BTME to Lern Howard’s Way (Dec 11)

Golf-course architect Howard Swan will be presenting a series of workshops at the BIGGA Turf Management Exhibition (BTME) in January, in association with the Greenkeepers Training Committee (GTC).

Swan is the senior consultant at Swan Golf Designs (SGD) – where his son William is now the third generation to work in golf course design – and has long been a passionate advocate of ’sharing best practice’ within the industry. And he will continue his work when BTME returns to the Harrogate International Centre, from January 20-22, 2015.

He will front a short series of seminars for employers within the industry – owners, officers, club and course managers, and head greenkeepers – on bunkering and the safety of golf courses, taking place during the two days preceding BTME. He is also keen to participate in a number of regional workshops currently being mooted by GTC.

He explained: “We have long held the belief that if anyone is to learn anything about anything in life then it must come from three things: information, communication and education – or as we refer to it, ICE.

“That requires the ability to take on information, at whatever level, and retaining it for future benefit. Having a good system of communication facilitates that.

“In most projects the team should comprises the client – who has a vision of the long-term project – and who may lead the team, supported by the technical input and expertise of the golf course architect, and those who specialise in irrigation technology, agronomy and, of course, the greenkeeping team.

“Good communication between the members of that team is key to the success of the project – understanding each other’s position, appreciating the specialist skills, and using the ’whole’ to maximum effect. Essentially, therefore, becoming the education process from which we all learn.”

Swan added: “In our experience, over 45 years of working within the industry, the best projects have materialised where all these elements have come together, where each member of the team can rely on – and learn from – the others.

“There is a requirement to adopt the GTC desire to allow all greenkeepers and employers access to both formal and informal education and training, and it is this philosophy, putting the ICE theory into practice, that we are delighted to be able to bring to the workshop programme with our fellow QA training providers, at BTME 15 and beyond.”

SGD is an independent golf course architecture firm with a track record of providing clients with successful design solutions on golf course projects over more than 25 years.

Borne out of the successful golf course designs undertaken by Alex Swan with three-time British Open Champion Sir Henry Cotton and continued by Alex’s son Howard, SGD has established itself as a leader in the field.

Based in the UK, SGD has earned commissions on four continents having designed or renovated courses from the UK to the USA, Brazil to Bosnia, Czech Republic to China, Iceland to India and Spain to South Africa among many others.

It is currently engaged by more than 20 golf clubs across Europe on everything from a single-hole re-design, to wholesale renovation as part of a long-term, 10-year project.

The company’s portfolio includes Bundoran; Clandeboye; East Berkshire; Golf & Country Club Bled; Golf at Goodwood; the Karnataka Golf Association; Kingswood Golf & Country Club; Boavista Golf Resort; St Andrews International and Zagreb Golf & Country Club.

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