10th Anniversary European Golf Business Conference a Huge Success


The 10th Anniversary European Golf Business Conference hosted last week in Amsterdam has been hailed ‘The best to date’. With a record attendance since 2010, it’s clear the industry is on the up. The conference theme ‘From VISION to Action’ truly delivered a refreshing insight into the European & global golfing industry, offering realistic, actionable solutions.

Day one opened with the 7th European Multi Course Owners meeting. The annual meeting had a positive outcome with operators reporting increases in turnovers vs previous years.

Day two was opened by EGCOA president Alexander Baron von Spoercken. Welcoming all in attendance to Amsterdam for the 10th Anniversary event. Alexander highlighted the opportunities that now present themselves in a rapidly changing golf market.

From VISION to Action

Sander Allegro, chief consultant on the VISION 2020 project opened with a summary of the outcomes and reach of VISION 2020 since its launch in 2014. Representatives of the Finnish and Norwegian owners associations were interviewed sharing the positive impact the project has had on the members of their national associations and the industry at large.

Golf: Is it driving us mental….?

The much-anticipated journey through the mind of the customer did not fail to deliver. Leading Neuro Scientist & CO-Founder of Neuro Labs, Dr. Roeland Dietvorst delivered an eye opening presentation. The core of his message and the take home action was clear, to effectively market to you current and potential customers you must understand what makes them tick.

Exceeding the Bar

Eric Toren, European Hotelier of the year shared his secret to on-going success in the hospitality industry. The message was clear, by understanding and then managing your customers’ expectations you can make their journey and interaction with your business one that exceeds the bar.


Over the course of the year, the VISION 2020 project inspired golf course owners and managers united in the EGCOA to take action. In the GOT VISION session led by Sander Allegro, 5 of the most visionary owners, managers and thought leaders were welcomed to the stage to share their story. Delegates were welcomed to vote on the 5 success stories. The winner of the vote was Christian Relling, of Schloss Lüdersburg with his inspiration development and retention programme, ‘Rookies & Rabbits’.

Lessons learned from the US

Newly crowned CEO of the NGCOA, Jay Karen delivered an enlightening insight of the actions taken by the NGCOA to inspire change in the US golf market. Inspiring, modern and a breath of fresh air we just a few of the reactions to Jay’s approach to delivering inspiration to golf course owners across the US.

10th Anniversary Awards & Gala Dinner

Hosted at one of the Netherlands leading golf courses, The International the 10th anniversary awards and gala dinner ceremony was truly an evening to remember. ‘Sinterklaas’ and his helpers were welcomed this year to acknowledge the 2015 award winners. The following people and organizations were acknowledged for their contribution to the European golf industry this year:

Best Promotional Initiative Award – BVGA, Star Classification System

VISION Without Action is a daydream – Schloss Lüdersburg

Most loyal conference delegate – Jean le Hardy, Piet Vandenbussche

EGCOA Industry contribution award – Syngenta

EGCOA lifetime achievement award – Marcel Welling, CEO The International

EGCOA Award – Gregg Patterson, The Beach Club

Employee of the Decade – John King, EGCOA

It’s all about the journey

Fueled with actionable inspirations from Thursday’s sessions, day 3 was opened by Daan Noorderloos, Customer Strategies and Marketing Manager for Transavia. Daan took delegates on a journey in their customers shoes, highlighting simple strategies that can be put in place to make this journey and unforgettable and one.

The Contemporary Game

What you put out there is what you get back was the take home message from Branding expert Chris Lightfoot of Whitestone International. Chris delivered the fundamental elements to developing a brand that is consistent with the ‘Why’ of your business.

Taking action for the future of golf

Andy Salmon, Deputy Chief Executive of Scotland Golf shared the strategy Scotland Golf have put in place to guide the golf industry to a sustainable and profitable future.

3 on a Tee, Is televised golf really entertaining to the masses?

Renowned Dutch Journalist Pieter Storms introduced a new televised format for golf entitled 3 on a tee. The concept is simple a one, laid out in a head to head team event focused on adding the buzz and excitement to televised golf.

The master of buzz delivery himself Gregg Patterson closed the conference delivering what many said to be his most inspirational presentation to date. In the 30 minute closer, Gregg summed up the event digesting each topic into simple ideas which delegates could take home and put into action straight away.

The day was concluded with the conference golf tournament hosted at the Ian Woosnam designed championship course at The International.

The European Golf Business Conference is organised by the European Golf Course Owners Association (EGCOA). For more information on the event visit www.egcoaconference.eu

The Conference was sponsored by Toro, Syngenta, Power Tee, Rain Bird, VIGOLF, Golf GameBook, Hunter, The International Golf Stars Classification (BVGA), Golf Prophet Systems, The International, Range King, Dutch Golf Course Owners Association, iGolfInstructor, Duchell, Stay Prime, Onsite 360, Yamaha, TurfLynx and Capillary Concrete.


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