Dear EGTMA member, parter and guest,
The EGTMA has recently entered into a partnership to promote Flanders as a golf destination to the European Media and golf & travel industry during 2017.
"Golf in Flanders" is the new initiative between the Flemish Tourist Board and the Flemish Golf Federation to start promoting Flanders as a possible alternative golf destination for golfers worldwide.
Flanders has many tourism assets ... the region has been the centre of the developed world for centuries and its historic landmarks across cities, towns and regions are a reminder of its rich history. Anybody that has seen pictures or has visited Bruges, Ghent, Antwerp, Ypres and other have witnessed the grandeur through the ages.
Important for golfers, Belgium is a beer-lover's paradise, with over 1,500 different original beers, many with their own personalised beer glasses in which that beer, and only that beer, may be served. Although Flanders is still too much identified with waffles, fries, beer and chocolate it has amongst the world's most Michelin Star restaurants per capita so it's very hard to avoid good food in Flanders ! When it comes to fashion, Belgium as a rich history but also has a very lively contemporary fashion scene. It already started in 1663 in Antwerp when the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp was found.
From 1914 to 1918 Flanders Field was a major battle theatre in the First World War. A million soldiers from more than 50 different countries were wounded, missing or killed in action here. Entire cities and villages were destroyed, their population on the run. Ypres and Passchendaele became worldwide symbols for the senselessness of war.
Golf in its modern form started in 1888 when the Royal Antwerp Golf Club was found, the 2nd oldest golf club on the continent. Since then, over 50 courses are available for play and although mostly member based, there are many opportunities to play good courses at reasonable green fee rates. Courses are always dotted around the major cities with Bruges, Antwerp, Genk and even Brussels offering accommodation and golf courses all within a short distance. With an extensive road network and accessibility by air and sea, Flanders is very much at the centre of Europe for everything including playing golf.
This partnership will allow us to organise the Flanders International Media Challenge which will take place later in the year and will showcase the best golf Flanders has to offer. We will be sending out regular newsletter and information about Golf in Flanders, news, the 'Did you knows?' and other facts and figures. On a personal level I am delighted to be able to showcase my home country and where I grew up playing golf.
As always, I am all yours,
Jo Maes, President of the EGTMA.