Martin Dempster chaired his first annual general meeting and taking place in the Media Centre at Royal Portrush on the Wednesday morning following the highly-successful annual dinner.

Reports were presented to the AGW members by the Chairman, the Treasurer and the Secretary.

Minutes also from the 2018 AGM were also presented and with all documents below.



Wednesday 17th July, 2018

Royal Portrush

Chairman’s Opening Address
Minute Silence in Memory AGW Members Passed Away Last 12 months
(Chris Smart, Colm Smith, Keith Mackie, Dan Jenkins)
AGW Member Attendance Apologies
Chairman’s Report
Treasurer’s Report
Secretary’s Report
Presentation to former Chairman, Iain Carter
General Business
81st Anniversary Group Photo 
RH7_0260 (2)

Members of the AGW in attendance at the 2019 AGM of the Association – July 17th Royal Portrush.


Jim Mossop, David Edwards, Pat Ruddy, Michael McDonnell, Gordon Bannerman, Bob Davies, Henrik Knudsen,Charlie Mulqueen, Philippe Hermann, David Hamilton, Melanie Hauser, Brian Creighton, Renton Laidlaw, Derek Lawrenson, Alistair Tait, Jamie Corrigan, Michael McEwan


I am honoured to have taken up the chairmanship and I should begin by thanking my predecessor, Iain Carter, for his welcome guidance over the past few weeks. Iain is a hard act to follow, having been a wonderful ambassador for the AGW during his term as chairman, and I am grateful that he has agreed to continue in his role as our master of ceremonies at the annual dinner.

I would also like to pay thanks to our secretary Bernie McGuire, who, after a spell in the US, is now back in his adopted home of Crail. Bernie puts in a power of work on behalf of the AGW in making sure the Association runs smoothly and remains a relevant organisation in its dealings with the game’s various tours and governing bodies.

Special thanks should also go to our new treasurer Peter Higgs, who has slipped seamlessly into this important role since taking over from the long-serving Bob Davies, and both Peter and Bernie both deserve our gratitude for the work they put in behind the scenes to help make last night’s dinner a resounding success. It undoubtedly remains the highlight of golf’s social scene during Open week.

Unfortunately, last year’s Open at Carnoustie proved problematic in some respects from a working point of view, including a long walk despite that seeming unnecessary to speak to players on the practice putting green. Player access on the range was also something that raised negative comments from members. We duly made strong representations to the R&A during an annual sit down at the Dunhill Links Championship and we have come to Portrush feeling quietly confident that the venue has been set up to make our overall working arrangements better than 12 months ago.

The AGW along with our colleagues at the GWAA met with Augusta officials during the Masters and, during that discussion, it emerged that plans are in the pipeline for a new permanent flash area facility and we were asked to come up with a “wish list” for that. It will not happen overnight, we were told, but Augusta are keen to “make it work”.

Thanks to the matter being flagged up by one of our members, Euan McLean, we led the way in concern being expressed by both the AGW and GWAA over the USGA not only offering interview transcripts to reporters not present at this year’s US Open at Pebble Beach but also a facility for them to ask questions during media centre interviews, as well as the option of individual interviews over the phone. It appears that few people took up this opportunity and, from the Association’s point of view, that is certainly welcome news.

It is imperative that members highlight matters that we can address and another good example of this was our newest committee member, Isabel Trillo Amores, helping secure better working facilities at Valderrama for the Andalucia Masters through flagging up the fact they had previously been unsatisfactory. So please don’t hesitate to get in touch direct with me if you feel we can help do something similar at events.

We continue to work closely with Scott Crockett and his team at the European Tour and, at our next meeting at the end of this year, we will be reiterating that we feel the AGW badge needs to be bigger on the season pass issued this year to members.

We are fortunate to have members who take on responsibilities that enable the AGW to continue to function and make a valuable contribution beyond the ins and outs of tournament facilities. The aforementioned Peter Higgs ensures that our popular Christmas hampers are sent out, while Mark Garrod continues to administer our Pick Your Pro competition which runs throughout the golfing year.  Thanks also to our captain of golf Peter Dixon, who looks after a number of events that provide excellent golf days for our members.

Sadly, in the last year one of my dearest friends since joining the AGW passed away and that was Colm Smith, and, of course, the legendary Dan Jenkins passed way.  We also lost Keith Mackie and Chris Smart. They will all be missed and fondly remembered.

Finally, thank you for your continued membership and support of the Association.  I would like to wish you a successful and exciting week here at the 148th Open Championship.

Martin Dempster, Chairman.


(For year ended December 31st,2018)

I am pleased to report a satisfactory year for the AGW finances.

A deficit over the twelve months of £510 was a welcome improvement on the losses of the two previous years – £10,996 in 2016 and £2,580 in 2017.

Our biggest expenditure is the annual dinner and over the past three years we have managed to significantly reduce the bill (from £21,387 in 2016 to £19,577 in 2017 and £16,340 in 2018). Nevertheless, with ticket sales at £7,848 it is clear how heavily we rely on sponsorship so that we can keep the price at a reasonable £50 and do not incur serious losses. Thanks to the efforts of the secretary and committee members the sponsorship raised last year of £10,885 enabled us to make a profit on the dinner of £1,849.

I am happy to report that we sent out a record 46 hampers last Christmas and while the cost inevitably rises each year (now at more than £2,000) the service to our older members and dependents of former members continues to prove popular.

Subscriptions were slightly down on the year (from £6,901 to £6,700) and continue to be a thorny issue.

Two years ago, we introduced a rule that any member who had not paid his or her subscription by the end of May risked expulsion from the association. I have to admit that we have not enforced the rule strictly and, probably  as a result of that omission, still suffer from members slow payment. At the time of writing this report (July 8th) there are still twenty members who had not paid their 2019 subscription and could have become non-members.

We are now looking at alternative new ways of encouraging early payment. But overall the finances are healthy.

Peter Higgs, AGW Treasurer


(For the year ended 31st December, 2018)


INCOME                                         2018              2017

                                                                                  £                     £  

Subscriptions and Joining Fees                       6700             6901

Dinner Income                                                     7848              9196

Dinner sponsorship                                           10885            8900                                              

Interest received                                                    16                20                                                       

Advertising revenue                                        1642                1400

Competition sponsorship                                  —-                 520

AGW Book Sale                                                      —–                22

                                                                           ———            ———-

                                                                            27091               26959


Honoraria                                                         3000              3000

Administration                                                 367                552

Donations                                                         2020              1456

Dinner expenses                                            16340           19577

Trophies and engraving                                3091               472

Printing and stationery                                 2613              2079

Match expenses                                             —                    1736

Accountancy                                                     120                120

Website Expenses                                               15               80

Bank charges                                                       35               —

Media trip                                                            —                346

Golf Event lunch                                                —                  121

                                                                              ——              ——                         

                                                                           27601             29539

Deficit for the year                                          (510)           (2580)


Current accounts                                               674               1199

Deposit Accounts                                             32415           32400

Prepaid Honoraria                                            3000              3000

Less sundry creditors                                       (120)              (120)            

                                                                                  ——-         ——-

                                                                           £     35969         36479    


Firstly, I wish to place on record my thanks to former Chairman, Iain Carter for his invaluable support and guidance over his three years as Chairman.

We were both new to the positions when he accepted the Chairmanship and I took over the Secretary role and together it had been a great working relationship.

The AGW can very proud of Iain’s contribution, not just each year at the Annual Dinner, but for the enormous amount of work behind the scenes.

It goes without saying, I look forward to Martin Dempster helping steer the AGW for the next few years, and like Iain, keeping me ‘on the rails’.

A continued thanks to members, and so many of our retired members, for their continued support and encouragement.  To read your emails and also receive hand-written and typed letters through the post saying how strongly you do feel about your relationship with the AGW makes the task all that worthwhile.

Please do keep sending me any news of birthdays, presentations and so on as you are all still very much proud members of the AGW.

It continues to be good working with Treasurer, Peter Higgs and I must also again say a ‘thank you’ to Golf Captain, Peter Dixon for his efforts along with Robin Barwick for his great support with regards the AGW handbook and diaries.

Bernie McGuire, Secretary – Royal Portrush