By Design – Issue 65, Spring 2024

DIGEST 10 ASGCA members show support for BIRDIE Act Some leading members of the American Society of Golf Course Architects have shown support for H.R. 7228, the Bolstering Intellectual Rights against Digital Infringement Enhancement Act (BIRDIE Act). The bill would update the Architectural Works Copyright Protection Act of 1990 to extend the protections to include golf courses. “The BIRDIE act is simple – it adds golf course architecture to existing laws and protects both architects and business owners,” said ASGCA Past President Robert Trent Jones, Jr. “By securing the copyrights to their work, golf course architects can pass on that benefit to owners as those courses will establish their unique design and retain their value for the long term. “Right now, other countries provide better protection for the work of golf course architects even though the vast majority of architects doing that work are from the United States. By securing these copyrights, we inspire them to continue creating original designs and playing experiences for the huge numbers of golfers in the United States and around the world. This protection will ensure that if someone wishes to copy their work, then the architect will be involved to make sure it’s represented accurately and properly for the benefit of all.” ASGCA President Mike Benkusky as well as ASGCA Past Presidents Forrest Richardson, Jan Bel Jan and Jason Straka have also voiced their support. “The BIRDIE Act isn’t just good for golf course architects, it’s good for golf course owners as well,” said Bel Jan. “It acknowledges golf courses for what they are: creative works of art. Golf course architecture isn’t just planned on paper; it’s also created on site by visionaries making the most of a setting. While physical plans can be copyrighted, decisions made in the field cannot. So, it makes sense that a finished golf course would be protected as well.” Photo: iStock/traveler1116