Speaking during a press conference at the Golf Industry Show in New Orleans, La., American Society of Golf Course Architects (ASGCA) President Bruce Charlton, ASGCA and Secretary Rick Phelps, ASGCA reflected on the state of the golf economy, noting that the global recession has led to a slowdown in some development projects but that a number of golf course developers and owners see now as a good time to act on projects—or at least plan for them.

 “Many of my clients see the value of being ahead of the curve on their renovation projects,” said Charlton, President and Chief Design Officer of Robert Trent Jones II, based in Palo Alto, Calif. “Labor, components and energy are all down in price and up in availability, so clubs are proactively thinking about how they might capitalize on these conditions.”

 Phelps, the Colorado-based principal of Phelps/Atkinson Golf Design, added that the credit crunch is beginning to thaw, and there are other creative ways to pay for renovation work. “There are clubs that have members and staff who are looking at a combination of methods to pay for projects, such as tax benefits, no-interest loans from members and leases,” he said. “At the very least, both public and private facilities are looking toward the future by preparing long range improvement plans.  These plans may be implemented immediately, or phased in over a number of years, but in either case, the owners are putting themselves into a position to be as attractive as possible to new players/members once the economy starts to rebound.”

 Outside of North America, the leaders said that the long-term international golf development outlook remains solid, despite the negative impact of today’s recession. Many countries, from Asia and Eastern Europe to South America and the Middle East, are looking to golf to provide recreation opportunities for their citizens and to attract tourism. “The environmental benefits of golf are readily being recognized around the globe, thereby furthering the growth and understanding of the game as a sustainable ecosystem that provides many benefits to a community,” concluded Charlton.

ASGCA Background 

Founded in 1946 by 14 leading architects, the American Society of Golf Course Architects is a non-profit organization comprised of experienced golf course designers located throughout the United States and Canada. Members have completed a rigorous two-year long application process that includes the peer review of four representative golf courses. ASGCA members are experienced golf course architects, able to counsel in all aspects of golf course design and remodeling.

ASGCA recently released a DVD, “Excellence Restored,” which describes the renovation process and illustrates creative financing options with case studies. The DVD, produced with the cooperation and input of the Club Managers Association of America, is available for $7.50, including shipping and handling.

Media Contact
Aileen Smith 
American Society of Golf Course Architects
125 N. Executive Dr., Suite 106
Brookfield, WI 53005
phone: (262) 786-5960, fax: (262) 786-5919