AGCO is a voice for owners of golf courses and their members, continuing to fight the unfair treatment of VAT and tax that is crippling the proprietary golf sector in the UK.
Since AGCO was formed in 1993 it has been a voice for proprietary golf in the UK in relation to tax and VAT, winning an important VAT exemption for sports players in the payment of national governing body affiliation fees, winning, through Abbotsley, an important VAT case on licenses/leases and golf courses, and being the recognised voice for the proprietary sector when the VAT Sports order was debated in Parliament and in Committee in 1999.
It acts on behalf of proprietary golf clubs and public golf courses and their members and customers who unfairly pay VAT on their sports.
AGCO is an entirely voluntary organisation. All committee members and supporters work entirely voluntarily, without receipt of expense or subsidy.
Vivien Saunders OBE is the Chairman of AGCO
Vivien was British Women’s Open Champion in 1977, the Founder and First Chairman of the Women’s Professional Golf Association, National Coach to the English Ladies’ Golf Association for 18 years and twice winner of the British Sports Coach of the Year Award. She is the owner of the Abbotsley Golf and Squash Club and the Cambridge Meridian Golf Club, both in Cambridgeshire, having been a golf course owner since 1986. Vivien has written 10 books in her own name and acted as a ghost writer for both Nick Faldo and Bernard Langer.
Vivien has degrees in psychology, business administration and tax law and qualified as a solicitor in 1981, specialising in tax law and family law. She no longer practises as a solicitor. She is a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute and was awarded the OBE for services to golf in 1997.
Andrew Sutcliffe is the Deputy Chairman of AGCO
Owner and Joint Head Professional, Tickenham Golf Club, PGA member, was made a Fellow of the PGA in 2006 and played on the European Tour in the 1980’s.
A long amateur career at county and national level included all the top events. He even played in the French and Irish Opens while still an amateur. By 1979, he was down to scratch and by 1980 had turned professional and gained his card at the European Tour School at the first attempt. He spent three winters on the South African circuit and three years full time on the European Tour, but back problems restricted his career.
He designed the beautiful and idyllic golf course at St. Saints in Normandy. He stayed to organise the build, to teach and market the business.
On his return to the UK he designed and built his club at Tickenham Somerset. His wife Sarah is an Advanced PGA member and runs the club with him.
Andrew has been fighting the distortion in taxation since 1996, campaigning himself and following what Vivien has been working on. He has continued in a more official capacity as our Deputy Chairman since 2011.