The influence of the Golf Consultants’ Association (GCA) within the golf industry continues to grow with the confirmation of three new members – including its first international member.
Belgian Piet Vandenbussche, manager of Golf.be, has joined The Azalea Group’s Andy Barwell and Andrew Harris, partner at HK Golf, in being admitted to the group, which assists golf course developers and those clients looking to build successful golf businesses by offering expert and impartial advice.
Vandenbussche is based in Belgium but works extensively across Europe and beyond as a golf business and developmental project coordinator.
Barwell is a director at Azalea, specialist golf PR and marketing consultants who are retained at home and abroad by a large number of clubs and golfing organisations including, most recently, Quinta do Lago, Exclusive Golf, Brocket Hall and the Cliffords Group in Essex.
And Harris and his team of specialist consultants offer expertise in another part of the industry, working extensively with clubs, courses and new developments across the world in providing computer-generated graphics and animations.
Vandenbussche said: “I’m very proud to be the association’s first international member, which could be a first step towards a more global approach for the GCA. I have experience of working in many European countries and, speaking fluent Dutch and French, I’m hoping to be of benefit to many local projects.”
Barwell said: “Some of the game’s key decision makers are members of the GCA. To be invited to join is a great privilege and I’m aiming to play a full part in helping the organisation continue to grow in the years ahead.”
Harris added: “I’m looking forward to adding my expertise to the wealth of knowledge offered by the existing members.
“I will endeavour to contribute to the growth of the association, in particular, internationally where my company provides a service to many new and existing golf course developments. With a second office in Latvia, we also have strong connections to Eastern Europe and Russia, which are burgeoning markets in the golf industry.”
The trio are the latest key industry figures to join the GCA’s growing membership after Jerry Kilby, part-time CEO of the Club Managers Association of Europe (CMAE) and Doug Poole, former managing director of Golfsmith Europe International and ex-chairman of the British Golf Industry Association, were admitted at the start of the summer.
Founded in 1999, the organisation offers a wealth of expertise in delivering honest, practical advice and solutions to golf developers and operators around the world, from single nine-hole courses to full-scale international resorts.
The GCA is unique in the UK in its ability to make available a team of highly-respected and experienced golf industry professionals to see any phase of a project through from conception to end.
Howard Swan, chairman of GCA, said: “I am delighted that these three experienced and independent consultants have joined our ranks and will contribute greatly to the growth and development of the Association as well as being able to network and link with the other members to provide an unparalleled, broad and proven service to the business of golf throughout the world.
“It is particularly pleasing to have our first continent-based consultant join us. We are now able to provide a remarkable breadth, and depth, of consultancy services and aim to increase this further in the years to come.”