Golf course design and construction demands high-calibre and skilled individuals. The European Institute of Golf Course Architecture’s (EIGCA) Vocational Qualification in Golf Course Design (EVQGCD) is the only accredited course of its kind and ensures that up and coming golf course architects develop the knowledge and skills required by the profession. The latest intake of students on this two-year course have now commenced their studies and will be following a blend of formal training and practical application.
The first formal workshop took place at the EIGCA annual meeting in Belfast in April and introduced the students to routing and elements of strategy so they gain an appreciation of the initial requirements involved in golf course design.
Covering drawing skills, golf course layout and strategy as well as the more specialised subjects of agronomy, ecology and construction technology, the workshops are held every six months over four terms. The course is delivered through online presentations by members of the Institute and experts in related industries, and students must complete assignments and submit plans and illustrations of projects they have worked on.
“Our bespoke vocational qualification course is well developed and offers students a real opportunity to pursue a career in golf course design. The students have a minimum of 80 days supervision by a mentor as well as design projects and essays ahead of them. On successful completion of this element of the EVQGCD, the students progress to Part 2, which is when they gain the actual working skills and experience needed to put them on the level of Associate membership of the EIGCA,” says Alan Walker, Chair of the EIGCA Education Board.
The students come from five countries across three continents and have varying golf and design related backgrounds and skill sets, from professional golf to civil engineering and landscape architecture, reflecting the diversity of golf course architecture in the 21st Century. Four of the five students will study under the EIGCA Student Attachment Programme which provides placements at a working design practice to gain practical experience, and regular access to a member of the Institute to help and guide them through the course. The fifth student is already employed in a golf course architecture practice.
Following completion of the workshop the students joined EIGCA Members, Partners and Patrons to play Royal Belfast and Royal County Down Golf Clubs, and attended the annual conference, giving them plenty of opportunity to network with professionals from the industry.
European Institute of Golf Course Architecture www.eigca.org