’s Brad Klein attended the recent ASGCA Annual Meeting in Houston. His review of the impressive proceedings led with this simple declaration: “America’s most exclusive golf club is also its most welcoming.”

Klein also wrote:

Every golfer has an opinion on course design. But only a few hundred know how to implement that idea into a reality. Many – but not all – who do so are among the 184 members of the ASGCA. 

Gaining membership in this club requires negotiating a series of professional and technical hurdles. Prospective members go through a grueling review process, including peer inspection of their work, submission of detailed plans and an interview.

Incoming ASGCA President Jeff Blume spoke powerfully about the collegiality that lies at the core of the group. As he pointed out, the industry has seen a major downsizing and decentralization, the last decade, thanks largely to the industry-wide downturn from the 2008 recession and the subsequent shift in the golf marketplace from big-scale new projects to small-scale renovations.

Professional development seminars are always key to this gathering. This year’s presentations included technical specifications for green construction, grow the game initiatives, and storm water retention strategies. This was, after all, metro Houston where last August, Hurricane Harvey brought massive rains (as much as 3-4 feet) that deluged the entire area. Golf courses throughout the region are being (and have been) recruited into the effort as storm water management basins, with considerable redesign needed to make them functional for major rains while still providing enjoyable golf. When done right, these layouts provide community value that benefits non-golfers as well.

The complete article can be seen here.