EIGCA President Peter Fjallman expressed his delight at the feedback he has already received from both EIGCA members and Industry Partners who attended a week long programme of events based at the Hotel Palacio. “I am so pleased that our guests enjoyed our 2014 conference week. We do our best to provide a relaxed atmosphere where the golf industry can get together to discuss the important issues of the day, whether that be in the lecture hall or on the golf course or afterwards at our formal functions and often later in the bar. Each year we try to provide the right balance between continued professional development, networking possibilities and social events and, from the reaction of our members, partners and patrons, I believe that we have once again achieved it. I must thank all those involved for making it such a success, especially our Industry and Consultant Partners to whom we are indebted for their continuing support. “
The week began with a two day educational workshop for students on the EIGCA Vocational Qualification Course. This included site visits on Tuesday to the golf courses at Ribagolfe Golf Club, Vargem Fresca and Golf de Montado, Palmela, both located a short drive from Lisbon.
Wednesday saw the start of the President’s Cup, the annual EIGCA golf tournament played over 36 holes, with the first round played at Oitavos Dunes. The Arthur Hills designed course, which is ranked 2nd in Portugal, 20th in Golf World’s Top 100 Courses in Continental Europe and 68th in Golf Magazines Top 100 Courses in the World, proved a tough test even in relatively benign conditions. The second round was staged the following day at Estoril Golf Club which underwent major redesign by Mackenzie Ross in 1936. The course offered a very different challenge to Oitavos but, despite its relative lack of length, the fact that 33 Stableford points was the best score of the day showed it was also no push over.
The winner of the President’s Cup was EIGCA Associate Member, Jeffrey Danner with a combined total of 66 points. Ronan Branigan was runner up while the winner in the Guest or Partner category was Rick Elyea of Jacklin Seed. The prizes for best individual rounds went to Christoph Staedler at Oitavos and Dave Sampson at Estoril. Special awards for golfing prowess, or lack of, went to Matt Osborne, Keith Duff, Toro’s Andy Brown and Rain Bird’s Stuart Tate.
Thursday afternoon saw the important business of the EIGCA AGM. Peter Fjallman and Tom Mackenzie were both unanimously re-elected as President and Vice-President respectively, while Alan Walker and Svein Drange Olsnes were elected on to the EIGCA Council. Marco Martin was accepted as a Senior Member and there were five new Associate Members; Matt Osborne, Dave Sampson, Virginia Costa, Michael Terech and Rogelio Abarca.
The culmination of the week came at the President’s Dinner at the Hotel Palacio on Friday night, with the award of the President’s Cup and other prizes. Peter Fjallman thanked all the attendees who had made the conference week such a success and expressed his hope that he would see everyone again next year.
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