A new group has acquired a 50 per cent stake of European Golf Design (EGD) from sports and entertainment management group IMG.
The group, comprising European Tour chief operating officer Keith Waters and businessman Robert Birmingham, will work alongside the European Tour, which owns the other 50 per cent of EGD, on future projects, with a specific focus on courses that will host tournaments.
EGD created the 2010 Ryder Cup course at The Celtic Manor Resort in Wales and is approaching completion of work at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club (pictured) on the outskirts of Rome, which will host the tournament in September 2023. Both of these projects involved a complete redesign of existing courses.
Waters, who will continue in his role as chief operating officer of the European Tour, said: “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 the move will “bring a new perspective and energy to EGD.”
EGD will continue to be led by managing director Jeremy Slessor and will work closely with the golf services team at IMG on “mutually beneficial opportunities”.
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.”