We are Hiring! CAD Technician wanted.

We are looking for a CAD Technician to join our friendly team, based in Sunningdale, UK. Here’s the details:

Overview of the role:

To produce drawings in digital format that can be used for design development, cost estimates, planning, and construction.

Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Creating content for proposals using the Adobe suite
  • Formatting presentations in Adobe InDesign and Microsoft PowerPoint
  • CAD work (Bentley Microstation)
  • Creating masterplans using CAD, Photoshop and Illustrator
  • Assisting the designer to develop/produce initial design work and the detailed design package.
  • Assisting the IT manager
  • Contributing to promoting the company.

Desirable attributes:

  • Experience with the Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign)
  • CAD experience either in post-secondary education or in the work environment
  • The ability to work with a tight-knit team whilst being comfortable working independently
  • Strong creative and organization skills
  • An interest in golf and an understanding of the industry in general
  • A technical background
  • The ability to be flexible in working hours
  • Must have a full, clean driving licence.

The position comes with an attractive benefits package.

If that sounds like something you would be interested in, please send your CV and salary expectations to Jeremy Slessor at jslessor@egd.com. Closing date for applications is 12 September 2017.

Nine to Watch This Summer

It’s not unusual for a few of the projects we are involved with to be hosting tournaments on the professional tours, but this year is pretty unique with nine venues with which we are working staging events on the European Tour, European Senior Tour and LPGA Tour. From Morgado G&CC in Portugal, which is hosting its first ever event, to tour regulars such as Le Golf National, The West Course at Wentworth and Evian Resort, we’re delighted to be involved in each one and will be following the events with interest.

The full list is as follows:

Open de Portugal at Morgado G&CC, Portugal – May 11-14

BMW PGA Championship at The West Course, Wentworth Club, UK – May 25-28

European Tour Properties Senior Classic at Linna Golf, Finland – June 21-23

HNA Open de France at Le Golf National, France – June 29 – July 2

Porsche European Open at Nord Course, Green Eagle Golf, Germany – July 27-30

Omega European Masters at GC Crans-sur-Sierre, Switzerland – September 7-10

Evian Championship at Evian Resort, France – September 14-17

KLM Open at The Dutch, Holland – September 14-17

English Senior Masters at Forest of Arden, UK – October 20-22

Above: The West Course, Wentworth Club, UK

Above: The Dutch, The Montgomerie, Holland

Above: Evian, France

Ross McMurray of European Golf Design has become the 10th President of the European Institute of Golf Course Architects (EIGCA)

On his first full day in the role, everyone at EGD offers their congratulations to Ross McMurray on his election to the Presidency of the European Institute of Golf Course Architects (EIGCA). This is a great honour for Ross and recognises the contribution he has made to his colleagues at the EIGCA and to the wider industry over the last thirty years or so.

We know Ross will perform his new role with his usual quiet diligence, professionalism and competence, and wish him much success over the course of his two-year term. The rumour that he wishes to build a wall around Europe and get Mexico to pay for it is, as far as we can tell, unfounded.

Above: Ross McMurray (right) is congratulated by outgoing President Tom Mackenzie (centre). Christoph Städler (left) takes over from Ross as Vice-President.

Read more https://eigca.org

Kyle Taggart – Life as a Construction Supervisor

My name is Kyle Taggart and I joined the EGD team in July ’14 as construction supervisor at the Dubai Hills Estate golf and residential project in the United Arab Emirates. For the previous 20+ years I have worked in the golf and turf industry in varying capacities, across five different continents and the most extreme climatic opposites conceivable. My passion for the game and hands on experience, teamed with a turfgrass management diploma has led me down this unique career path focused on delivering high quality golf experiences.

Working in the Middle East region isn’t for the faint of heart. Being positioned along the southern coast of the Persian Gulf on the Arabian Peninsula, the weather conditions go from warm to hot to borderline inhumane. I have personally experienced temperatures in the high 50’s, then magnified by stifling humidity. With more than 200 nationalities co-existing in Dubai there is constant language, religious and cultural differences, but in my opinion, this just adds to the allure of the UAE. Security, tolerance, advanced infrastructure and (of course) tax-free income are the main factors attracting the majority of the approximately 7.8 million expats, which equate to more than 85% of the country’s total population.

This is my second ‘tour of duty’ in Dubai, the first being employed in a contractors’ role during construction of Jumeirah Golf Estates. That was a turbulent ride as we witnessed the peaks and valleys of the volatile real estate market before, during and after the global financial collapse in 2008-2009. JGE has hosted the year end DP World Tour Championship since ’09 and there is definitely a sense of achievement to witness the Earth Course manicured in all her glory, elevating the design intent to its fullest. Watching some of the games’ best battle it out in the EPGA’s richest event is a fantastic way to wind up the year.

I consider myself extremely fortunate to have travelled and lived in such a plethora of countries and cultures. You have to accept repeated temporary living arrangements in this profession but I am incredibly fortunate to have seen so much thus far. My global experiences have brought copious amounts of learning along the journey and I wouldn’t trade that for a 9-5, suit and tie job. While working abroad in the golf construction industry can be a love-hate relationship at times, I do not anticipate losing the passion any time soon.

Kyle Taggart

Originally from Powell River, BC, Canada & currently living in ‘The Sandpit’

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A "work experience" at European Golf Design

Spending time at a golf design company has been a great experience, learning how the course for which the game I love to play is created has opened my eyes to a new dimension of golf. The process of design is far more complicated than the average golfer could ever imagine, but the guys at EGD explained it all; enabling me to have a good go at it whilst not feeling that I was shooting blind. After spending several days shifting around hole shapes on a site map, trying to get my head around what would work and what wouldn’t.

After coming up with an eighteen-hole plan I assumed that the drawing of fairways and greens would be straightforward. In fact it was challenging to get them to work with the space available and to fit with the contours of the site. Learning how to grade the land and attempt to flatten some areas while considering drainage was a painstaking process which involved much trial and error; but the result was very satisfactory when right.

Spending time in a place with such a warm and welcoming atmosphere has been a great experience. I learned a lot about golf course design, as well as not to put a sausage roll anywhere near a dog again. It was a pleasure working there, and getting to know everyone at EGD.

Dan Steele.

How to design a golf course for the Ryder Cup

European Golf Design, the golf course design company of the European Tour and IMG, has created some of the most successful professional tournament courses in Europe, including the Twenty Ten Course at the Celtic Manor Resort, venue of the 2010 Ryder Cup. In this feature interview, Jeremy Slessor, Managing Director of EGD, and designer Ross McMurray discuss the factors owners, investors and developers must consider in making their tournament course a success with the public as well as the professionals, and reveal the extraordinary challenges of a designing a golf course for one of the world’s biggest sporting events, the Ryder Cup.

How did you become involved with the design of the golf course for the 2010 Ryder Cup at the Celtic Manor Resort?
Ross: “We were approached by the owner, Sir Terry Matthews, whose vision it was to bring the Ryder Cup bid to Wales. Having just opened a third course at Celtic Manor, the original intention was to design a fourth course, specifically for the event. However, the Usk Valley is a challenging landscape with steep slopes, and it would have been impossible to create a new course there that could have been walked twice in a day, which is required in the Ryder Cup.”

So, what was the solution?
Ross: “We began looking at sites close to the venue, but kept hitting the same hurdles.
We persevered, looking at various concepts, before agreeing a scheme to build nine new holes and add them to nine on what was then the Wentwood Hills Course. It took ten years of diligent design and construction, but ultimately it was this concept which came to pass at the 2010 Ryder Cup.”

Besides the golf course itself, what factors must be considered when designing a Ryder Cup venue?
Jeremy: “The infrastructure required is phenomenal. It’s much more than we deal with when masterplanning courses for European Tour events. The primary concern is the volume of spectators. There can be upwards of 40-45,000 people who, because of the nature of the Ryder Cup, want to see the start and stay to the end of play. So you have to consider this and how you get them onto and off the site, so transportation is fundamental.”

What else do you have to take into account?
Jeremy: “The media must be looked after, as they take the Ryder Cup to the world and so the media centre is a small community in its own right. A significant amount of space is required for a tented village, which is occupied by sponsors and retailers. Then there’s catering to consider – it must be possible to deliver food to the site, cook it and then clean up afterwards. So the whole event is a significant logistical challenge and the golf course design has to fit into the overall masterplan for the site.”

Does this actually impact on the course design?
Ross: “Definitely. In fact, the first tee on the Twenty Ten Course had originally been designed close to the clubhouse, but was moved more than 200 metres in order to facilitate the tented village and the media centre. I was actually able to come up with a potential design for the new nine-holes relatively quickly. However, there were so many considerations that impacted on the course layout, it ultimately took nearly six years to finalise the routing.”

Forever remembered as the wettest Ryder Cup ever, had you factored in the weather to your plans?
Ross: “It had been a point of discussion from the outset. Any outdoor event in Wales at the end of September has to expect some rain. Having three courses already, the resort had an understanding for what was needed to improve the drainage, but we had more to consider than just rainwater. In the event of heavy rain, the course was also threatened by rising floodwater from the River Usk and the local high-ground water tables.”

So what did you do?
Ross: “We raised the ground level around the river with a bund to prevent flooding and put perforated drainpipes through every fairway using a combination of drains and catch basins to capture surface water. We worked closely with the project engineers and the contractors to develop an overall drainage scheme which we felt would handle any eventuality. We wanted to ensure we’d done everything we could in order to protect the course from wet conditions. And thank goodness we did, as it was only because of those precautions that the Ryder Cup was completed.”

What was Sir Terry Matthews like to work with?
Jeremy: “He is very driven and demanding, but he’s very reasonable, too. He drove the project from beginning to end with the single goal of putting on the most successful Ryder Cup of all time and he would not take ‘no’ for an answer. The word just isn’t in his vocabulary. “On a number of occasions we were faced with a situation where all options seemed exhausted, but he couldn’t accept that. Invariably, we found a solution and learned a valuable lesson from that – if you look hard enough, you almost always find a solution to a seemingly insurmountable problem.”

Ross: “What I found admirable, was how he had put a great management team together who worked exceptionally with all the consultants involved in the process. It was a fantastic team to work for and over the years on the project, we got to know each other very well, learning how each other worked – it definitely made a positive impact on the overall result because we all pulled together, cohesively to ensure the Ryder Cup would be as good as it could be.”

You mention that Sir Terry wouldn’t take ‘no’ for an answer, but are there occasions when a developer must listen to his team and moderate their hopes?
Ross: “Yes, absolutely. There are times when you must stand up and be counted, particularly when it comes to environmental issues. It is important to be responsible and developers are generally receptive to a professional opinion, provided there is sound reasoning behind it.”

What do you say to developers when they ask you to design a tournament course?
Jeremy: “The first question we ask is why they want a tournament course. There are occasions where it just isn’t suitable to build a facility of that stature. One of the mistakes some developers have made in the past, particularly in emerging markets, is building tournament courses without thinking who their paying customers are going to be day-to-day. Supply and demand in a locality are key factors and if the local market is ignored, commercial success can take longer than it should.”

How might a developer in a new golfing territory increase domestic demand for golf?
Jeremy: “We design different types of golf facilities including nine-hole par-3 courses, golf academies, practice areas as well as club courses, European Tour courses and Ryder Cup courses. In some circumstances, supplementing a championship golf course with an academy will provide the necessary nucleus to stimulate domestic participation.”

Does creating a tournament golf course reduce its playability for the golfing public?
Ross: “With creative design, you can ensure that all golfers can enjoy even the most demanding of tournament courses. We design the course so that the landing areas for public golfers are substantially wider than for professionals. We have to be careful that bunkers aren’t so difficult that golfers of all abilities can’t escape from them, while providing enough of a challenge to tour professionals. It’s a fine line, but it is possible.”

Is the Twenty Ten Course at Celtic Manor Resort an example of that?
Ross: “I believe so. It is certainly a demanding course, but it has become hugely popular with golf tourists and the feedback we have had has all been positive. Golfers appreciate that they’re playing a Ryder Cup course and they expect there to be a level of difficulty they’re not used to.”

How will your experience at Celtic Manor Resort influence your work at Le Golf National, Paris, ahead of the 2018 Ryder Cup?
Jeremy: “Le Golf National is a very different project compared with Celtic Manor Resort, but the experience that we gained in Wales will be crucial. Although it has hosted the Alstom Open de France, this is a much bigger event.”

What changes are you making to the golf course itself?
Ross: “Although there are some strategic changes to make, we will avoid significant alterations because there are so many aspects of the course which golfers really enjoy. Some bunkers will be moved, or upgraded, to offer more of a challenge to long-hitters – and the Ryder Cup demands a greater variety of flag positions than the existing greens offer, so we will rectify that. We will also move some of the tees to make the holes a little more interesting. Most of the major alterations we are planning to the golf course are to provide improved infrastructure, viewing and spectator circulation for the event. In particular we will be looking to create extensive areas for hospitality, using the experience we gained from Celtic Manor.”

Having spent more than ten years working towards it, what are your feelings looking back at the 2010 Ryder Cup?
Ross: “I am quite sentimental about it now. I thought I’d be glad for it to be over, but I do miss it and how it would occupy my day-to-day thoughts. It is the absolute highlight of my career; it isn’t everyone who gets an opportunity to design a course for the Ryder Cup. I think the memory of Graeme McDowell sinking his putt on the 16th will be with me forever.”

The 2011 European Tour Shot of the Year

Graeme McDowell has won the European Tour Shot of the Year award for his dramatic putt on the 16th green during his Ryder Cup singles match on the Twenty-Ten Course at The Celtic Manor Resort.

McDowell collected the award from 2010 European Ryder Cup Captain Colin Montgomerie at the prestigious European Tour Player Awards Dinner, held last night at the Sofitel Heathrow. The ceremony was attended by the whole Ryder Cup team who also presented Monty with a present of their own as a thank you for his outstanding leadership. In all six of the top seven players in the world were present at the awards as well as all four current Major title holders.

European Golf Design’s Ross McMurray, who was responsible for creating the Twenty-Ten Course and was also a guest at the dinner, gave his support to McDowell’s award; “On a personal level Graeme’s putt on the 16th green during the Ryder Cup was easily the highlight of the year. The atmosphere after his approach shot found the green was unbelievable and the noise from the thousands of watching spectators when he holed that putt was amazing. It was a truly unforgettable experience for all of us at EGD who were present that day.”

Graeme McDowell celebrates on the 16th green at the Ryder Cup

Sport Venue of the Year

The Celtic Manor Resort has been named as Sport Venue of the Year at last nights prestigious Sport Industry Awards 2011 in London. The lavish ceremony was attended by many of sports top industry executives and a host of sporting celebrities including Andrew Strauss, AP McCoy, Rory McIlroy, Jack Wilshere, Joe Calzaghe, Petr Cech, Michael Vaughan and Dame Kelly Holmes.

Celtic Manor Resort was the venue for last years dramatic Ryder Cup, the biennial competition between the best golfers in Europe and the United States. The matches were played over the challenging Twenty Ten Course at the Resort, which was especially created for the event by golf course designers, European Golf Design. Ross McMurray, lead designer for EGD on the project commented;

“I am delighted that Celtic Manor Resort has been recognized for staging what was one of the most exciting and dramatic sporting events of 2010. Despite the appalling weather the venue shone through and delivered what was undoubtedly one of the most successful Ryder Cup’s ever held. My congratulations go to everyone who was involved. European Golf Design is proud to have played a part in its success.”

The Sport Venue of the Year Award, sponsored by the evenings hosts Battersea Evolution, was received on behalf of The Celtic Manor Resort by Marketing & Commercial Director Gareth Rees Jones and PR Manager Paul Williams. The trophy was presented by sporting great James Cracknell and Sky Sports presenter Charlotte Jackson.

KPMG Golf Business Forum in Dubai

The eighth KPMG Golf Business Forum in Dubai recently took place, attended by Ross and I. European Golf Design were one of the Sponsors and for the third year running the event took place at a European Golf Design course, Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club. Previous venues being the Montgomerie Maxx Royale in Belek, Turkey and The Celtic Manor Resort in Wales.

An impressive line up of speakers included Colin Montgomerie along with the Chief Executive of The European Tour, George O’Grady. Over 300 delegates from 45 countries took part making it one of the industry’s biggest networking events of the year. Debates and Q&A panels took place over the three days discussing new business opportunities and key issues affecting the world of golf.

His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, CEO and Chairman of The Emirates Group and Chairman of Dubai World, was guest of honour on the opening day and a KPMG Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Dr David Chu, one of the driving forces behind the growth of the game in China.

Away from the conference there was time to meet up with delegates at a couple of social events, including golf at the Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club. For both Ross and I it was our first trip to Dubai and it was fantastic to see one of our courses that Stan from European Golf Design worked on back in 2004. I was intrigued to see the floating tee on the 6th I’d heard so much about. Ross played the course and was relieved that instead of scorching hot temperatures Dubai received its first rain in 3 years during his round, me on the other had who taken a couple of hours off to see Dubai, not so happy!

Over the three days it was a great opportunity to meet up with a diverse group of people all working in the golf industry, as well as meeting old friends who I’ve worked with in the past. The delegate list was a Who’s Who of Golf and it was a great opportunity to see what others are doing and plans for the future of golf.

Time flies…

It hardly seems twelve weeks, let alone twelve months, since we were getting ready for Christmas 2009 but here we are again at the end of another year. As it has been for many, this has been a challenging year but, ultimately, a successful one. The highlight of the year unquestionably was the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor. Having spent the past ten years watching Ross, Alex, Matt and Will work so hard on this, it was a huge thrill to see all their hard work finally be recognised. Despite the weather, the course challenged the best players in the world for four days and provided those lucky enough to be there some amazing viewing, even if it was a little muddy underfoot. Beyond that, we’ve been fortunate to sign a number of new projects which we’re very excited about – next year should see us working in some new countries, which always adds to the interest of a project. And construction should start on three or four sites over the coming year.

Here are some of the highlights of the year from the rest of us:

Robin: Hosting the Ryder Cup committee’s site tour of our forthcoming golf course at Tres Cantos, which is the proposed venue for Madrid 2018.

Sarah: Arriving at the top of the hill down to the Twenty Ten Course at Celtic Manor on the Tuesday morning. The sun was shining over the valley and I thought WOW, how lucky to be part of this.

Dave: Seeing Ross have his first ever hole-in-one……pity it was his second ball, off a mat and to a temporary green! Hole halved in three.

Alex: Cycling from the office in Sunningdale to Celtic Manor the week of the Ryder Cup.

Gary: The highlight of my year was getting to attend the final day of the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor to experience the electric atmosphere and dramatic finish as Europe were victorious again!

Shara: Standing overlooking the 16th green at Celtic Manor 2010 Ryder Cup – last few hours of play.
Atmosphere breathtaking.

Matt: Being lucky enough to be at Celtic Manor for the 2010 Ryder Cup and seeing my Site Map around the course and people actually finding it useful!

Ross: The last day of the Ryder Cup and a victory for Europe in the sunshine.

Stan: Having Mac, Alex’s Labrador, join us in the office

On behalf of everyone here, we wish you all a happy Christmas and a successful, healthy 2011.

Jeremy.