The head office will be closed in November, hence Julia and Wendy will work from their home office in the future. Last but not least, we were able to increase revenues and reduce costs which has resulted in the very healthy development of the financial situation of our Institute in recent years. This will allow us the potential for future investment in staff development, to invest in special projects which appear worthwhile and to combat any unforeseeable negative consequences of Brexit.
To sum up: a lot has been done for EIGCA internal improvements. These achievements must be preserved, some will be further developed. However, the latter is of secondary importance to me at the moment.
Now that we have sorted out our internal issues and adapted them to contemporary requirements, the time has come to make ourselves more visible. We want our expertise to be perceived more strongly in the golf market. We should strive to make our professional contribution to the revival of the golf market and especially the European market. The future of golf is at a crossroads for many reasons (too much time, too little fun, increasing competition for scarce leisure time, etc.). We should therefore make our professional opinion heard by international bodies to help identify the causes of the negative influencing factors and make suggestions for remedies.
There is another topic which seems to me to have the potential for increasing golf participation rates: golf & health. The health benefits that golf offers are generally still far too little known. If it is possible to make them better known to a wider public then golf will undoubtedly attract many new players who might not otherwise have thought of taking up the game. In my opinion, this is a great opportunity, not only for us architects. It would be a win-win situation for the entire golf industry. Therefore, we should raise our voice as a recognized professional body to raise awareness of the health benefits in concerted actions with the other major global golf institutions.
Triggered by the global financial crisis in 2008, there has since been a significant decline in new golf projects in most golf markets. With the exception of a few hot spots, there are currently very few new construction projects worldwide. Since then, most golf course architects have had to draw most of their income from renovating or upgrading existing golf courses. Despite the serious disadvantage of lower fees, there is also an advantage for our EIGCA members that can only be seen at second glance: the competition from the large, internationally operating "design factories" is noticeably diminishing because the field of renovation is not sufficiently lucrative for them. Their market shares are gradually being conquered by the smaller "design boutiques" which offer close personal all-embracing design services to their clients. This trend comprises a great opportunity for our members due to their exceptional professionalism which derives from the world leading quality of EIGCA's internal education and continuing professional development.
As I now take over the presidency from Ross McMurray, I have to express my gratitude and appreciation on behalf of all members for his long-lasting services and the great achievements he has effected! I would also like to thank you, dear colleagues, for the trust you have placed in me with your election. I will do my best to live up to your expectations. I would be delighted to have your support, for example by volunteering to work on one of our committees. I would also like to ask you for contributions to the newsletter by submitting reports about your projects and especially about experiences in cooperation with our industry partners.
Wishing you all a prospering business, sincerely yours
President of the European Institute of Golf Course Architects