Golf course design company European Golf Design is poised for a new direction following a change in its ownership structure.
A two-man syndicate comprising European Tour Chief Operating Officer Keith Waters and businessman Robert Birmingham has acquired 50% of EGD from International Management Group, which established the company together with the European Tour as a joint venture in 1992.
The syndicate and the European Tour will now work together to further develop EGD to design new courses and redesign existing member and resort courses, but particularly to host tournaments and the Ryder Cup.
The 2010 Course at Celtic Manor in Wales was designed by EGD to specifically host the Ryder Cup 11 years ago, while another of its projects, the new 18-hole stadium course at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club on the outskirts of Rome, will play host to the biennial contest in 2023.
For almost three decades, EGD has been responsible for some of the best courses in Europe, with three of its designs – The Stadium Course at PGA Catalunya, The Montgomerie at Carton House and The Faldo Berlin at A-Rosa Resort – having been voted best new courses in Europe, while Dubai Hills in the UAE was named as ‘The World’s Best New Course’ in 2019.
Waters, who will continue in his role as Chief Operating Officer of the European Tour, said: “In partnership with the European Tour we plan to grow EGD, working with the existing team led by Jeremy Slessor, who I am delighted to say will continue as Managing Director. We plan to design more courses for regular and tournament play and work with Tour players who have the desire and opportunity to design golf courses themselves.”
Keith Pelley, Chief Executive of the European Tour said: “Keith’s golfing knowledge and Robert’s business acumen will undoubtedly bring a new perspective and energy to EGD and they are aligned with our rationalisation of the Group businesses. We look forward to seeing what this new partnership can deliver.”
Rupert Hampel, Executive Vice President for IMG’s media and events business, said: “As we concentrate on enhancing and diversifying our global events business, now is the right time for us to support the future growth of EGD through this change of structure. We are delighted to see Keith and Robert take on this responsibility and wish them all the best in the future.”
IMG’s golf course services team will continue to work closely with EGD on mutually beneficial opportunities.