TGI Golf Business Conference returns triumphantly

Seamus Rotherick
By Seamus Rotherick February 11, 2022 13:14

Following a lockdown-induced lay off in 2021, the TGI Golf Business Conference returned to Trump Turnberry to give partners the perfect boost ahead of the new season.

The event, which was attended by partners of golf’s leading retail services group and their guests from across the UK and Ireland, was staged over two days across February 8-9.

With seminars from leading figures within their fields including the Jazzy Golfer and social media guru Gary Ennis, partners came from across the UK and Ireland to enhance their knowledge and boost their skills.

The Jazzy Golfer

Fresh from launching the UK Women’s Golf Community, the Jazzy Golfer spent time talking to TGI Golf Partners about women’s golf and how pro shops can better market to women.

Gary Ennis

adidas Golf marketing manager Chris Hedderman stepped up as a late replacement for former Olympic swimmer Chris Cook, who unfortunately tested positive for Covid just 24 hours before his planned keynote speech.

Chris Hedderman

In an informative session, Hedderman helped partners by discussing current consumer trends, future trends and how to market and buy for customers.

Partners were also able to enhance their skills with seminars from The Green Club, XPOS chairman Phil Barnard, the TGI Golf Retail consultants and managing director Eddie Reid with his ever-popular views on the golf retail landscape.

The event also brought together many of golf’s leading suppliers who took part in a ‘Brand Showcase’ where they were able to spend time talking to partners about their products and services.

Adele McLean, TGI Golf Group Services director, who organises the event, said: “It has been amazing to have so many partners together again after a long and tough two years for everyone involved in the golf industry.

“I’d like to thank all our partners and partner suppliers for coming along and making this such a special event. And a particularly big thank you to all of our speakers for taking the time out to give our partners the perfect start to the season.”

James Erskine, Dumfries & County Golf Club, said: “It is so humbling to listen and learn from the industry’s leading professionals, inspiring us to improve our businesses.”

Jack Frances, PGA professional at North Middlesex Golf Club, added: “It’s been an amazing couple of days, it’s a great experience learning from the best in the business and implementing new ideas. Many thanks to the TGI family and I look forward to coming back next year.”

Tiverton head professional Alistair Welsher, said: “It’s been a super few days and I’ve got lots of new ideas to take back to Tiverton with me.”

At the awards ceremony, Stephen Hamill from Lisburn Golf Club collected the Partner of the Year award for 2021.

Partner of the Year: Stephen Hamill (Lisburn GC) with TGI chairman Michael Brooks (Pumpherston GC)

The Irishman, known affectionately as ‘The Iceman’ among his peers, was saluted in front of a packed ballroom as the awards returned following a pandemic-enforced hiatus last year.

Leading figures from the golf industry attended the event where both PGA professionals and suppliers are recognised for their achievements over the course of the year.

On collecting his award, Stephen said: “The standard of pro shops and partners among the group is exceptionally high – I am so humbled to win this award.

“A big thank you to TGI Golf as they’re always there to support us as partners. They’ve always been there to help our businesses. Over the last few years they’ve supported me both in the business and outside of it, which has really helped.

“Some of the best memories we’ve had in golf have been courtesy of TGI Golf, they have created a family feel among the Partners and I appreciate everything that family has done for me.”

Kevan Whitson from Royal County Down Golf Club received a standing ovation as he collected the Ian Johnston Lifetime Achievement Award, introduced in honour of the former MD and chairman who passed away late last year. The award recognises those partners who have excelled and shown great longevity in their profession.

IBJ Lifetime Achievement Award: Kevan Whitson (Royal County Down GC)

Rob Macey of Norwood Park claimed the Pro Shop of the Year award, while Ashley Pheasant and the team at Dundonald Links won the Marquee Pro Shop of the Year.

David Fleming of Prestwick Golf Club picked up the Most Improved Business of the Year award, while Surbiton’s Peter Roberts was New Partner of the Year.

There was also a special Partners’ Partner of the Year award given to Robert Nicol of Broker One Insurance who has gone above and beyond to assistant partners with insurance over the course of the pandemic.

The supplier awards, which are decided upon by the TGI Golf partners through the group’s annual supplier survey, saw PING collect a sixth Partner Supplier of the Year award, while also winning the Product of the Year gong for its G425 range.

TaylorMade, who have been out of the winners’ circle since 2013 picked up the Hardware Supplier of the Year award, while FootJoy retained its Apparel Supplier of the Year crown.

Lisa Lovatt, PING general manager, said: “To win the very prestigious award of TGI Partner Supplier of the Year is a huge honour for us and will mean a great deal to everyone at Ping Europe for the incredible effort they have put in during a difficult period. We are very humbled that the TGI partners voted for us but also extremely grateful for the support they have all shown us over the past two years and beyond. We are very focused and working incredibly hard on further improving our service levels and hope this will help us earn the continued support of everyone in the TGI Golf Partnership.”

Supplier of the Year: Mike Bradley (Hollinwell GC) with Lisa Lovatt, PING

Eddie Reid, TGI Golf managing director, said: “It has been an especially difficult 18 months for everyone involved in the golf industry with the uncertainty caused by the start of the pandemic, followed by the boom when we returned.

“Congratulations to all of our winners, this year’s awards could have been given to every single partner and partner supplier for the amazing work they’ve done, so to walk off the stage with an award this year is extra special.”


Seamus Rotherick
By Seamus Rotherick February 11, 2022 13:14
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