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A new study has revealed that a majority of golf course architects are brimming with confidence about the future of the industry, with some even concerned about an increase in workload.

The study, carried out by the European Institute of Golf Course Architects and targeted at its members, asked participants about the golf architecture industry in the current global climate.

Looking to the future, 86% of those asked believed that the golf course design industry would stay the same or grow (51% and 35% respectively). EIGCA members were most optimistic about the future of the industry in North America, forecasting this area would grow. 

The geographical area which members were most pessimistic about was Central and South America, with a prediction of a decline in projects.

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Supporting this positive outlook, members were asked to consider their expected turnover in the coming six, 12 and 24 months, in comparison to 2019. In six-12 months, 57% of respondents expected turnover to remain at the same level or be higher. 

Optimism for turnover to remain static or be higher, increased to 66% of members when looking to 24 months ahead.

When asked about the challenges course architects face in the next 12 months, EIGCA members put travel at the top of the list. Over half of the respondents had concerns relating to safe travel, restrictions on the ability to meet clients face-to-face to progress works, and constraints on looking and bidding for future projects.

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Other key challenges included, golf clubs not proceeding with projects and being hesitant to invest for the future and ensuring a COVID-safe workplace for employees. A handful of members cited the challenge of how they would manage an increase in workload.

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“This survey shows that a feared long-term negative impact from the COVID-19 pandemic on the golf industry has not been realised,” commented Christoph Staedler, EIGCA president.

“The optimism expressed by our members signifies that the industry has been adversely affected by the COVID-19 restrictions, but will be stronger than before when the pandemic is over. We golf architects are in a strong position to seize the opportunities ahead.”

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