The ASGI is present on all fronts in Crans-Montana
The Swiss Association of Independent Golfers (ASGI) has been present in Crans-Montana during the week of the Omega European Masters for 22 years. Our stand is open, lively and friendly. Thousands of people visit us. We try to be attractive, to offer things to encourage ASGI members to come and see the tournament. We are here to support the organisation," says Pascal Germanier, secretary general of the ASGI.
One of the first actions that was set up by the association was to invite 150 juniors from 30 Swiss clubs. Since 2019, this day reserved for young people has taken the form of a competition entitled "Beat the Pro": 22 juniors can challenge the professionals on hole 8, during the third round of competition. The budget for this operation, which has now been taken over by "Supporting Golf", amounts to 150,000 francs.
The ASGI is part of this structure together with Swiss Golf and the Migros Golf Card. "In this way we are making our contribution to the promotion of the sport. The Common Sport Fund was created, it brings 1.5 million francs per year to develop golf", continues Pascal Germanier.
A green fee of 50 francs
Since Thursday, the ASGI has been selling green-fees for 50 francs at its stand. "As soon as it opened, there was an incredible queue. The requests are incessant. People can therefore buy one green fee per club - 38 are playing the game - and per person. They have to be physically present in Crans-Montana to do this. So this brings in entries for the tournament", comments Nicole Messerli-Haldi, head of events at the ASGI.
Pascal Germanier also insists on the presence of his association at the two Pro-Am events at the beginning of the week. "We had four flights on Monday. We allocated these seats to club presidents and captains. On Wednesday we have what we call the President's Flight. So the president of the ASGI Franz Szolansky played with the Murat Yakin, the great chef Andreas Caminada and the professional Thristopher Caminada and the professional Thriston Lawrence, who is one of the tournament leaders after three days".
A true collaboration with Swiss Golf
The role of the ASGI is not only to give its members pleasure through a range of tournaments and events, but also to find new golfers. It has therefore decided to look for ambassadors in other sports, such as cyclocross, fencing and especially skiing. A discipline that is very complementary to golf. "
The idea was to say that if a ski champion played golf, his fans could say that they too could try their hand at it", continues Pascal Germanier. The ASGI now has 18,455 members. The number of new players exploded until 2010, since then it has remained fairly stable: 2000 golfers start the sport and 2000 leave the association. Of these, almost 1000 join a Swiss Golf club. "Covid has given golf a new lease of life. It's really a sport that suited the situation: outdoors, with room between the players. In 2020, and especially in 2021, all and especially in 2021, all clubs have gained members," says the ASGI president, Franz Szolansky, who is also a member of the Swiss Golf Committee: It's no longer incompatible. "The President of Swiss Golf, Reto Bieler, has shown the importance of working to work together to support, develop and perpetuate Swiss golf. He is a man of sharing who has a real desire to unite forces in a consensual approach", concludes Pascal Germanier, who is also keen to point out that there are still many ideas to be developed and to develop and passion to transmit in order to find new golfers.