Under the leadership of 45-year-old Dutchman Cees Chevalier, International Pairs Europe will be responsible for issuing licences to individual countries and the overall management of the competition across the continent – from France and the Netherlands across to Turkey, Russia and the Baltic states.
With 27 European countries currently a part of International Pairs, which, in turn, encompasses 6,200 clubs and approximately four million golfers, Chevalier is well aware of the importance of his new role and relishing the task in front of him.
“It is great to be in a position in which you can combine business and hobby and I’m very excited about what lies ahead,” he said. “My role will enable me to bring more European countries into the competition. These countries will have a shared identity in exposure, tournament structure and rules. More cooperation between the various European licensees will hopefully increase the accessibility of the tournament and its reputation.
“My primary objective is to establish a professionally-managed franchise organisation in Europe for International Pairs in which the individual licensees can organise events in the widest sense of the word within the European group.”
Chevalier has been involved in International Pairs, which is run in association with VisitScotland, for the last two years after being awarded the Benelux licence that covers Holland, Belgium and Luxembourg.
But the former data expert, keen to take his involvement in the competition further, approached founder and Pairs’ managing director Ross Honey with his idea about become the master licence holder for Europe and now has his sights set on attracting more countries to the tournament.
Chevalier, who lives in Maarn, Holland, added, “For the tournament to expand into Europe, we soon found out that it required more then a good idea and a sales argument. To convince new potential licensees in other countries, another structure was required.
“Europe represents a massive percentage of the market. It is complicated at the same time, because of the huge variety of cultures and differences in market developments. But if these developments are managed carefully, and we takes things one step at a time, I expect the tournament to become one of the leading amateur golf tournaments in the world.”
The appointment of a European master licence holder is the latest in a series of restructuring steps taken by International Pairs to ensure the popularity of the competition continues to increase worldwide.
International Pairs www.internationalpairs.com