Becoming a pan-European organisation has undoubtedly enhanced the quality of European golf course architecture. It has allowed designers from all over the continent of Europe and beyond to come together to share experiences and knowledge and to benefit from the EIGCA’s own education programmes. It has also given us a greater voice in the golf industry and allowed us to develop stronger associations with our Partners and Patrons.
In the last seventeen years the EIGCA has developed and adapted to better represent its members. We are bound by our code of conduct and we have tremendous opportunities to learn and educate ourselves, whether that be from our Annual Conference, our CPD Seminar or through the Raising the Standard of Sustainable Golf Course Development programme.
One of the central aims of the EIGCA when it was formed was to provide education for both new and established architects and while we have made great strides in this direction it is clear that, if we are to develop further as a professional body, we need to formalise our Continuing Professional Development programme.
This year we will start our new points based CPD programme to bring it in line with other similar architectural and engineering based professional bodies. As well as encouraging members to self-learn we will be working to produce information and webinars on core industry topics which directly influence how we plan and design golf courses. We are fortunate that through our Patrons and Partners we have the ability to access a tremendous information resource which can be made available in structured and interesting ways to allow EIGCA members to improve both their professional competence and competitiveness in an increasingly challenging market.
It is important that we recognise the contribution our Partners have played in helping us to establish and develop as a professional body. Several have supported us for 15 years or more (Toro, Rain Bird, Jacobsen, John Deere, Tanto, John Greasley & MJ Abbott) and I hope that we will be able to build similar long term relationships with many of our new Partners. Our Partners Programme delivers a true partnership between businesses and the EIGCA and the expansion of our CPD offering is a great opportunity for us all to work together through education and learning.
As I take over from Tom Mackenzie as President I am acutely aware of the great contributions that have been made by our previous Presidents to help the EIGCA grow and develop into a vibrant professional body which acts both for its members and for the benefit of golf as a whole. Over the next two years I look forward to continuing their legacy, with the help of our Council and superb EIGCA staff.
President of the European Institute of Golf Course Architects