Golf is the game that gives back

In May, the BGIA’s National Golf Month (NGM) initiative, which underpins one of our main aims ‘to support and champion growth and participation in the sport of golf’ took place. NGM Project Director Doug Poole garnered the support of the APPGG (All-Party Parliamentary Group for Golf) to assist with the launch in April and they offered the House of Commons as a venue. This really helped raise the profile of the event and ensured a big splash was made across the golfing press and social media. It also meant the launch was well supported with Sports Minister, Rt Hon David Evennett MP and a host of other MP’s, including Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn MP attending.

In light of this support and with the intention of strengthening the links we have formed through our mutual aims, I am delighted to announce that the BGIA have become an associate member of the APPGG. We now look forward to working closely with the group as they seek to support golf at all levels. The BGIA works hard to improve participation in the sport, but challenges remain, and I am confident that if we work together with groups such as the APPGG, we will be able to help tackle these and ensure a bright future for golf.

Nigel Freemantle

Nigel Freemantle

As soon as I put my pen down from writing this month’s column, I will be heading off to The BMW PGA 2016 Championship at Wentworth. I remember well from last year that the Celebrity Pro-Am was an amazing event appealing to thousands of a much younger audience who flocked to see their heroes. One Direction’s Niall Horan will be in attendance again; hopefully he can work his magic again and encourage the younger audience to see that golf can be a sport for the young, trendy, fashion conscious of today, and can carry as many health and fitness benefits as hitting the gym!
Last weekend I was lucky enough to attend the Mike Tindall Celebrity Golf Classic in support of Rugby for Heroes.

Following the phenomenal success of his last three celebrity golf classic events, Mike Tindall MBE hosted his fourth annual star studded event, which saw a host of celebrities such as Ronan Keating, Brian McFadden, Vernon Kay and Rory Bremner, battling it out to raise as much money as possible for the Rugby For Heroes and Matt Hampson Foundation. Last year’s celebrity golf classic event raised over £30,000 for Rugby For Heroes and £10,000 for The Matt Hampson Foundation, and I am sure once the final figures are in, this year’s event will have raised even more much need funds for these two very worthy charities.

As I said in a column some months ago, we sometimes forget what huge amounts of money is raised through golf events such as this, for so many worthwhile Charities. Tens of thousands were raised over the weekend from the MT Classic, and if we times this by the thousands of events held each year, then the amount will be in the millions. I am sure we each have a charity that is close to our own hearts and do what we can to support them. Golf is a sport which I feel lends so much of its time and resources to organising and hosting these events and their good causes, which it often receives very little recognition for. It is something I believe the industry should feel very proud of and not be afraid to shout about.

The BGIA are offering a free Consumer Law and Consumer Rights seminar for all their members. It will be held at the Reading office of the international law firm Penningtons Manches LLP, on 30th June 2016. It’s in everyone’s interest to get to grips with consumer rights and reflect them in their own advertising, sales and returns processes. For further information please contact Ciara by email at ciara@sportsandplay.com

I might be a little biased but the BGIA really are the association that just keeps giving, as I am proud to say we will jointly host The Open Industry lunch at Royal Troon on Wednesday 13th July. This has become one of the highlights of the golfing calendar and is typically attended by around 150 senior players in the golf industry. All BGIA member companies receive one free invite to the lunch, so in order not to miss out on such a prestigious event, please respond to your invite as soon as possible.

To coincide with our 30 Years Anniversary and having conducted an anonymous survey of the membership, the current BGIA Executive Board decided that the BGIA needed to re-access their member benefits in order to offer a more wide ranging service to our members. With this in mind we approached existing associate members Destination Golf, who arrange travel packages for many of golf’s leading brands and associations to events such as the PGA Merchandise show, US Masters and for their general business travel. Destination Golf are now offering discounts on flights and accommodation to all members. For more information please contact Richard Axelsen of Destination Golf at richard@destinationgolf.co.uk

Finally, I wanted to comment on the article in this month’s issue entitled ‘Coaching Masterclass’. I remember all those years ago when I was a budding golfer trying to grasp the technicalities of the game, and now, as an instructor when I am teaching people to ski, that it is often so difficult for the ‘pupil’ to actually visualise what is expected of them; trying to see and feel what is being taught isn’t always easy when you are standing there with just a 7 iron!

There are a whole host of products available these days to help the teaching Pro assist their pupil; with smart phones, video links and swing analysis software, many of which are free to download. The pro can show his pupil when maybe their swing is off and how to correct it in a simple and effective way, by providing an accurate snapshot of their full swing and weight shift. I certainly know when I am teaching that my ‘tool box’ of aids makes such a difference to the learning ability of the student and the outcome Even if your pupil is not a natural visionary learner, I do believe that when trying to get to grips with a new sport, visual props definitely help.

With all this on top of the numerous tangible teaching aids that are available then there really is no excuse for a Pro not to make their lessons fun, easy to grasp and successful.