By offering a Vocational Qualification in Golf Course Design the European Institute of Golf Course Architects (EIGCA) is responding to the demand for formal training in designing golf courses and for an introduction to a profession which requires an ever wider range of skills and technical knowledge. However, like other professions in the industry, Golf course architecture is a career which is very unpredictable in terms of long term security and students should understand this before embarking upon the course.
there is no reason why the profession should not continue to grow
While the EIGCA recognises that the marketplace will dictate the demand for the construction of new golf courses, course renovation and remodelling, it realises that it has a duty to educate and train new golf course architects in order to achieve and maintain a high standard of design and professional expertise within the industry.
With new markets appearing in countries around the world, where golf is still being discovered, there is no reason why the profession should not continue to grow.
The principal aim of the Vocational Qualification is to train selected students working with a qualified member of the EIGCA, so the student can be mentored and taught the fundamental skills and knowledge required for a potential career in golf course design. To succeed in the qualification the student will need to structure and conduct their own background research to supplement the training and experience gained from their EIGCA mentor.
If applicants are not currently working with an EIGCA member’s practice the Student Attachment Programme (SAP) could still help to provide an entry route into the profession. Before starting the course applicants will be required to have secured a placement with an EIGCA member’s practice willing to mentor and support the applicant throughout the duration of the course. The EIGCA will try to assist with finding such placements but it will be up to the applicant to secure their own placement.
Students will be required to work a minimum of four days per calendar month at their attachment practice where they will learn and assist their EIGCA mentor in all aspects of golf course design. This practical ‘hands-on’ experience will normally include visits to projects in construction so that a more in-depth understanding of the construction process is achieved.
The Vocational Qualification in Golf Course Design consists of a combination of online presentations and bi-annual workshops. The online presentations may be viewed at a time of the students’ choosing, within the term they relate to, and can be watched as many times as necessary.
The course curriculum covers the following areas:
Students will be expected to attend all five workshops which are held on a biannual basis, alternating between the EIGCA Annual General Meeting at a location in Europe, and the EIGCA headquarters in Surrey. At the workshops students will be given a limited amount of teaching but the main focus will be on practical design work aimed at introducing students to an area of layout or detailed design, as well as testing understanding and progression. Additional days may be arranged for SAP students if required.
Progression on the course is assessed through a series of assignments which must be completed throughout the course in the student’s own time. Typically these would consist of five design projects and seven essays.
On-the-job training forms a significant part of the course and EIGCA mentors are encouraged to provide complementary training/experience in the following areas:
Students will keep work record sheets during the course to outline the areas of training and experience received from their EIGCA mentor and this must be countersigned by the mentor to confirm its accuracy. The student will also keep an accompanying work book with sample plans and illustrations for the office projects they have worked on during the period of the course. The student will bring both of these documents to each workshop for assessment and they should continue to update them until they are submitted to the Membership Committee when applying for Associate Membership at the end of the course.
All students who successfully complete the course assignments will receive a certificate of attendance but will remain ‘students’ of the EIGCA until they have completed sufficient work experience to qualify for Associate Membership at which time students will also graduate from the EIGCA Vocational Qualification in Golf Course Design. The period of time provided to gain this work experience will be limited to four years, beyond which the student status and the ability to graduate will be forfeited and the individual will need to apply for membership as an external applicant.