Multinational brands and influential industry
for summit on golf development in the emerging
(Budapest, Hungary – May 21, 2007) KPMG’s fourth annual Golf Business
Forum successfully brought together an array of the world’s leading golf
companies to Budapest, Hungary, May 16-18, for a summit on ‘Golf development
in the emerging markets’.
With golf and real estate projects prospering in new markets across
Europe, the Middle East and Africa, more than 250 industry professionals
from 40 countries – including executives of the multinational golf course
design companies headed by Jack Nicklaus, Robert Trent Jones II, Arnold
Palmer and Gary Player – attended the three-day conference and networking
Numerous investors and developers from the fast growing Central and
Eastern European markets were present representing integrated golf and
residential developments from countries including the Czech Republic, Slovakia,
Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania, Poland and Hungary. There was also a strong
presence from the Middle East, Western Europe, the UK and Ireland, plus
the United States of America.
Irish golf legend and Ryder Cup hero Christy O’Connor Jr announced
his latest golf course design for the new Budapest Gate International Golf
and Country Club and pledged his support to the growth of the game in Hungary.
Andrea Sartori, head of KPMG’s specialist Golf Advisory Services Team
and founder of the Golf Business Forum, presented the results of the 2006
Golf Benchmark Survey, the industry’s first comprehensive study into the
business performance of golf courses across the EMA region, and announced
an expansion of the 2007 Survey into India, Southern Europe (Greece, Turkey
and Cyprus) and the Caribbean (www.golfbenchmark.com).
“We are seeing phenomenal growth in golf and real estate developments
across the EMA region and the number of developers here this week is testament
to that fact,” said Dr Sartori.
“The aim of the Golf Business Forum is to share incisive information
about the golf market and benefit from each other’s experience and expertise.
We are also here to do business and I know that as well as many business
relationships being forged between developers, consultants and service
providers, a number of highly significant deals have been struck this week
that will result in future high-profile developments.”
Among the special guests was Ken Schofield, former Executive Director
of the PGA European Tour, who was presented with a lifetime achievement
award for his contribution to golf and the spread of the game into new
territories via professional tournaments from 1975 to 2005.
Addressing the audience at the Budapest Hilton Hotel, Ken Schofield
said: “Thirty years ago, we didn’t have a conference like this or a benchmark
survey. In the early days of the European Tour we didn’t know where the
sponsorship might come from – we were often guessing and chasing shadows.
But the patrons and sponsors of this Forum are worldwide brands and, together
with KPMG’s expertise and the Golf Benchmark Survey, the guesswork is being
taken out of the golf business.”
Andrea Sartori, announcing the results of the 2006 Golf Benchmark Survey,
thanked the 800 golf courses in 27 countries across the EMA that had contributed,
and encouraged even more courses to participate in the 2007 Survey, the
questionnaire for which has now been launched online at www.golfbenchmark.com
There will be 10 regional reports this year – Northern Europe, UK and
Ireland, Middle East, Central Europe, Western Europe, Eastern Europe and
South Africa, plus India, Southern Europe and the Caribbean – providing
even more analysis of the business performance of golf courses across key
“The vision for an annual Golf Benchmark Survey was to give golf course
owners, operators and developers useful, comparable information that would
allow them to make informed decisions,” said Dr Sartori. “Over time, as
the historical data builds up, the survey will identify trends that will
further enhance industry professionals’ ability to make decisions for the
There was a compelling mix of topics and issues discussed at the Golf
Business Forum, with a variety of lively, interactive sessions.
Among the most outstanding was a presentation about Dubai and the creation
of successful golf developments by David Spencer, CEO of Istithmar Leisure,
which includes the Jumeirah Golf Estates, the largest integrated golf and
real estate community in the world currently under development. “We want
to be the 21st century's best golf destination. Not the biggest, but absolutely
the best – we are well on the way to achieving this lofty goal,” Spencer
told the Forum, outlining the secrets to Dubai’s success.
The importance and profitability of real estate in golf developments
was highlighted throughout the event, with masterplanners WATG contributing
to a presentation by KPMG on the key success factors of golf resort and
golf community projects.
Dolphin Capital Investors detailed how to secure finance for golf development
projects while the Toro Company contributed to the discussion on creating
a winning development team. Greg Norman Golf Course Design and leading
operations company Troon Golf took part in the lively discussion on commissioning
signature designers, while Rod Bogg of Dubai Golf joined senior executives
of The K Club, Fancourt and PGA European Tour Courses to share the best
practices of the world’s most successful golf venues.
KPMG also gave analysis and insight into the emerging markets of Central
and Eastern Europe, focusing specifically on Croatia and Hungary.
“The Golf Business Forum is now established as one of the most important
gatherings of influential business professionals in worldwide golf,” added
Andrea Sartori. “In every session, in every discussion, delegates benefited
from high-quality speakers and panellists with unparalleled expertise and
experience – and we would like to thank everyone who participated and attended
for making this week such a success.”
KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing
audit, tax and advisory services. We operate in 148 countries and have
more than 113,000 professionals working in member firms around the world.
The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG
International, a Swiss cooperative. KPMG International provides no client
Established in London in 1986, the KPMG Travel, Leisure
and Tourism Group (TLT) is now represented on all five continents. In 1999,
TLT formed its first advisory team in the CEE in Budapest.
KPMG in Hungary employs 470 people - KPMG Hungary Ltd.
offers audit services, while KPMG Advisory Ltd. offers comprehensive advisory
services to Hungarian and multinational companies, government bodies and
© 2007 KPMG Hungary Ltd., a Hungarian limited liability
company and a member firm of the KPMG network of independent member firms
affiliated with KPMG International, a Swiss cooperative. All rights reserved.