Positive signs at GIS, says ASGCA


Sean Dudley

‘Cautious optimism’ was the key phrase coming out of the Golf Industry Show in Las Vegas last week.

American Society of Golf Course Architects (ASGCA) President Rick Phelps and nearly 50 ASGCA members in attendance shared examples of increased renovation projects domestically and continued growth of the game around the world.

“There is a noticeable improvement in both the amount of work being done and industry expectations moving forward compared to 12 and 24 months ago,” Phelps said. “Whether speaking with an architect, superintendent or supplier, there seems to be cautious optimism across the board.”

Hopeful stories abounded through the Las Vegas Convention Center as a number of renovation projects and remodelling efforts placed on hold during the economic downturn show new signs of moving forward. “There is a sense among some that many clubs have stabilised their memberships and are turning their attention once again to capital improvement projects, including golf course renovation,” Phelps said.

GIS attendees also got their first look at the newly updated ASGCA Life Cycle Chart, including new information on the anticipated longevity of irrigation systems, and PVC and HDPE pipes.

ASGCA Past President Tom Marzolf presented the chart to tradeshow attendees and discussed how use of the chart can help decision-makers maximize the value of their land and materials, ensuring a positive experience for golfers and minimising course downtime through future updates and repairs.

Internationally, new guidelines are expected soon from Chinese government officials, perhaps opening the path forward for numerous projects which slowed during 2011. And as the world begins to focus on the 2016 Summer Olympic Games later this year, added attention is expected to turn to golf and its return to the Olympics.