Bernard gallacher defibrillator campaign

Learn more about our campaign with the Professional Golfers' Association (PGA) to support the placement of public-access defibrillators at golf clubs across the UK to ensure that everyone has access to life-saving equipment in the event of a sudden cardiac arrest.

In August 2013, former Ryder Cup captain, Bernard Gallacher collapsed during a dinner at a hotel on the outskirts of Aberdeen.

Bernard had suffered a sudden cardiac arrest.  Fortunately, the hotel had a defibrillator.  Thanks to the immediate action of staff with CPR and early live-saving shocks from a defibrillator, he survived.  He then went on to make a full recovery and has had an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) fitted to prevent further cardiac arrests.

Many others are not as fortunate.  Each year 100,000 people die from sudden cardiac arrest in the UK, causing more deaths than lung cancer, breast cancer and AIDs combined.  CPR and early defibrillation with an AED (automated external defibrillator) can increase sudden cardiac arrest survival from 5% to over 50%.

Drawing on his own personal experience, in partnership with the Professional Golfers’ Association and Arrhythmia Alliance, Bernard decided to launch the Bernard Gallacher Defibrillator campaign to support the placement of public-access defibrillators at golf clubs across the UK to ensure that everyone has access to life-saving equipment in the event of a sudden cardiac arrest. 

Figures published in a recent survey identified that there were more than 3,000 golf courses and a further 840 independent driving ranges across the UK.  These serve more than 4 million people.  Currently just 30% of golf clubs have a defibrillator.

It is hoped that thanks to the Bernard Gallacher Defibrillator Campaign every golf club in the UK will have access to a public-access defibrillator by the end of 2016.

Campaign Background

Click here to download background information on the campaign (pdf)

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email: or phone 01789 867 501

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Wentworth Club, Monday 16 December 2013

Arrhythmia Alliance was proud to join the PGA, European Tour and Play Golf at the launch of the  Bernard Gallacher Defibrillator campaign, held at Wentworth, home of the Professional Golf Association (PGA).

Following a sudden cardiac arrest at a dinner reception in August 2013, Bernard’s life was saved thanks to the prompt actions of a medic in the audience and use of the clubs on-site defibrillator. Bernard and his family were all together for the launch of the campaign which aims to encourage every golf course to join the campaign and ensure at least one defibrillator is available at each golf course across Great Britain and Ireland by the end of 2014.

Also at the launch was TV personality, and long term friend of the Gallacher’s, Sir Bruce Forsyth. Speaking at the event Sir Bruce said: "This issue is so important, affecting so many people, of all ages, and at any time. The work of Arrhythmia Alliance in helping people to understand what a sudden cardiac arrest is, and how the use of something so small and inexpensive as an AED can help to save lives, is critical. Everyone needs to know the difference they can make having access to, and using, a defibrillator."

Presenting an outline of the charity’s work to the audience of over 100 invited guests, Deputy CEO, Jo Jerrome said: “We have been overwhelmed with the interest and offers of support shown at the event.  It is important that AEDs are recognised as a vital part of essential life saving equipment and all public areas should have fast and 24/7 access. We are very much looking forward to working with the PGA and clubs across the country as the campaign picks up pace in the New Year. Bernard and Lesley’s passion for the campaign shone through and I’m certain we can help to save more lives in the future.”

Over four million people attend one of the country’s 3000 golf clubs each year, but currently only a third of these have an on-site defibrillator. It is estimated that over 100,000 people a year die as a result of sudden cardiac arrest.

To get involved with the campaign, please make your donation or email for more information.


Step One – Register your interest at or phone 01789 867 501

Step Two – Liaise with your club personnel to identify tournament opportunities

Step Three – Engage with members and encourage participation or phone 01789 867 501

View information flyer here.