Date: Tue 11 Apr 2017

Spanish Lessons at the 2017 EIGCA Annual Meeting

Golf in southern Europe and better water management were the focus of the EIGCA 2017 annual meeting in the Costa del Sol.

EIGCA Annual Meeting 2017 Members and Partners

EIGCA Annual Meeting 2017 Members and Partners

This annual get-together was spread over five days at the end of March. The first two days were dedicated to students of the EIGCA’s Vocational Qualification in Golf Course Design. Day three was Round 1 of the President’s Cup at Real Club de Golf de Sotogrande. The formal proceedings of the EIGCA Annual General Meeting kicked-off day four, which was followed by Round 2 of the President’s Cup at Real Club de Golf Las Brisas, before the day concluded with the Partners’ Dinner to celebrate the important role of EIGCA’s partners in helping to further the golf course design profession.

Representatives of Rain Bird, John Deere and Tanto International Golf receiving their awards recognising their 15 years' support

Representatives of Rain Bird, John Deere and Tanto International Golf receiving their awards recognising their 15 years' support

The Partners’ Dinner, held at Las Brisas, was hosted by EIGCA’s President, Tom Mackenzie, who commemorated the 15-year relationship between EIGCA and partners Rain Bird, John Deere and Tanto International Golf, with a presentation of trophies to their representatives. The nine partners who joined in the last year were given a warm welcome: Silver Partner Better Billy Bunker, and Bronze Partners, Asian Golf Construction, Atlantic Golf Construction, Capillary Concrete, EcoBunker, Golfgraffix, Perrot, Progolf and Semillas Fito.

The day of the conference was split into three elements. First up was the focus on golf in the region. Alejandro Nagy of golfindustria.es/ set the scene by explaining the golf industry in Spain, past, present and future. The strength of the sport in the region was demonstrated by talks about the development of La Zagaleta and the recent renovation of both Sotogrande and Las Brisas.

Xavier Agusti (Toro) and Paul O'Brien

Xavier Agusti (Toro) and Paul O'Brien

Stuart Tate and Mohan Subramanian (Rain Bird), with Caspar Grauballe

Stuart Tate and Mohan Subramanian (Rain Bird), with Caspar Grauballe

The afternoon focused on better water management with presentations from EIGCA partners: Rain Bird (“Water resource planning and golf course design”); The Toro Company (“Trends and technology in golf water management”); Hunter Industries (“Mitigating the effects of wind on sprinkler performance”); Semillas Fito (“Turfgrass selection for southern Europe”); and Better Billy Bunker (“Everything you ever wanted to know about bunkers”). NB: copies of the presentations are available for EIGCA members – contact julia@eigca.org to request copies.

This annual meeting presents one of the very few opportunities in Europe for a large number of golf course architects and industry figures to gather. To take advantage of this unique opportunity, the EIGCA held a Partners’ Spotlight, an adaptation of the speed dating concept which brought members and partners together for focused conversations. Every six minutes members moved round to speak to different partners, giving all partners the opportunity to discuss how they would work with golf course architects.

Christoph Städler, Tom Mackenzie and Ross McMurray

Christoph Städler, Tom Mackenzie and Ross McMurray

The week concluded with the President’s Dinner held at the H10 Andalucia Plaza. This event was the final official duty of Tom Mackenzie as President as he handed over the Presidency to Ross McMurray at the end of the evening.

In his inaugural address to members and partners, Ross looked to the future: “I want to assure Members and Partners that after 17 years as a pan-European representative body, EIGCA remains committed to acting in the best interests of Members and Partners, wherever they are based, for the good of the profession and wider industry. The EIGCA will continue to be a representative body of which all Members can be justifiably proud.

“I am looking forward to further developing the expertise of our members through the implementation of a structured Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programme. CPD will become an important benchmark for EIGCA and will provide an opportunity for members to demonstrate a commitment to updating their skills and knowledge in order to remain professionally competent.”

Other highlights of the week included:

  • The AGM welcomed Thomas Marzolf, Holger Rengstorf, Mike Cox, Jeffrey Danner, Robin Hiseman, Gary Johnston, Paul Kimber, Dave Sampson and Michiel van der Vaart as Senior Members and Jakub Cervenka, Alex Hay and Gareth Williams as Associate Members.
  • Four students attended workshops on the EIGCA’s Vocational Qualification in Golf Course Design. They are half way through their two years of studying and practical experience, three of them having applied under the EIGCA Student Attachment Programme, which provides placements at a working design practice.
  • Results of The President’s Cup
    • Winner = Christoph Staedler
    • Runners up = Will Murray & Paul O’Brien
    • First place in the guest and partner category = Tom Kelly of MJ Abbotts
    • Best score at Sotogrande = Didier Genty of Rain Bird
    • Best score at Las Brisas = Xavier Agusti of Toro

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