September 14, 2003
BIRGITTA JOHANSSON-HEDBERG: We started that years ago and it's growing and growing, it's a very important event that the bank is sponsoring. I don't remember the year we started it. '97. It was before I started as president for the bank. It's really fantastic. The interest we have from young people all over the country. From the rural areas, from big cities, everywhere. And the girls of course is a very important part of it
Q. During this tournament they will be 4 or 5,000 young kids here in this camp?
BIRGITTA JOHANSSON-HEDBERG: Yes. You can see them on hole number 8. There they are in the audience making the way for the players when they come back.
Q. European players I guess?
BIRGITTA JOHANSSON-HEDBERG: They appreciate good golf.
Q. What were you saying about the youth program? You haven't seen it yet?
ALLEN SOLHEIM: I think it's essential for the future of golf. We need more people interested in golf when they're young because it's a life long sport.
Q. Does Ping have any idea about young golfers?
ALLEN SOLHEIM: We've done a lot of things in goal way back and sponsoring different things. We have the Karsten World Series of Junior Golf, the Ping -- it's Ping Junior Golf, the tournament. We've sponsored different ones through the years. It's very important.
Q. The Ping Junior one seems to be a big success so far for the two years?
ALLEN SOLHEIM: Yes.
Q. It's still young kids and people are coming and watching them. They're the top ranked ones in the States and the top ranked in Europe.
ALLEN SOLHEIM: Our first Ping Junior tournament was actually like 30 years ago. We went through a period of time where we didn't have them, but we had them every year for like 10-12 years straight.
Q. You got back to that one. You used to do the junior tournaments?
ALLEN SOLHEIM: Right. It was organized a little different by different people. We had gone with somebody that ended up passing away. He was working for us and he passed away and we ended the program.
Q. What do you expect from the camp in the future from the bank.
BIRGITTA JOHANSSON-HEDBERG: I expect that many of these young kids will see what a wonderful sport golf is especially in Sweden where you can play it everywhere. Anybody can play golf. That's what I expect. And of course we expect them also to see that FoereningsSparbanken is engaged in the sports. They will see also we are people.
Q. Do you think it's different from the youth program in other countries than compared to Sweden? Do other countries have things like yours, so committed to golf?
BIRGITTA JOHANSSON-HEDBERG: Certainly I don't know if they are. What's unique is it's such a broad program here. All young people can be engaged in that, and all young people are from wherever you come in Sweden. That's a really big thing, I think.
Q. It's fantastic to think that there's so many young people in Sweden playing golf and engaged in a program like this.
ALLEN SOLHEIM: It is. And it's really what the rest of the world needs to do. Golf is a game that binds people together. There's too much trouble in the world, and they need things like golf to turn to.
Q. It's a life long commitment as you said before. If you start playing golf, you can do it until the bitter end.
JOHN SOLHEIM: They say that golf keeps a person out of an old folks home.
End of FastScripts.