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A place on the golfing map
THIS THURSDAY, February 28 is an important date in the golfing calendar as it marks the inauguration of the PGA Cyprus (Professional Golfers’ Association Cyprus) and highlights the proactive approach by golf pros in Cyprus to grow golf on the island.
A not-for-profit organisation, the PGA Cyprus will become a member of the PGAs of Europe whose core mission is “to represent, promote and provide advice to develop professional golf”.
Once established, the PGA Cyprus is very much an independent body with effectively a free range when it comes to how, where, and with whom it will promote the sport, provided it is agreed upon amongst the members. Junior competitions, free lessons, tournaments and fun events are some examples of what have been used by the PGAs of other countries in the past and are likely to also occur in Cyprus.
Its efforts will be kick-started with the first ever competition in Cyprus between Cyprus pros and local amateurs. Although a prize is offered, the true prestige of the event is the opportunity for local amateurs to play against the pros - namely, Andrew Darker, Karl Morgan, David McKibben, Paul Dyer, Giles Johnson, Danny Heard, Adam Collinson, and Neil Sweeney (who only works in Cyprus during winter).
The eight qualifying amateurs are chosen according to the National Order of Merit, which is determined by a series of six to seven amateur open tournaments held throughout the year at the various local golf courses. Scores are combined for all competitions and players ranked accordingly. All amateurs need to be registered as a member of the Cyprus Golf Federation in order to qualify.
The new list of competitions which comprise the National Order of Merit will be posted on the new PGA Cyprus website, www.pgacyprus.com, also to be launched this Thursday.
Chairman of the PGA Cyprus, Andrew Darker, who is currently also the operations manager at Aphrodite Hills Resort is very excited about the move forward and has big plans to place sunny Cyprus on the world golfing map.
“Cyprus is an emerging market when it comes to golf. The potential for growth - especially with the development of so many new golf courses planned within the next decade - is phenomenal. We, the pros, all agree that a centralised approach for promotion is necessary. So our plan is, together with a golf marketing company, to contribute to increasing international awareness of Cyprus as a preferred golf destination and in turn, boost tourism and the economy as well.”
The pros versus amateur competition will begin at 9am at Elea Golfing Resort in Paphos on Thursday 28th February. Entrance is free. For further enquiries about the PGA Cyprus or the competition contact Andrew Darker on AndrewDarker@pgacyprus.com