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Hickory Hero Iain Forrester Honoured With Elite 5-Star Pro Award3 min read

Posted on: 4th Dec 2023



PGA of Holland Professional, Iain Forrester, is the latest recipient of the CPG’s 5-Star Professional Award recognising his excellence in the profession, in particular around the preservation of the game’s history.

Presented at the 2023 CPG Annual Awards Supported By Rolex, the 5-Star Professional Award has an elite group of past winners in its history with less than 100 PGA Professionals receiving the award since it began in 1992.

Whilst Forrester has been Head Professional of Golf & Country Club Hoenshuis for 36 years, he has also been instrumental in reintroducing hickory clubs to modern golfers, and has dedicated his time to preserving the enduring elegance and tradition of the sport.

Not only is he an example of a prominent PGA Professional that has coached golf to thousands of players, supported his fellow PGA Professionals and operated golf facilities, but he is also committed to maintaining the roots of golf and his extensive knowledge in the field set him apart as a distinguished professional in the golf community.

“I’ve had a long career in golf, but I was not expecting to be recognised in this way,” said Forrester on receiving his awards as part of the 2023 CPG Learning & Performance Summit at Fontana, Austria.

“There’s a lot of deserving people in European golf, so I was delighted to hear that I’d been nominated and then to win and be featured publicly like this is a real honour.

“I think a PGA Professional needs to have a diverse skillset – a jack of all trades and a master of one or two. That’s what I’ve tried to do with my career, to be as flexible as possible, learn as many skills as possible and then have a niche that separates you from others.”

This niche is focused on the maintaining and preserving the history of golf and in particular the way it was played in the past with wooden hickory clubs. His own expertise and work includes supplying hickory equipment for collectors and players in events, carrying out clinics, lecturing and presenting and even writing about hickory and golf history in general in articles and books.

In addition to his work with hickory clubs, Forrester is also celebrated for his role as an archivist for the PGA of Holland

in producing their centenary book that will commemorate the organisation’s 100th anniversary in 2024, and is also a member of the Dutch Golf Federation’s heritage committee. His multifaceted contributions to the golf industry exemplify the spirit of the 5-Star Professional Award.

“We at the PGA of Holland were delighted to nominate Iain for the 5 Star Professional Award due to his relentless dedication to golf’s heritage and his role in reintroducing hickory clubs to a new generation of golfers demonstrate a profound passion for the sport,” said Arian Mortier, Chairman of the PGA of Holland.

Whilst Forrester’s passion for keeping the history and traditions of golf alive came from his own family history, he strongly believes in ensuring the sport evolves in a modern way too: “I’m the fifth generation of golfer in my family – I’ve got clubs hanging on my wall that my grandfather used to win championships 100 years ago – and that’s how I got interested in the history.

“Golf has a 5-or-600 year history, and the values of golf have developed over hundreds of years. Tradition is very important, but also tradition shouldn’t be something you get to hang up on – it develops as well. So you have to bring the tradition into the modern age. People laugh at me sometimes because I sometimes coach people with hickory clubs on a TrackMan…but that’s the way I think tradition and history should be – something that evolves.”

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With thanks to the CPG Annual Awards Partners – Rolex and the Ryder Cup European Development Trust [RCEDT].