Opinion – Nigel Freemantle, chairman of the British Golf Industry Association (BGIA

    Nigel Freemantle, chairman of the British Golf Industry Association (BGIA), is looking for optimism and action from the trade in 2014

    At the time of writing, Christmas is nearly upon us and by the time you receive the January edition of GOLF RETAILING, the jingle bells and tinsel will be a distant memory, with only the expanded waistline and depleted bank balance to remind us it ever happened! [And hopefully those depleted bank balances belong to consumers, and not golf’s retailers… Ed]

    January is meant to be the most depressing of months, but it’s also the start of a brand new year and if David Cameron’s suggestion is right, 2014 will be the year when the economy recovers and businesses start to regain strength.

    I would like to take this opportunity, on behalf of the BGIA and myself, to thank all of our customers for the support that has been given over the past year. The BGIA members have been assessed to be the crème de la crème of suppliers and if you have any doubt who will support and service your needs, then look no further than the logo on members’ websites and correspondence.

    Merry in the month of May

    National Golf Month (NGM) is starting to gain momentum, so please join the campaign and work with your membership committees to help eradicate the ‘old school’ way of thinking about the game of golf and golf club culture. We need to attract new members and fresh blood to help this glorious game survive and grow, and we have to welcome them and their modern ways of thinking and living with open arms. In particular we need to encourage children and women to give golf a try, and if they want to wear whacky designer outfits and use their iphones, then let them! To find out more about how you can help, visit:


    The American way
    Ian Poulter poses with a fan in the IJP Design booth at the 60th PGA Merchandise Show
    Ian Poulter poses with a fan in the IJP Design booth at the 60th PGA Merchandise Show

    If you are off to Orlando later this month for the 2014 PGA Merchandise Show (and if not, why not?) then I shall hopefully see you there. I will be with the BGIA on stand number 2253. There will be a lounge area, sponsored by UKTI, where you can relax, have a coffee, meet with clients and also see new products and innovations from the eight companies exhibiting in the UK pavilion. I can’t emphasise enough how important this annual event is. If you only make one show a year, then the PGA Merchandise Show should be it.

    Eastern promise

    And just whilst I am on the subject of trade shows, the BGIA is working with the UKTI on the China Golf show, to be held in Beijing from March 14-16, 2014. There is funding available from the UKTI up to £2,500 per exhibitor, so it’s definitely worth considering if you are looking to expand your business in the Far East. For more details, contact Ciara Morgan, BGIA Marketing & Membership Manager, on 02476 414 999.

    I wish everyone in the golf trade, and in particular the readers of this fantastic publication, a very happy and prosperous New Year.