Peter Fjällman is unique amongst EIGCA Members in that he is the only member to have progressed from Student to Graduate, then Associate to Senior Member, as well as being a member of the EIGCA Council, Treasurer, Vice-President, President (2013-2015), Immediate Past President and Past President. Peter jokes that the only role he has not filled is ‘Retired Member’, but he assures us he is not ready for that one just yet!
Peter’s career began in 1982 when he opened a golf shop with a PGA professional in Lund, southern Sweden. In 1984 the shop moved to a nearby golf course and the following year he was appointed as the club manager, before a move to Stockholm in 1998 where he became manager for Djursholms Golf Club.
As a player, Peter was fascinated with how it was possible to create a playing field on such a huge scale. This interest prompted him to find out more about golf course design and he made the decision to change careers and become a golf course architect.
Peter joined the EIGCA education programme studying for the EIGCA Professional Diploma in Golf Course Architecture and graduated in 2002. The course gave him the foundation and knowledge to start his career and he formed his own successful design company, Fjällman Golf Design.
As a designer two of Peter’s proudest achievements are his golf courses at Etelä- Saimaa Golf Club in Lappaenranta, Finland and Vårgårda Golf Club in Sweden. Etelä- Saimaa GC is an 18 hole golf course laid out by the shores of Finland's largest lake with dense forest, big rock formations and considerable environmental restrictions. Peter sensitively created a course which is not just ranked as one of the very best in the country but has also been voted Finland’s most beautiful golf course.
At Vårgårda Golf Club Peter’s skill with challenging sites again came to the fore on a property which required many years of studies concerning environmental issues, archaeological excavations and cultural documentations. The routing of the golf course was adapted many times in accordance with the results of the studies and Peter feels that the incorporation of historical items within the golf layout has been beneficial to the project. He also thinks the project demonstrates how important it is to make the local community aware of the way golf can successfully interact with local history and the environment.
As an Associate Member, Peter was asked to join the EIGCA Council in 2005 and was given responsibility for organising a network of regional representatives. When elected as a Senior Member, Peter joined the Finance Committee and became Honorary Treasurer and then EIGCA President in 2013-2015. After serving a further 12 months on the council as Immediate Past President Peter was asked by the then President, Tom Mackenzie, to stay on for another year to help direct the EIGCA’s new five year plan.
Peter believes in giving back to his chosen profession and that if you belong to an association or club that works for the benefits of its members, you have to be prepared to ‘do your time’. This has been his motivation for the last 12 years’ involvement with the EIGCA.
Peter says, “When I look back on the years I have been on Council, they have gone by very quickly. They have been interesting years and helped me broaden my knowledge on how the golf industry in Europe works. The EIGCA membership consists of many different nationalities, backgrounds and levels of knowledge, but we are all united in a passion for golf course architecture and a motivation to improve ourselves and belong to an organisation alongside the most qualified golf course architects in Europe.”
Having now stepped down from the EIGCA Council Peter remains involved with the Institute affairs through his current role on the EIGCA Membership Committee. His overall contribution has been immense, and the golf course design profession is better for his commitment and enthusiasm for the work of the EIGCA.
Click here to read more about Peter.