41 organisations made the trip to Rome to engage in what was a very inspiring Conference, focusing on further development, and Association stories of challenges and engagement.
The venue for the first day was the 2022 venue for the Ryder Cup, Marco Simone Golf and Country Club. We were welcomed by their staff lead by Riccardo Tirotti, Golf and Business Manager, on a day of clear skies and sunshine. The terrace was the perfect place to view the first stage of construction, this followed what was an interesting introduction presented by Riccardo and also Dave Sampson the leading Architect of the 2022 Ryder Cup Golf Course.
The first day was to focus on challenges around the globe, and also a Session on Pioneering European Turf Grass Research to Enhance Responsible Golf Course Management. This was done to build up to an afternoon Session Golf Course 2030, an R&A initiative focusing on the challenges that golf faces during the next decade and more. The speakers did a great job in preparing our members and patrons for the group work later that day, which provided results which will go a long way in producing a roadmap for the next stages of Golf Course 2030 for Europe.
Day two took on a very different journey for the day, focusing on modern technology, FEGGA Education Experiences, along with some very inspiring Association Presentations. These really went a very long way with the mission of FEGGA in sharing to benefit all. In particular Damian McLaverty did a fantastic job in sharing the recent journey of GCSAI. Many people made comments reflecting on what Damian had shared, and how it will help their own association in dealing and managing through their own current challenges.
This second day concluded that despite the current challenges, there is much to be positive with. We have great people working within our industry, and we now collectively have some great tools to work with in managing our associations and delivering great opportunities to our respected memberships.
FEGGA Chairman, Paul Worster commented “Italy was a great venue for this event. The weather was kind and the delegates received a very warm welcome from the Italian Golf Federation and Greenkeepers Association, which was mirrored by the Marco Simone Golf Club, and in particular Ricardo Tirotti, Business Development Manager.” In opening the Conference, Paul said “it doesn’t matter if you are here representing ten thousand greenkeepers, or just ten greenkeepers; your voice will be heard, and you are encouraged to take a full part”.
The formal proceedings of our AGM saw the election of Koert Donkers, of the Netherlands onto the board of FEGGA. Koert is a past FEGGA Scholarship Student of Gleneagles and has been a long-time supporter of FEGGA and will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to our existing board.
FEGGA want to thank their Patron Members, and Partners, their contribution to the Conference was outstanding and the engagement they showed at the Golf Course 2030 group work enabled FEGGA to have a really balanced discussion, enabling the good messages to come out of this important group work. It’s vital that the Patrons engage in Golf Course 2030, they are vital to its future success, and have already shown this through their engagement in the pilot project that has focused on United Kingdom and Rep of Ireland this past twelve months.
Finally, FEGGA want to thank their Conference Sponsors, their support is considerable, allowing us to bring together all these organisations. A very big thank you to John Deere, The R&A, and Toro.
In looking ahead to 2020, FEGGA will be bringing its Conference to Rep of Ireland, and also hosting the International Summit. We all are very excited by the prospect of our visit and what we can build on during 2019 to ensure we continue to the work of supporting our industry and the game of golf.