the course of 2017, there will be various promotions about Golf in Flanders on the various media channels available with also a media event showcasing Flanders as a golf destination. All this will lead up to a participation at this year’s IGTM in Cannes where Golf in Flanders will be present with some enticing opportunities for travel companies in Europe to send some of their customers to Flanders.
golfinflanders.com is the initiative, brand and website used to provide golfers with information about the golf offering in the region