The start of the week was dedicated to the four students of the EIGCA’s Vocational Qualification in Golf Course Design who were presenting their Main Design Projects which was culmination of many months of hard work and the final part of their two years of study.
Day 3 saw the start of the President’s Cup at the Royal Ostend Golf Club which proved to be a true test of links golf for those that were playing in the strong wind. Day 4 began with the second round of the President’s Cup at Royal Zoute Golf Club and this was followed by the Partners’ Dinner which has become a regular part of the annual meeting and recognises the important contribution that our Partners make. The evening which was hosted by EIGCA President, Ross McMurray, and Partner Liaison, Tim Lobb, started with a boat tour along the Bruges Canals before a short walk to the De Halve Maan brewery where Members, Partners and guests were given a guided tour of the beer making process before sitting down to dinner accompanied by a speciality Bruges Zot beer.
The final day of the meeting got under way early for EIGCA Members, Associates Members and Candidates for Membership who attended the EIGCA’s Annual General Meeting. During the AGM President Ross McMurray awarded certificates to two new EIGCA Members David Bily and Eric Steiner and to Christian Lundin, Rogelio Abarca, Steven Ridgway and Guy Hockley (not present) who had successfully upgraded to Member category.
The AGM was followed by the Partner Spotlight event which provided a valuable opportunity for Members and Partners to update each other on their latest news and activities. Following a welcome to Bruges from Timothée Simoens of Royal Belgian Golf Federation and Marc Verneirt of Golf Vlaanderen, the afternoon was devoted to the Conference which featured presentations from EIGCA Partners Bernhard & MJ Abbott (Wentworth’s West Course), EIGCA Affiliates John Clarkin (Design for Sustainable Maintenance), Matt Johns (Natural capital and ecosystem services: opportunities for golf), EIGCA Patron BIGGA (The Value of Continuing Professional Development), EIGCA Member Christoph Staedler (Case Study – Golf Resort Öschberghof) and former students Gareth Williams, Neil White, Jakub Cervenka and David Minogue (The Links Golf Revival). Copies of all the presentations are available for EIGCA Members – contact firstname.lastname@example.org to request digital copies.
As always the week finished with the President’s Dinner which commenced with a drinks reception at the Bruges City Hall and an address from the Philip Pierins, Alderman of the City. The festivities were concluded with a dinner at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.
President Ross McMurray said of the week ‘My thanks go to the city of Bruges for helping us to stage an unforgettable week. The location of the conference and the wonderful golf courses proved to be highly popular but above all the annual meeting was another great opportunity to renew friendships and forge closer relationships with colleagues and partners from the industry’.
Results of the President’s Cup
- Winner – Ken Moodie
- Runner up – Bruno Steensels
- First place in the Guest and Partner category – Xavier Agusti
- Best score at Royal Ostend – Steve Briggs
- Best score at Royal Zoute – Xavier Agusti