Brigitte Albisetti - transition time in Switzerland
Long serving Swiss Pitch and Putt Association President Brigitte Albisetti recently stepped away from the position after spending a dozen years at the helm. Brigitte kindly spoke to us following her announcement.
fippa.org: Now that you have made and communicated your decision, do you have any regrets?
Brigitte Albisetti (BA): It was hard and difficult to take the decision… but no regrets! Anyway I’m worried about what will happen to Pitch and Putt/SPPA in Switzerland. Unfortunately, at the moment there is nobody who is interested in taking over the Association.
fippa.org: What were the primary factors obstructing the development of Pitch and Putt as a sport in Switzerland?
BA: In the last 10 years, two Pitch and Putt and one short golf course joined SPPA. I realized that the affiliated courses are not keen to organize Pitch and Putt tournaments so our events became just local tournaments without a championship character with only a few participants. The 2015 statistics show an average of 20,87 players per event and a game can hardly grow in those circumstances. What’s more, Pitch and Putt in Switzerland is still and only seen as a start for golf or an important training skill for the short game but not as an autonomous sport.
fippa.org: So it proved difficult to distinguish Pitch and Putt from golf in Switzerland?
BA:Yes! As I said, Pitch and Putt is seen as golf for beginners and only as a practice facility, not as an independent and competitive sport! Even our Pitch and Putt courses were more interested in promoting golf than Pitch and Putt as the brand “Pitch and Putt" was for them mainly counterproductive.
fippa.org: What have been your memorable moments from your involvement in the sport of Pitch and Putt?
BA: To be elected as EPPA Board member, to get the responsibility of contacting European countries and to work out the Pitch and Putt rules. The organization of two International Senior Opens in Switzerland! Also to get to attend the competitions of European and world championships are unforgettable experiences for me.
fippa.org: You invested significant time, effort and money into Pitch and Putt. Is there anything now you would have done differently, on reflection?
BA: Not really, I did my very best. I’ve tried to promote the game of Pitch and Putt in Switzerland but had to realize that my country wasn’t ready for this game. Now I don’t have more energy to go ahead and to invest more of my money and time in it.
FIPPA: How supportive have your family been?
BA: My family was always there to support me. They are all excellent golfers and for them it was sometimes really hard to understand my battle for Pitch and Putt, but they did and they participated in some Pitch and Putt events… My husband is now a very keen and enthusiast Pitch and Putt player!
fippa.org: What else could EPPA or FIPPA have done to assist Pitch and Putt in Switzerland?
BA: Hard to say. As a small Association, it would have been nice if EPPA / FIPPA had been supportive so as to get more international Pitch and Putt events in Switzerland. This might have inspired more players.
fippa.org: What will happen to SPPA now?
BA: I still cannot give an answer to this question; the SPPA affiliated clubs have to decide the future of SPPA in the next few months. The main difficulty in Switzerland is that Pitch and Putt courses are keen to work with the golf public organization to promote golf but this does not comply with the FIPPA membership criteria.
fippa.org: You have received some heartwarming messages of support from the Pitch and Putt community since you reached your decision?
BA: Oh yes. I am moved and very honoured to get so many heartwarming messages. To know that my work for Pitch and Putt was appreciated by the international Pitch and Putt family is very important to me and I’m happy to get the consideration.
fippa.org: What's next for Brigitte Albisetti?
BA: The Pitch and Putt adventure took a very important part in my life for many years. I enjoyed working with Pitch and Putt people and will always have good memories of my time as EPPA Board member. I shared nice and unforgettable moments together with those in the Pitch and Putt family and I would like to thank them for their support, friendship and cooperation. I certainly will keep in touch and follow the development of the Pitch and Putt sport! I would also like to wish everybody all the best for their efforts toward the nice game of Pitch and Putt and… if I will be successful in building my own course… I will be back!