Global Edition

Groundbreaking Research into Golf Course Development

8.30am 24th February 2012 - Management Topics

You don’t have to look far to find a list of the construction industry’s high profile project failures, many associated with the sports industry. As a consequence, there has recently been much attention given to investigating the root cause of such fiascos.

The facilities for the 2012 London Olympic Games are just one example of a construction program that successfully exploited a new approach to procuring sporting infrastructure. However, it seems that the golf industry might be lagging behind in implementing such cutting edge strategies.

As part of a research project for a Masters Degree from Heriot-Watt University in Scotland, John Bowden a lecturer in Turfgrass Science at Myerscough College in England, is set to investigate the efficiency of current golf course procurement practices within the golf course development sector with the aim of identifying potential areas of the process that might be re-engineered to deliver increased success rates.

The project, supported by The European Institute of Golf  Course Architects (EIGCA), aims to survey the perception of the numerous industry stakeholders on the current state of procurement within the sector through a European wide consultation.

Ranier Preissmann (president of the EIGCA) commented: “ The EIGCA is widely involved in promoting the growth of the game of golf and sustainable golf course development in Europe with its sister organisations and industry partners. We believe that gathering data on the widely used procurement methods across Europe could make a new and useful contribution to the development of the game of golf and its associated infrastructure.”

The user friendly survey released on 20th February requires only a few minutes to complete, is still open and can be accessed at Anyone who has been involved in the development of golf courses within the European Union and who has an interest in shaping a more sustainable future for golf course development is highly encouraged to participate.

John Bowden added, “When you consider the challenges created by ground conditions, topography, logistics, weather and finding suitably qualified labour, golf course construction is a complicated affair without problems unintentionally being designed into the process. This research could offer the industry a head start before the button is pressed that sets the wheels of construction process in motion.”

The results of the study will be of significance to all of those involved in the golf industry and could have positive implications for finding more sustainable development solutions.  Anybody interested in receiving an executive summary of the research findings can contact the researcher at

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