The International Association of Golf Course Architects, launched at China Golf 2000 in December, is the brainchild of Stephen Allen, president of the Australian-based Golf World Group and organiser of the annual China Golf exhibition now in its 7th year.
It has just been announced that the IAGCA’s name has been changed to “Golf World Course Designers and Contractors Group”. This reflects the commercial nature of the organisation which aims to provide its members with more exposure and therefore improved job prospects world wide. With immediate effect the Golf World group will refrain from using the IAGCA name.
“It is the aim and intention of the Group to facilitate business introductions between designers and prospective clients around the world,” Stephen Allen explained “and to provide its clients with more recognition, acknowledgement and job prospects. It will inform and advise golf course owners and prospective owners of the services available internationally pertaining to the design and construction of golf courses.
“Our major goals are to facilitate a relationship between property developers and golf course designers to support and promote our clients at all times in a professional manner. We consider our clients to be all people actively involved on a day-to-day basis in the golf course industry. GWCDCG is, I repeat is, a full-profit commercial venture. In fact, the group would like to assist all Associations and their members in the golf course industry in any way that we possibly can.”
The membership criteria for the Group were announced in December. To qualify architects must have designed at least three 18-hole courses. Membership fees were set at US$2,500 per year with a five per cent charge for each job introduced by the Group. There are also categories for builders and constructors.
While membership is already reported to include JMP Design Group, Robert Trent Jones II and Graham Marsh Golf Design some architects had expressed concerns about potential conflicts of interest. European golf course architects, in particular, were also concerned about the five per cent fee element although it was recognized that the Group had no intention of competing with the EIGCA’s objectives of training and education.
Stephen Allen has reacted quickly to these concerns by changing the name of his organisation. “I have always said that we are a commercial organisation and the exhibition and the GWCDCG are separate. I have no intention in dealing unfairly with anybody,” he stated earlier this week. “As you know, we have had a relationship for many years with many golf course architects. I would do nothing that would jeopardise that relationship or embarrass any of the Associations or Societies.”
Golf World Group www.golfworldgroup.com.au