It’s Ryder Cup Week and that means memorable Ryder Cup moments. For us those moments were back in 2010 at Celtic Manor with the course we designed (Ross McMurray), The Twenty Ten Course. The 2010 Ryder Cup was even described as the “greatest ever” after the sun shone on a dramatic final day with the then Wales Open champion Graeme McDowell secured the winning point for Europe in the very last match.
Fast forward 11 years and we look forward to 2023 and making more memorable moments on the spectacular 2023 Ryder Cup Course at Marco Simone Golf & Country Club, the course we led the design (Dave Sampson).
Ryder Cup 2010 – Day 4 – 4th October 2010 – Celtic Manor Resort Newport, Wales. Please Credit – Ian Cook – Sportingwales
With it being the Dutch Open week on the European Tour we thought it would be a good time to look back at the course we designed (EGD’s Ross McMurray) in association with Ryder Cup Legend Colin Montgomerie, aptly named course “The Dutch”. It is also a fitting time as The Dutch is celebrating 10 years since it opened back in 2011. The course was designed with a mission to transfer the Scottish experience to Dutch soil. The result: a beautiful Inland Links Championship Course. The Dutch is part of European Tour Destinations; a network of world-class golf courses all closely linked to The European Tour. It has hosted the KLM Open from 2016 to 2018 in collaboration with KLM, TIG Sports and the European Tour, it recently hosted The B-NL Challenge Trophy. Find out more on The Dutch website at https://thedutch.nl/
We are very proud to have designed The Lake Course at Evian Resort Golf Club. To find out more check out the video clip presented by Sebastien Gros, Evian’s ambassador and French Tour player and David Leadbetter one of the greatest international Tour player coaches. Thanks to Sunset Productions for their support and to Luca DELLOSTA and Edouard GUIBAUD for this second ambitious project.
Tom Kelly from European Golf Design and Michael Harradine have both passed their final assignment of the European Institute of Golf Course Architects‘ Vocational Qualification in Golf Course Design and graduated with Distinction.
Both students will now be added to the EIGCA’s Member Directory as candidates for membership.
Niall Glen, chair of the EIGCA Education Board, said: “On behalf of the Education Board, and all the EIGCA members who have contributed to the education programme over the past two years, we would like to warmly congratulate both Michael and Tom for completing the course.
“For two students to pass the course with distinction in the same year is truly gratifying and demonstrates a consistently high level of achievement. Both came into the course with a great depth of knowledge about golf and our industry, but they also worked very hard to prove their abilities and delivered a series of excellent design submissions that impressed our markers.
“We are confident that both will go on to fulfil their ambitions in the industry and be an active and valuable part of the Institute for many years to come.”
From Golf Business News
Above: Tom Kelly (left), Michael Harradine (Right)
On the eastern shores of the Caspian Sea sits the city of Aktau (which, in the local language, means ‘white mountain’ in reference to the cliffs overlooking the sea) a city of 190,000 people. With the increase in regional and some international tourism in recent years in Kazakhstan, developments catering to that market have started to spring up, the latest of which is the Aktau Resort, a master-planned community featuring primary and secondary real estate, multiple hotels, attractions, retail and commercial space, and in the current phase of expansion, a nine hole golf course and academy to be designed by European Golf Design, the design company of The European Tour.
On what is predominantly a sandy coastal site, European Golf Design’s Gary Johnston is working with long-time collaborators Golf Tek, led by Naki Evrandir, and Sembol Construction, both from Turkey. Design work started late in 2020 and construction works have already started on site, with a view to the golf course being fully grassed by the end of September this year, and opening summer 2022.
Although the ninth largest country on earth, covering over 2.7million square kilometres (about the size of Western Europe), golf is a relatively new sport in Kazakhstan with only three courses all located around Almaty. Therefore practice facilities are increasingly important and, with a limited amount of space available, Johnston has designed the course such that there are two loops of three and six holes from, and returning to, the clubhouse. The three hole loop can be taken out of play at required times of the day, or week, and used as the academy area to provide dedicated short game, putting and long game zones or a three hole Academy Course, while play continues on the six hole loop. The intention is to encourage local schools and clubs to take advantage of the facility in the hope that more locals will be enthused to take up the game, as well as providing outstanding golf facilities for residents, guests and tourists alike.
“This has been a whirlwind of a project since our first conversations with the project team last autumn,” said Gary Johnston “and now that construction has started, we are looking forward to getting onto site to work with Naki and his team, alongside our clients at Rixos Hotels & Sembol Construction, to create a course that helps achieve the developers’ business objectives but, as importantly, provides locals and tourists the opportunity of exposure, some for the very first time in their lives, to golf. We’re working hard to make this project as inclusive as possible to ensure long term growth and viability.”
For more information, please contact Jeremy Slessor of European Golf Design at firstname.lastname@example.org
European Golf Design (‘EGD’), the golf course design company of The European Tour, has been appointed by Chislehurst Golf Club to undertake a full review of its historic golf course and make recommendations on short, medium and long term enhancements.
Located in Kent, just to the south-east of London, the Club was established in 1894 as a nine hole layout which was subsequently expanded to 18 holes early in the following decade. There is evidence as to the involvement of James Braid in both the expansion and subsequent improvement to bunkers in the years immediately prior to the First World War. Although short by modern standards at 5100 yards and playing to a par of 66, the course is anything but a pushover, demanding accuracy and precision over brute strength. However, some of the hazards around the course have become less strategically relevant over the years and part of the design brief is to thoroughly investigate the strategy presented to players and, in relation to bunkering, to return them to the styles and aesthetics experienced over a century ago by reference to the Club’s archives of plans and photographs.
David MacLaren, the Chief Executive Officer of Chislehurst Golf Club, said “This is a progressive club with a very active golf and social membership. Those who know the course love it – those that visit us soon come to love the course too. It has visual interest, it has challenge, it has beauty. Working with European Golf Design to develop a five to ten year programme of improvements allows the Club to move forward positively, but also to reclaim our heritage by re-establishing the original styling which has inevitably been lost in parts over the last one hundred years or so.”
“Working with a Club and on a course with a relationship to Braid is a great honour and privilege,” said Dave Sampson, who will be leading the project on behalf of EGD, “and we are eager to explore all possibilities to restore as much of the original aesthetics and challenge as we can, while keeping the course playable for as many golfers as possible.”
Work on the initial planning began in March and is expected to take two to three months, following which more detailed plans will be prepared, alongside work schedules to fit improvements within the Club’s busy playing and competition schedule.
European Golf Design Limited (EGD) is poised for a new direction following a change in the ownership structure of the renowned golf course design company.
A two-man syndicate comprising European Tour Chief Operating Officer Keith Waters and businessman Robert Birmingham has acquired 50% of EGD from International Management Group (IMG), who established the company together with the European Tour as a joint venture in 1992.
The syndicate and the European Tour will now work together to further develop EGD to design new courses and redesign existing member and resort courses, but particularly to host tournaments and The Ryder Cup.
The 2010 Course at The Celtic Manor Resort in Wales was designed by EGD to specifically host The Ryder Cup 11 years ago, while another of its projects, the new 18-hole stadium course at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club on the outskirts of Rome, will play host to the biennial contest between Europe and the United States in September 2023.
For almost three decades, EGD has been responsible for some of the best courses in Europe, with three of its designs – The Stadium Course at PGA Catalunya, The Montgomerie at Carton House GC and The Faldo Berlin at A-Rosa Resort – having been voted best new courses in Europe, while Dubai Hills in the UAE was named as ‘The World’s Best New Course’ in 2019.
Keith Waters, who will continue in his role as Chief Operating Officer of the European Tour, said: “In partnership with the European Tour we plan to grow EGD working with the existing team led by Jeremy Slessor, who I am delighted to say will continue as Managing Director. We plan to design more courses for regular and tournament play and work with Tour players who have the desire and opportunity to design golf courses themselves.”
Keith Pelley, Chief Executive of the European Tour said: “Keith’s golfing knowledge and Robert’s business acumen will undoubtedly bring a new perspective and energy to EGD and they are aligned with our rationalisation of the Group businesses. We look forward to seeing what this new partnership can deliver.”
Rupert Hampel, Executive Vice President at IMG, said: “As we concentrate on enhancing and diversifying our global events business, now is the right time for us to support the future growth of EGD through this change of structure. We are delighted to see Keith and Robert take on this responsibility and wish them all the best in the future.”
IMG’s golf course services team will continue to work closely with EGD on mutually beneficial opportunities.
Golf has enjoyed a significant boost over the summer months between lockdowns. Tee time bookings were high and membership sales soared for many clubs. After several years of declining interest, as soon as the opportunity to play was taken away, paradoxically that’s what many wanted to do. The future is bright. Or is it?
Disclaimer: I am not a golf club Secretary, General Manager, Chief Executive or Director of Golf, but I see many clubs in the course of my professional life, and I am a golfer (second disclaimer – I am not a member of a golf club).
When courses have been open this summer, they have been busy – as busy as they’ve been for years (maybe ever?). Members are playing more golf than before; golfers who’ve not played in years are returning to the game in droves. Demand is high…for now. But, once society slowly starts to return to normal, what’s to stop those old demands on time and attention returning, meaning those new-found enthusiasts lose their new-found enthusiasm? What caused these people to walk away from the game in the first place and what has to change to stop them walking away again (only this time they will be gone for good)? I see lots of busy courses; I see lots of optimism based around tee times currently being full. I see very little in the way of addressing, or eliminating, the core issues that challenged golf in the past and will continue to do so in the future. The issues golf had before the pandemic are still there and will be there long after the pandemic is over, unless we do something about it now.
Who is asking the questions as to why many golfers have come back to the sport? And, more importantly, who is asking what needs to happen to keep them involved in the long term? These are fundamental questions, and ones we should all be asking.
As the saying goes: ‘Insanity is doing the same thing over and over, but expecting a different result’.