The R&A is celebrating the incredible life and career of Seve Ballesteros with the launch of a dedicated exhibition within The R&A World Golf Museum and the launch of Seve, a documentary film.
The new Seve exhibition will run for 18 months, including throughout The 150th Open in St Andrews, and visitors will enjoy a unique collection dedicated to his greatest achievements in golf, including winning The Open on three occasions in 1979, 1984 and 1988.
The exhibition will include a selection of images from sports photographer David Cannon, whose portfolio of work on Seve’s colourful career has been published by The R&A in a new book, Seve – His Life Through the Lens, to mark the milestone anniversary. The book and exhibition feature his famous shot of Seve’s iconic celebration after holing the putt on the 18th hole at the Old Course in 1984 to win The Open.
David Cannon commented: “I built a great relationship with Seve over both our careers. There was never a day when I was photographing Seve that he failed to give me an opportunity to capture a wonderful photograph. In my 40 years photographing golf there has not been another golfer who excited me like Seve did. I have never seen a natural smile like his; that smile and passion for golf and life shines brightly along the walls of the exhibition in almost every photograph of his sadly far too short life.”
Angela Howe, Director of The R&A World Golf Museum, said: “We are delighted to officially open the Seve exhibition and look forward to welcoming visitors over the next 18 months. The new exhibition tells the story of his life and greatest achievements through this wonderful new collection and a selection of iconic images from David Cannon.”
To celebrate the launch of the new exhibition, The R&A premiered a documentary film of Seve’s life last night (Wednesday, 29 September) at the New Picture House Cinema in St Andrews. The documentary follows Seve’s journey from humble beginnings in Spain to becoming one of golf’s most decorated and popular players.
Featuring contributions from his family, including his children Javier, Miguel and Carmen Ballesteros, close friend José Maria Olazábal as well as fellow golfers Sir Nick Faldo, Gary Player and Colin Montgomerie.
Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A, said: “Seve was an inspiration to so many of us in golf and we wanted to celebrate his life and show just how much he meant to the sport. Working with Seve’s family and other key contributors, this landmark documentary chronicles the life and story of this charismatic, flamboyant and inspirational golfer who is without doubt one of the greatest of all time. His legacy will be celebrated through the exhibition, book and documentary and The 150th Open at St Andrews will be the ideal chance for fans to reflect on the impact this much-loved character had on the sporting world.”
Seve passed away at the age of 54 in 2011, after being diagnosed with a brain tumour two years earlier. The Seve Ballesteros Foundation will receive a share of the proceeds from these tributes, donated by The R&A. The Foundation introduces young people to golf, while also helping vital scientific research used for the treatment of brain cancer.
Those based in Europe can watch the film for free on Rakuten.tv, with details on how it can be watched in other territories to come.
Based on the Balearic Island of Mallorca, Alcanada has done its best to make use of a year in which it has seen a massive decrease in passenger numbers due to travel restrictions, meaning that maintaining perfect service relationships with local players has become even more crucial.
The 59club awards have become the industry standard for tracking customer service performance across the golf industry, and they also consider all other business factors such as sales, service, operations, retail and management.
To evaluate each venue, 59club sends a number of mystery shoppers throughout the course of the year, who use a points-based system to determine which clubs/resorts offered them the best service across the different sections of the business. The scores are then compared to decide the list of award winners, which this year included Alcanada as a Gold Flag recipient once again, meaning that they continue as a member of a prestigious list of former winners such as Yas Links in Dubai, Gleneagles in Scotland, and Monte Rei in the Algarve.
Alcanada’s 18-hole course was designed by Robert Trent Jones Jnr and is the only layout in Mallorca that boasts a seaside location. It has been the host venue for a number of top professional events, including the European Challenge Tour Grand Final in 2019.
Alcanada has recently appointed a new head professional, with Joan González Camarero-Nuñez taking over in the role earlier this year. He is hoping to use his experience as the 2018 Balearic Islands Professional champion to benefit the players at the club.
Kristoff Both, Club de Golf Alcanada’s director of golf, said: “To be rewarded with a prize at the 59club ceremony is always fantastic, but following the tough first part of the year that we had with travel restrictions, this Gold Flag is a particularly rewarding marker of all the hard work that the team has put in.
“We are always aiming to offer people the best possible service that we can, in all the areas of the club, and we pride ourselves on knowing that people come here not only to enjoy an excellent round of golf but to feel like they really belong at Alcanada, even if it is someone’s first time at the course.”
Collecting Cars, the online auction platform dedicated to iconic, collectible and sporting cars, has just started the bidding for the personalised number plate ‘PGA 1’.
The highly sought-after number plate’s listing is live on the Collecting Cars website with six days currently remaining on its auction time. The current highest bid, as of September 28, is £15,000.
The PGA 1 number plate most recently belonged to Bob Daw, who ran the pro shop at Haste Hill Golf Club in Middlesex in the 1970s, before going on to set up his own retail golf store in Uxbridge called Bob Daw’s Aladdin’s Cave of Golf, which traded on the high street for over 25 years and at the time was considered the biggest golf retail shop in Europe.
Edward Lovett, founder of Collecting Cars, said: “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the supreme golfing fan. Personalised number plate listings are becoming increasingly popular on the Collecting Cars site, but it’s rare that we see one as special as this. After a weekend that saw the Ryder Cup dominating the global sporting headlines, ‘PGA 1’ is one of the most sought-after number plates in the world.”
Since its launch in 2019, Collecting Cars has sold over £148m worth of vehicles and attracted bidders from over 90 countries. For buyers, the premium on auction lots is levied at 5% +VAT and is capped at £6,000.
For more details, or to place a bid, click here.
Golf clubs should be at the heart of their local communities. That’s the view of Stanedge Golf Club owner Fame Tate as she drives into town to network with local businesses and organisations in the latest episode of Syngenta Golf’s fly-on-the-wall documentary, Changing the Business of Golf.
“When I reopened the golf club, I didn’t actively think ‘I’ve got to engage with the local community,’ it was a given – it just had to be done, says Fame who believes her club’s long-term sustainability relies on being open and welcoming to local people.”
Fame’s engagement with the community goes beyond simply putting the club on the map. In the episode, she visits nearby supplier Highfield House Farm Shop to purchase Stanedge’s regular supply of meat products and explains why the quality and local provenance is so important to her customers.
Golf’s doorstep opportunity
Research from Syngenta indicates that, for golf clubs, their customers may be nearer than they think, particularly in the case of women.
‘Living near a facility’ ranked as a second most influential factor for women interested in taking up a new sport or hobby, and yet women are 64% more likely than men to be unaware of where their nearest golf facility is located, emphasizing the need for golf clubs to raise awareness in their respective localities.
Fame’s ethos and local community engagement is already reaping rewards. In the episode, the club is selected by local cricket team Matlock & Cromford Meadows, who come along for a social golf outing and to experience the open and welcoming atmosphere Stanedge has to offer.
Next time, the final episode of the series sees Stanedge welcome new female golfers as part of a love.golf taster experience, greenkeepers CJ and David provide a progress report on the transformation to the golf course, and Fame tells us what the future holds for the business.
Catch previous episodes following Fame’s remarkable one-woman mission to change golf, transform the customer experience and make her club a friendly and inclusive community venue.
Watch all episodes, streaming now, on Syngenta Golf: syngentagolf.com/changing-business-golf
The traditional driving-in ceremony for the new Captain of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews took place on the 1st tee of the Old Course today (Sept 24).
Peter Forster started his year in office with a drive at precisely 8am as a cannon fired alongside the tee.
As Captain of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, Mr Forster will serve in an ambassadorial role for The R&A to support its work in developing golf around the world and will attend R&A professional and amateur championships, including The 150th Open at St Andrews next July.
After hitting his tee shot, Mr Forster said, “I am truly honoured to be the Captain of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews. I look forward to representing the Club and The R&A in the coming year, one in which we will celebrate the historic staging of The 150th Open here in St Andrews.
“It was fantastic to see so many fellow Members and people of the town turn out for this wonderful tradition and enjoy the atmosphere around the first tee. I was certainly relieved and delighted to make a good contact with the ball and give the caddies a decent shot to retrieve.”
Born in Edinburgh, Mr Forster was educated at Rannoch School and then Agricultural College in Aberdeen. He started work on his family’s tenanted farm of Peacehill, Wormit, ten miles north of St Andrews, in 1972. He purchased Peacehill Farm in 1990, expanding the property through acquisitions to 1800 acres owned and 700 acres rented. He is now retired and continues to be a director of Peacehill Farming Ltd and Peacehill Gas Ltd.
Mr Forster became a member of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club in 1972. He was elected to the Club Committee from 1999 to 2003 and became its Chairman from 2001 to 2003. He was appointed as a Trustee of St Andrews Links Trust from 2004 to 2013 and served as its Chairman from 2009 to 2013. In 2020, he was elected Chairman of the Inter-Clubs Liaison Committee in St Andrews.
Mr Forster is also a member of The Ten Golf Club of St Andrews, Scotscraig Golf Club and the Seniors Golfing Society. He is Chief Locust of the Locust Golf Society which was founded in 1964 by four members of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews. He is a member of the North East Fife Rotary Club and was made a Paul Harris Fellow in 2019.
Aged 71, Mr Forster currently plays to a handicap of 18. He is married to Mary and they have two children, Karina and Ross, and six grandchildren. His other interests include fishing, hillwalking, skiing, snowboarding and tennis. He has played rugby for Panmure Rugby Club and was its President from 1999 to 2001.
In the past, the Club Captaincy was bestowed on the winner of the annual Challenge for the Silver Club but by the early 19th Century the Captaincy had become an elected office. Part of the tradition is that the new Captain buys his golf ball back from the caddie who retrieves and returns it with a gold sovereign.
Ed Rankine, who lives in Leven and has been a caddie in St Andrews since 2019, successfully returned the ball to Mr Forster on what was his third attempt in the driving-in ceremony.
“It feels super to have returned the ball,” said Rankine. “I actually caddied for Peter during the Calcutta Cup event so everyone was asking me ‘where do you think his drive’s going to go?’ and I said ‘well, I’m going to stand short left of the fairway’ and that’s how it turned out in the end.”
GEO Foundation for Sustainable Golf has launched a range of new and upgraded resources designed to help golf embrace sustainability and climate action – and also to help golf represent its collective efforts.
The actions reflect the wider momentum and sense of urgency across society and business – linked to the UN Decades of Action and Restoration, and the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report which outlines the urgency for climate action ahead of the COP26 Summit in Glasgow this November.
Some of the key evolutions include:
Jonathan Smith, Founder and Executive Director, GEO Foundation said: “The world is facing serious social, ecological and climate challenges, and there is a powerful sense of urgency to address these. The expectation is that everyone should play their part, from individuals to companies to entire sectors. A large, influential and high-profile global sport such as golf has a tremendous opportunity, and responsibility to step forward.
“Our future generations need golf to redouble its efforts to foster nature, conserve resources, strive for net-zero emissions and strengthen communities. The good news is that this is almost entirely a win-win for a land and community-based sport, where sustainability, great golf and vibrant business are synonymous.
“The suite of actions outlined today represents our dedication to support golf on this journey, and we are grateful to every partner and participant who is helping make sustainable golf a reality around the world.”
Partners and supporters who have helped enable the ongoing development and provision of these non-commercial resources for golf include The R&A, European Tour, Ladies European Tour, Toro, Dow and Vidauban Foundation as well as a number of national golf federations.
Phil Anderton, Chief Development Officer, The R&A stated: “One of the key issues is the golf industry recognising that the risks of not acting now to tackle the issues created by climate change and legislation will hinder the sport in the years to come. Dealing with resource shortages and the impact of flooding, drought and coastal erosion need to be addressed now. That is why The R&A is also pursuing Golf Course 2030 to work with partners in the industry to find practical solutions and to encourage facilities to make the changes they can make now.”
The desire and action for a more sustainable sport is taking place right across golf, including professional tours and tournaments.
Ben Cowen, Chief Tournament Business Officer, the European Tour added: “We completely recognize the need for individual leadership and action in sustainability, within a wider collective approach across the sport. That’s why this year we have renewed and strengthened our own Green Drive and wider CSR strategy; invested in new capacity; are activating across our operations and partnerships, and seeking to align closely with others in golf. We have received some valuable support from GEO Foundation in doing so, and congratulate them and other partners on helping bring it all together around this strengthened sustainable golf platform.”
Richard Holland, Director of Operations and Network Development, Wetlands International shared his thoughts on the protection of natural habitats: “The Decade of Ecosystem Restoration was launched by the UN on World Environment Day in June this year. To maintain and restore the ecological services on which we all depend (think: pollination, clean air, or water storage and supply) it is essential that managers of green spaces in urban and rural areas protect and expand natural habitats to the maximum possible. Fortunately for golf this is a natural fit and is often a win-win, as enhancing nature can reduce costs while enhancing the experience for golfers of all levels. So let’s get competitive and see who can score best in fostering nature and conserving our precious natural resources.”
You can also hear perspectives from just some of the other people and organizations driving sustainable golf