Advancing Associations

COVID-19: An Update From CPG Member Countries5 min read


Posted on: 29th Jun 2020

Following the easing of lockdown restrictions across various countries (most notably the resumption of golfing activity), the CPG have been receiving regular updates from CPG Member Countries across the collective.

We share these experiences below from Canada, Denmark, Holland, Italy, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden, to provide insight into the varying challenges each organisation has faced during the pandemic.

Do not forget that the COVID-19 Resource Hub is available for all to use and access relevant support from, accessible by clicking the button below.

CLICK TO VIEW COVID-19 HUB


PGA OF CANADA

“COVID-19 struck just before the beginning of the golf season in most parts of Canada.

“The pandemic thrust our members into new territory, but I’ve been amazed by their resilience, adaptability and enthusiasm to adjust to the new normal and provide safe golf experiences for players across the country.

“From the onset, our goal as an association was to provide immediate resources and guidance backed by a wide range of industry experts. Our team sent regular communication, created a platform for members to connect, sought out strategic partnerships, embarked on an ambitious member outreach program and provided flexible financial relief for those continuing their professional development journeys.

“Collaboration, listening, and reacting to the needs of our membership continues to be the key driver of success for us. As a result, the PGA of Canada professional has continued to be the lifeblood of the game, the facility, and the safety of golf in Canada.”

Matt Allen
Chief Innovation Officer, PGA of Canada


PGA OF DENMARK

“We have worked closely with the Danish Federation during lockdown, offering advice and recommendations to enable safe coaching during COVID-19.

“Throughout this pandemic we have also supported members significantly, such as by providing advice on accessing financial support from the government, and by staging free-to-access webinars.

“Denmark began the reopening of golf courses in early April, along with retail stores and coaching academies / facilities. There has been a surge in demand ever since – facilities and courses are busier than ever, financial forecasts for PGA Member’s shops and businesses have jumped and clubs are experiencing huge interest from beginners and former players of the sport.”

Steffen Jacobsen
Chief Executive, PGA of Denmark


PGA OF HOLLAND

“As like most countries, lockdown in Holland was fast, abrupt and incomprehensible for most.

“However, the situation was the making of our members, who revitalised their businesses and through the creation of online instructional content, continued to interact with clients (who have now started to return the favour through lesson buying). We are incredibly proud with how they overcame what is a difficult situation.

“The PGA of Holland engaged in various reforms and activities to support our members. This included regular newsletter communications, a webinar-style educational series, developing a digital learning system and working closely with the Federation to filter consistent guidance to our Members for reopening etc.

“Finally, with the resumption of tournament activity beginning in early July, we will once again be able to provide competitive opportunities to our members, and are currently working with clubs to stage events successfully and safely.

“COVID-19 has strengthened the PGA of Holland as an organisation, and we feel very positive for the future.”

Frank Kirsten
Chief Executive, PGA of Holland


PGA OF ITALY

“Italy was affected by the pandemic earlier than most, with the Northern parts of Italy (where the majority of clubs and PGA Members are located) being hit the hardest in early March.

“Throughout lockdown, the PGA of Italy provided unprecedented support to members, through an extensive educational webinar series, sourcing financial help for members, delivering career advice, and working closely with the Italian Golf Federation to provide appropriate safety guidelines for golf operations and facilities.

“A gradual return of golf activity from the middle of May has meant we have now been able to resume our tournament activities, which has been welcomed greatly from across our membership as well.”

Filippo Barbé
Head of Education, PGA of Italy


PGA OF SLOVENIA

“Lockdown measures were finally eased in Slovenia on the 21st April, which was earlier than most countries in Europe. This allowed the resumption of various golf activities.

“A key part of our support throughout this whole situation, which has been highly valued by our members, has been the financial advice and legal information offered to them.

“Gradually from this initial reopening, we have then seen the reintroduction of golf lessons and competitions within the country, providing that both could be done in a safe manner.

“To support members with this, we published COVID-19 information and guidance from both the CPG and the Slovenian National Institute of Public Health to them.

Jernej Semolic
Chief Executive, PGA of Slovenia


PGA OF SPAIN

“During lockdown the PGA of Spain has been incredibly active with its membership, ensuring a continuous line of communication was kept open with them all.

“We coordinated various educational webinars, that provided all sorts of topical discussions ranging from debates about the PGA of Spain as an organisation, the future of the PGA of Spain Member, and discussions with other key stakeholders in the Spanish game including the Federation and Golf Manager’s Association.

Having support from leading and well-known Professionals such as Jon Rahm, Jose Maria Olazabal, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Adri Arnaus and Pablo Larrazabal was also an added bonus, and definitely helped unify the Professional game across Spain.

“As we exit lockdown, we will continue to focus on how as a member organisation we can best help everybody to move forward.”

José Vicente Perez
Head of Training, PGA of Spain


PGA OF SWEDEN

“Sweden addressed the epidemic in a way that made it possible to keep golf courses open throughout. As a result demand has soared, with memberships up by 28,000 (+6% from 2019), rounds played surpassing 4,000,000 (+1,000,000 from 2019), and both lesson and shop sales have increased.

“Similar to other countries, PGA of Sweden members struggled to find tournament opportunities throughout the crisis but with Professional Tours restarting their operations within the next month, this is set to change.

“From the outset, the PGA of Sweden formalised a support strategy suited to dealing with the given situation, which adjusted workflow and focused on strengthening relationships with our members and partners, as well as with other stakeholders, including the Swedish Golf Federation.

“The collaboration with the Federation has been crucial, as it has supported PGA Members and golf clubs for the current surges in demand that they are experiencing, and has also prepared them both for the anticipated increases in play in the near future.”

Johan Hampf
Chief Executive, PGA of Sweden