World Finals 2021: Chairman’s Speech

Your Royal Highness, Your Excellency the Deputy Governor of Gibraltar, Chief Minister, fellow trustees, golfers, sponsors, ladies and gentlemen. What a fantastic week we have had, with only moderate weather but some great golf. And here we are having dinner in this splendid setting at the famous Wentworth Golf Club, not as famous as Windsor Castle, where we will return in 2022, in support of this wonderful enterprise, The International Golf Charity.

When I welcomed you at the Castle Hotel on Sunday, I told you that in 2019 we granted over £200,000 to charities supporting young people in your home countries, often the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award in its various guises, the International Award Foundation based here in London, and many other charities supporting young people. We also made the Terry Regan Memorial Grant of £2,000 to Restart Africa, a charity in Kenya educating homeless children with which Terry’s grandson had been closely associated recently.

After having to cancel the World Finals in 2020, this year’s final has been much reduced in size because of continuing restrictions in many countries caused by the Covid-19 Pandemic. Our objective this year has been to keep the charity alive, maintain our contacts worldwide and the goodwill of our supporters, so that next year we can grow again. Some events have taken place but sadly many qualifiers were unable to travel. Next year, in 2022, I am hoping there will be new golf events in Georgia, South Carolina, and Anguilla, and we will be able to return to South Africa after an absence of 4 years. In addition, I hope very much that again we will see golfers from Barbados, The Bahamas, Canada, China, Gibraltar and India.

So please, after this glorious week, go back and spread the word so that we can all do even better next year to support this charity, and support young around the world.

This week and tonight’s dinner would not have been possible without the support we have received from many people and organisations, and I would like to pay particular tribute to a few of them:

• Simon Warr for sponsoring tonight
• ATFX for their continued support
• Titleist
• Palace Golf Consultancy
• Worldwide Entertainment and Toby Cruse for coordinating the entertainment;
• The Castle Hotel for being so helpful when we reduced the scope of the finals; and
• Wentworth GC for being so flexible and understanding when we had to switch from Windsor Castle.

And may I publicly thank John Casserley, our Consultant Director of Operations, for keeping international interest in the charity alive during the pandemic and for his untiring efforts to organise and manage all the arrangements for this hugely successful week, and John’s wife, Heather, who has done so much in the background to help.

And finally, on behalf of my fellow trustees and you all, I must thank HM The Queen for allowing us to play golf at Windsor Castle, the late Duke of Edinburgh for his encouragement and for allowing us to use his name, and The Earl of Wessex for being our Royal Patron and attending tonight’s dinner and presenting the prizes.