While the debate continues regarding the changes to The Old Course at St Andrews, the European Institute of Golf Course Architects has made public the results of a poll of EIGCA members on the principle of carrying out alterations to the historic links.
Of 112 members polled across 25 countries, 79 responded within 24 hours and the results make for interesting reading. Members were asked to respond to one of three options which most closely reflected their own views.
26.5% agreed with the statement “No changes of any kind should be made to the Old Course”.
However, 72.15% of members felt that changes to The Old Course might be appropriate. A majority of members agreed with the statement that renovations could be carried out but only if they were “based on thorough historic research”. 58.2% voted for this option.
Only 13.9% of members aligned themselves to the statement that “It is appropriate to alter the Old Course in response to the changes in the modern game.”
Speaking about the results EIGCA President, Rainer Preissmann, said: “Over the last few days much has been said and written about the prospect of changes being carried out to The Old Course. The EIGCA felt that this was an opportunity to discover the thoughts of golf course architects in Europe and to perhaps present a more balanced assessment.”
“The results of our poll clearly show that, while many of our members agree that it ought to be possible to carry out alterations to The Old Course, a significant majority believe that such changes should only be allowed if they reflect the historic strategy of the course.
“This, along with those who believe that it should remain untouched altogether, reflects the continued influence of this great links on golf course architecture and shows the high regard which architects continue to hold for The Old Course.”
The full results were as follows:
- Total number of votes: 79 (70.5% of the membership)
- Option 1: No changes of any kind should be made to the Old Course – 21 votes
- Option 2: Only renovations based on a thorough historic research should be carried out – 46 votes
- Option 3: It is appropriate to alter the Old Course in response to the changes in the modern game – 11 Votes
- Abstained: 1 Vote
European Instituteof Golf Course Architectswww.eigca.org