The 32nd Annual Congress of the Confederation of Professional Golf [CPG] took place on 8-10 December and proved a hit with its virtual attendees, made up of representatives from 46 countries and over 75 organisations.
Delegates from Member Country PGAs, Federations, Unions, Governing Bodies, Professional Tours together with PGA Professionals joined CPG representatives to focus on increased collaboration across all aspects of golf and discuss ways to advance the development of the game in the key areas of teaching, coaching, increased participation, and diversity and inclusion.
Attendees from around the globe were treated to live contributions from two legends of the game in Jack Nicklaus and Colin Montgomerie and heard a panel discussion on the Future of Golf with European Tour CEO, Keith Pelley, Ladies European Tour CEO, Alexandra Armas, International Golf Federation [IGF] CEO, Anthony Scanlon, and CPG Chief Executive, Ian Randell.
The CPG Chief Executive also hosted a session on Diversity & Inclusion with PGA of America Honorary President, Suzy Whaley, Assistant Director – Golf Development at The R&A, Jackie Davidson, CEO of the PGA of Canada, Kevin Thistle and President of EDGA and Head of Diversity & Inclusion for the IGF, Tony Bennett.
Elsewhere under discussion across the three-day event were a range of topics including the CPG’s strategic vision, CPG Thrive, short-form golf formats, the CPG’s own Parents in Golf and Activator Programmes, the Ryder Cup European Development Trust [RCEDT], and presentations and breakout groups focused on membership, commercial and communications, and education.
The event was rounded off with the CPG’s Annual Awards Supported By Rolex, recognising those members and associates for their contributions to the sport, including the presentation of a Lifetime Achievement Award to Colin Montgomerie, in recognition of his phenomenal career. Monty joined Ian Randell for an in-depth chat about his career highlights, commenting that he was “extremely honoured and proud” to receive the award.
The undoubted highlight of the week came on the final day, as Jack Nicklaus – the Golden Bear – tuned in from his Florida base to join Randell in a fascinating discussion. Amongst the range of topics covered were his exciting new short-form initiative Doubles Golf® and his enthusiasm for helping grow the sport.
2020 has been a year of unexpected challenges in which the sport of golf has thrived, seeing increased participation. It also marks the first anniversary of a new direction for CPG, formerly the PGAs of Europe, and this year’s congress has demonstrated it has been much more than just a name change, with the arrival of a new era of greater collaboration between the Member Countries of the CPG, which continues to grow its influence, and the influence of its members, across the sport, demonstrated by the record attendance and the profile of the panellists at the 2020 congress.