The European Institute of Golf Course Architects will use their annual conference to study how golf course designers can contribute to making the game more enjoyable and accessible. The one day conference, to be held at the Hotel Palacio in Estoril, Portugal on April 4th, will be looking particularly at ways to encourage increased participation for juniors, ladies and those with disabilities. The conference comes at the end of a week of events which will include education courses, golf and the EIGCA AGM.
Entitled ‘Golf for All – Designs on the Future’, the EIGCA Conference will bring together an impressive range of speakers from different sections of the golf industry to give their views on how golf can become more inclusive. They include Steve Isaac, Director of Golf Course Management at The R&A, Tony Bennett, Director of Education for the PGAs of Europe and also President of The European Disabled Golf Association, and Lodewijk Klootwijk, Director of the European Golf Course Owners Association.
Alexandra Almeida, Chairman of the Sport and Environment Commission on the Olympic Committee of Portugal, will discuss golf at the Olympics and how it plans to foster positive legacies, while EIGCA Member Kari Haug will give advice on improving golf course playability for women.
Providing some local context Estoril Golf Club President, Jose de Sousa e Melo, will open the conference by explaining a little about the history of golf development in Portugal, while Drew Rogers, a member of the American Society of Golf Course Architects, will give a presentation on Oitavos Dunes, which, along with Estoril GC, will be co-hosting the EIGCA’s President’s Cup golf tournament.
The conference will again feature it’s popular ‘3 Minute Slots’ where attendees have an opportunity to take to the stage and quickly debate any issue which they feel strongly about or think will generally be of interest. Frequently amusing and sometimes thought provoking the ‘3 Minute Slots’ are often a highlight of the day.
EIGCA President Peter Fjallman commented; “We have developed an exceptional range of speakers for this year’s EIGCA Conference and I hope that it stimulates much thought and discussion about what we as golf course architects can do to broaden the popularity of golf. As a sport golf is almost unique in that it can be played competitively at any age, it has recognised health benefits, both physical and psychological, it improves social skills and promotes an image of honesty and integrity. We must take the opportunity to promote these benefits to non-golfers, and golf course designers must do what they can to help encourage wider participation.”
“I look forward to seeing everyone in Estoril for what promises to be an exciting week of education and golf.”
For further information please contact EIGCA Executive Officer, Julia Green, at Julia@eigca.org
European Institute of Golf Course Architects www.eigca.org