As I write this article I am attending the Danish Conference, held in Vejle. Denmark. The event has been a great success for them with some 180 Greenkeepers attending, remarkable when considering they a have total membership of 500! There association was formed in 1963 and certainly established great momentum over the last few years, introducing a new education system with the first students graduating two years ago.
Going back to the Conference, they had put together a tremendous cast of speakers, including Frank Newberry, Howard Swan, Alex Vickers and many more. FEGGA was also given a platform to speak about our work and some of the new initiatives being worked on during this year. In total they educated during the Conference 29% of their Members, a great achievement by any organisation.
What a great Ryder Cup, great victory, wonderful team spirit (and without trying!) and what a great job done by the whole Country in staging and supporting a well run work. I would like to pay tribute to Gerry Byrne on a fantastic job, both leading up to and during the match itself. Gerry had to cope with some very difficult conditions and produced results that were acknowledged greatly by the players and media, and also was a great ambassador for our industry...Well done Gerry! FEGGA also were lucky enough to have 5 Greenkeepers represented on the Support team and they certainly were very appreciative of the experience they gained and also the wonderful time they had whilst working at the K Club, you will see a group photograph of the lucky five, coming from Sweden, Belgium, Germany, Iceland, and Portugal.
On the education side FEGGA continue its progress with the setting up of Pan European education Standards. We have received very positive responses from all areas of Golf, in particular the R&A and European Golf Association (EGA). FEGGA were delighted to attend the EGA's annual meeting and were given a platform to give a short presentation about the role of FEGGA and in particular the Pan European Initiative. This was a great way of sending out our message with 33 Golf Associations in attendance at the meeting.
Continuing with the education theme, we are now five months into our newly launched FEGGA Scholarship programme in association with Polaris World and Ransomes Jacobsen and our students are developing well and enjoying the complete learning experience in Spain. They are now well into the Professional Development Award (PDA) in association with Elmwood College and they have also been experiencing some very high caliber lectures from the likes of Ronny Duncan, Agostino Gaude and Dave Mcintosh and with more planned over the coming months we are very pleased with the progress we are making during the first year. You will see a photograph of the current Students with Ronny Duncan and Sylvain Duval, Superintendent at Polaris World.
As we now move into the Conference season I look forward to seeing many of you on our travels over the coming months.