The German Golf Federation (DGV) held its annual press conference at Golf und WellnessReisen, Germany’s biggest golf travel fair, in Stuttgart last week. Federation President Claus Kobold presented a positive assessment of golf’s development over the last year, with the Federation recording its highest level of members (over 643,000) in its history – making it Germany’s eighth biggest Olympic sport federation.

2017 sees the launch of the Federation’s latest campaign to grow the game of golf in Germany – Gemeinsam Golfen (Play Golf Together) – where existing members can bring along their friends to try playing golf over 9 holes at their home club.

In a recognition of professional golf’s ability to inspire amateur golfers to play the game, the Federation has enlisted the support of a number of German professional golfers, including the LET’s Isi Gabsa, to help promote the initiative and offer themselves as “prizes” for winners who take part in the campaign.

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Isi then joined fellow LET player Ann-Kathrin Lindner, together with Chief Executive Ivan Khodabakhsh and Chairman Mark Lichtenhein to discuss the role of the LET and its future plans in the trade fair’s Press Talk. Moderated by golf consultant Martin Suiter, the event was attended by journalists from all of Germany’s main golf news outlets, as well as representatives from the country’s golf sponsors, promoters and local and national federations.

In a lively half-hour debate, Isi and Ann-Kathrin talked about the positive boost to the game from its re-entry into the Olympic Games and the players’ own aspirations to represent their country both in Tokyo and in the future. The debate then addressed a wide variety of issues, including the joint initiative of the LET and the European Tour to come together through the 2018 European Championships at Gleneagles in Scotland, the ever-increasing importance of social media, its interplay with traditional television channels and how golf can continue to promote itself more effectively.