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The LOBB + PARTNERS eNewsletter – Spring 2017

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LOBB + PARTNERS golf course architects
Spring is here, and 2017 has started busily for LOBB + PARTNERS. It has been a while since we have issued one of our e-newsletters, so this one is a bit of a biggie, to keep our friends in the golf business informed as to what we're up to.

When I formed my new company last year, after the retirement of my long-term friend and mentor Peter Thomson, it was an exciting, but naturally a nervous moment. I want to reiterate my thanks to Peter and Ross Perrett for all their support over almost twelve years together, and I want to thank everyone who has helped me out or offered their best wishes for my new venture. Good luck to everyone for the coming year, and I look forward to meeting up with as many people as I can – ideally on a golf course.

Tim Lobb

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Bodrum course almost finished

Tim Lobb's third course in Turkey, near the popular resort town of Bodrum, is approaching completion. Grassing will be finished by early summer, and the course, to be known as the Country Life GC, will open in October.

Detailed field notes have played an integral part of the construction process.
 
The course is being developed by Fikret Özt├╝rk, owner of Carya GC in Belek, which Tim designed under the banner of Thomson Perrett & Lobb. He also owns a nine hole course in Bodrum.

"The site is about 2km from the sea, and up in the mountains above Bodrum town," says Tim Lobb. "It's a big site - about 300 hectares - and runs through a working olive grove, which we have retained. The site has great topography, but it is extremely rocky, so it has been a challenging build. The bunkers, for example, have been placed and designed hole by hole during construction, depending on ground conditions - and there aren't many of them, less than 30 on the whole course.

We have really built the course in the field, with lots of hand sketching and field notes, rather than predetermining the design in the office. That's a new process for me, and I've been fortunate to work with an excellent contractor, Naki Evandir of GolfTek - in fact it is the fourth course I have built with him over the past eighteen years."

Lobb said his favourite hole on the course was the thirteenth, a downhill par four with a split fairway. "There is a rocky channel that goes through the left side of the fairway, creating stormwater drainage but also setting up the playing strategy really nicely - the safe route is down the right, while the tiger line goes to the left," he explained. Visit the Country Life GC projct page.




Restoration work at St George's Hill

Following on from a design policy report completed in association with golf writer and historian Adam Lawrence in 2015, Lobb + Partners has been commissioned by St George's Hill Golf Club in Surrey, England, to review the Club's main Red and Blue nines, and has already started work on restoring features created by original architect Harry Colt.

The biggest job in the first phase of work has been the creation of a new green for the first hole. Colt's original green, right on top of a hill, was abandoned in the 1930s as members found it too difficult, and a new, lower green built by Fred Hawtree. More recently, this green, which has a slight bowled character, not a style favoured by Colt, has performed badly, so the Club and Lobb took the decision to rebuild following Lobb's advice. The new green will be larger and more in keeping with the rest of the course, while an original Colt bunker has been restored on the left side of the fairway, and a new bunker added further up that side, to restore the original strategy of the hole as closely as possible.

"It's a privilege to work at St George's Hill, and very satisfying to be returning the course closer to Harry Colt's original vision," said Lobb.

Course Manager Chris Gosden and his team are carrying out the works with contractor Profusion Environmental at this stage. Club Secretary Gary Peddie said: "We know that we are custodians of one of Harry Colt's greatest works, so it is reassuring to have Tim's help in restoring the course closer to his original design."




NEWGIZA to open later this year

After a three year build, the NEWGIZA course in Egypt, which sits within a 500 hectare masterplanned community, will open later this year. Designed by Tim Lobb and Ross Perrett for Thomson Perrett & Lobb, the course occupies a stunning location only a few kilometres from the Giza pyramids - which are in full view from many of the holes (visit the NEWGIZA projct page).

NEWGIZA is growing in and preparing to open later in the year.

"It has been a long and difficult build due to the conditions on site, but we are getting there and the results are stunning," said Lobb. "I believe it will be a strong candidate for the title of Egypt's best course."

Twelve holes are now grassed - the first one was done almost two years ago - and the spectacular clubhouse is well into construction. Final landscaping is under way on much of the site. "We have now shaped the par three fourth hole, which we believe will be much photographed, as it plays directly at the pyramids," said Lobb. "The twelve holes on the main part of the property are finished; we're now working on the last six - which will be holes three to eight - and occupy a different plot of land. Everyone involved is very proud of NEWGIZA and personally it is incredibly satisfying to work on such a massive project with a great team and bring it to fruition."




Renovated Buckinghamshire re-opens in April

The major renovation of the Buckinghamshire golf club to the north-west of London is finished.

Course manager Andy Ewence, who has managed the construction project, said: "This has been something of an epic, as we have virtually rebuilt large parts of the golf course, while still keeping it open for play. There were four separate contractors involved, with over 40 contracting staff on site on a daily basis. To manage such a large project has been extremely hard work, but working alongside our golf architect, Tim Lobb, has help enormously and I feel we have achieved stunning results."

The new look 7th hole at The Buckinghamshire.
 
The project has seen the overall area of bunkers on the course - originally designed by the late John Jacobs - shrink from over 14,000 sq m to 6,400 sq m, with obvious consequences for the amount of maintenance required. Tim Lobb said: "It was always obvious that we needed to reduce the area of sand at the Buckinghamshire, but what particularly pleases me is that we have done so while at the same time making the bunkers more thought provoking hazards - and also more visible. Generally, the bunkers are tighter to the greens than they were before, and we have introduced central hazards on the fifth and eighteenth holes - while clearing trees on the right of 18 to create an alternative line to the green. The par fives were generally very wide and not very interesting before the project; now bunkers threaten the playing lines and create real strategic choices."

Lobb added: "It has been a pleasure to work with Andy Ewence, and all the contractors - it is testimony to Andy's skills as a project manager than the work has been done so effectively." The newly renovated course opened for play in early April (visit the Buckinghamshire golf club projct page).




Major award for the Point at Polzeath

LOBB + PARTNERS client the Point at Polzeath in Cornwall has won a top national award for its success as a golf club and a leisure hub for the local community and holidaymakers (visit the Point at Polzeath projct page).

Owner Jeremy Davies and Course Manager Tom Collings celebrate England Golf award back at the club.
 
It was named as the GolfMark Club of the Year at last week's 2017 England Golf Awards at Lord's. "Winning this award means a huge amount to us and to the members," said Jeremy Davies, who owns the club with his wife, Eva. Their success and the club's appeal is highlighted in a specially filmed video by Senior Captain Rick Ferrant who says: "They have improved the club, the course and the facilities and at the same time they have cultivated a fantastic spirit among the members. I drive 160 miles to come and play golf and it's honestly worth it."

Davies added: "Before we bought the club in 2012, we asked Tim to come and survey the asset. Over a five year period Tim has not only help us redesign the course but has been a constant source of inspiration and ideas on what at times has seemed like a long journey. We count ourselves lucky to not only have had the services of such a wonderful architect but also a great friend. Thank you."




Who are we?

LOBB + PARTNERS is a multi discipline practice providing comprehensive golf development services for golf course design, existing course renovation/ restoration, master planning, architecture and landscape architecture.

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