New structures for sporting success

Swiss PGA Tour Players

Marco Iten / Kim Métraux / Jeremy Freiburghaus

The Swiss PGA has adapted its structures in the "Playing" area. The traditional captain's office has been abolished. The duties of the association captain have been divided between two members of the board - Swiss PGA vice-president Marc Chatelain and Gianluca Patuzzo. Both work on a voluntary basis and take care of the association's own tournaments (Patuzzo) and the administrative affairs of association members with playing status (Chatelain). Performance Manager Stuart Morgan is a further expert who supports the members of the Swiss Golf Team; Morgan works for the team on a 50 percent basis. His commitment is financed by Swiss Golf and Swiss PGA.

Marc chatelain

Marc Chatelain

Swiss-PGA Vice President Marc Chatelain is responsible for the department "Member Support Playing Professionals". What does that mean in concrete terms? "The primary aim is to evaluate applicants for playing membership, to examine their business plans and, if suitable, to propose these golfers to the Board and the General Assembly for admission," explains Chatelain. No one has ever had to turn him down, but he has had to demand an improved business plan. The Swiss PGA currently has 33 playing members. "During the year I have little contact with these members. Towards the end of the season or the end of the year, the Playing Pros are contacted and we check whether the criteria necessary for a Playing Membership are met," says the Vice President. These criteria include participation in a certain number of tournaments and participation in the Qualifying School. "However, we will have to adjust these in the Corona year 2020." He also does not expect any new playing candidates in the coming months: "Since there will be no Qualifying School in the fall of 2020 and thus no opportunity to earn a tour ticket, the current candidates for a change to the pros will probably remain amateurs at least until the fall of 2021.


Gianluca Patuzzo

Board member Gianluca Patuzzo, responsible for the "Member Support Tournaments", does his voluntary work for the Swiss PGA during the season. He is the face of the association at the Swiss PGA tournaments and represents the association to the tournament participants as well as to the representatives of the golf club on whose course they play. Patuzzo is the local contact person, takes care of the prize money breakdown and checks the starting lists and rankings in collaboration with the Swiss PGA Office. "Since last year we have been using the 'Golf Genius' app to keep players, club members and fans informed about what's happening on the course via live scoring," explains Patuzzo. The Ticino native demonstrates his multi-tasking ability at each of the Swiss PGA events by not only being responsible for the organization, but also being a participant himself and playing good golf. In the Corona year 2020, however, his stakes are also lower: "We organize four Swiss PGA Tour events, each of which is played over two days or 36 holes and each of which includes a ProAm. Then there is the three-day Swiss PGA Championship, which is played over 54 holes and is also coupled with a ProAm. Our traditional season-opening tournament, the Team Championship, has unfortunately fallen victim to the lockdown," said Patuzzo.

For Stuart Morgan, who looks after the members of the Swiss Golf Team on behalf of Swiss Golf and Swiss PGA, the Corona crisis also necessitated changes in the work process. As Performance Manager he works with nine playing professionals, evaluating their play and form and helping them to improve and advance their careers step by step. The Swiss Golf Team this calendar year includes Albane Valenzuela, Kim and Morgane Métraux, Joel Girrbach, Jeremy Freiburghaus, Marco Iten, Luca Galliano, Benjamin Rusch and Mathias Eggenberger. In normal years Morgan uses the home tournaments of the Swiss on the European and Challenge Tour to watch his protégés on the course and in serious play. "Watching the players live in the tournament is crucial to provide good feedback and support. I am able to recognize the environment and the players' behavior and can analyze this better than if I only had to rely on their descriptions," explains Morgan. He is an advocate of the personal presence of coaches at tournaments - especially in the professional sector. "In no other sport are coaches absent at top-level competitions," says Morgan.

Stuart Morgan

Morgan Stuart

In the Corona summer of 2020 the international competitions have failed to materialize. The team around Stuart Morgan used the time to introduce new forms of training for the Swiss Golf Team. Since June, "Performance Days" have been held twice a month, to which Morgan invites the Swiss Golf Team and alternately selected top amateurs. Training takes place on various courses in Switzerland under the guidance of the Performance Coach and with the support of Swiss-PGA members Roberto Francioni and Russell Warner. "The feedback on these first Performance Days was very good," says Swiss-PGA Vice President Marc Chatelain, who in his function as Head of Competitive Sports at Swiss Golf was also involved in these training sessions. "With the exception of Albane Valenzuela, who lives abroad, the Swiss Golf Team was mostly fully represented," Chatelain said. Even though the international tournament events are now back on track, the association wants to stick to the Performance Days and continue them during the 2021 season. In addition, Performance and Preparation Camps lasting several days will be held for the members of the Swiss Golf Team from October onwards; this will take place mainly during the winter months at the new winter base of Swiss Golf, Lumine Golf near Barcelona. The Swiss Golf Team has access to the training infrastructure for twelve weeks (from the beginning of January to the end of March).