The European Institute of Golf Course Architects is to celebrate its 15th Anniversary by returning to Scotland for the 2015 EIGCA Conference. The location for this year’s event, taking place from 15-18 April, will be East Lothian, specifically the Marine Hotel in North Berwick, overlooking the famous West Links which has been such an inspiration for generations of golf course designers.
The theme of the conference is ‘Inspired by Scottish Golf’ and the conference will take time to study the history and importance of East Lothian courses such as North Berwick and Musselburgh, while also looking to the future to see what can be learnt from golf in Scotland to help encourage greater uptake of the game elsewhere.
A whole session has been set aside for an examination of green designs inspired by North Berwick’s famous Biarritz and Redan holes. A selection of golf journalists, including John Huggan, Jezz Elwood and Adam Lawrence will team up with EIGCA Members to present their thoughts on the design of putting surfaces and predict how the shaping of greens might develop in the future. Chris Bertram, who is responsible for the Golf World Top 100 Courses listings, is another journalist who will be discussing what he loves about golf in Scotland and how golf course architecture influences the Top 100 golf course rankings.
Two of Scottish golf’s top representatives will give their thoughts on how golf course designers can impact on the development of the game. Andy Salmon, Deputy Chief Executive of the Scottish Golf Union, will examine how to make courses more playable for juniors, ladies and beginners, while Steve Otto, Director of Research and Testing at The R&A, promises to divulge the facts and figures regarding the pace of play.
Also looking at what can be done to attract more people to golf will be John King of the European Golf Course Owners Association. John will present the results of important research carried out by the EGCOA as part of their VISION 2020 initiative which maps out a pathway for the sustainable development of the European golf industry.
In the first session of the day Jonathan Smith, Chief Executive of the North Berwick based Golf Environment Organization, will give his thoughts on the past, present and future of golf with a talk that will take us on a journey from East Lothian to Rio de Janeiro and then back to Scotland and the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles.
As always at the EIGCA Conference there will also be opportunities for delegates to put across their own views and memories of golf in Scotland with the ever popular ‘open mic’ three minute slots.
EIGCA President Peter Fjallman said; “I am very much looking forward to returning to Scotland for our 15th Anniversary especially as we have such a wonderful and diverse selection of contributors arranged for our conference. I am sure the combination of the venue, the subject matter and the speakers will combine to create a most stimulating and thought provoking day. I am also delighted to see that we are already assured of a record attendance, so it is clearly going to be a week to remember!”
The European Institute of Golf Course Architects has over 80 senior and associate members in 20 countries. EIGCA’s main objectives are:
- To advance the study of golf course architecture, planning and development
- To promote the technical and artistic development of golf courses and to encourage the highest standards of design and construction
- To define and demand ethical and responsible professional conduct among its members and to qualify those members through education, examination and practical experience
- To teach any subjects relating to golf course architecture, to assist in the education of future golf course architects and to provide continuing professional training for its members.
EIGCA believes that stewardship of the environment through sensitive design is a cornerstone of the golf profession and its code of conduct commits its members to protect, conserve and enhance the quality of the environment wherever possible.
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