Lobb & Partners
golf course architects

Tim Lobb reports on his travels to Malaysia and Australia during February 2010.

In these times of glossy magazines and seductive/ touched up photos of exotic golf courses it got me wondering – has golf lost its ‘fit for purpose’ importance. Is the golf industry really creating golf courses that fit into each and every golfing environment that they are found in?

On a recent trip to Australia via Malaysia the need for diversity of mindset to produce a golf course that is 100% fit for it’s purpose was exemplified. Malaysia has torrential heavy rain to cope with while in Melbourne, Australia the golf courses are facing severe and prolonged drought conditions.

Hopefully the pictures below will help to explain.

 

 

Silty soils and torrential rain greets golf construction in Malaysia

Silty soils and torrential rain greets golf construction in Malaysia

 

 

The above picture was taken from the re-construction of the Bunga Raya course at Saujana Golf & Country Club, just out of Kuala Lumpur. The old firm I used to work with, E & G Parslow are undertaking the works and have to contend with very difficult conditions to produce a golfing product that is ‘fit for pupose’

Next on the tour was a visit to Yarra Yarra in Melbourne. Yarra Yarra is in the famed sandbelt region and ranked in the top grouping of Aussie courses. Recent design work has been undertaken by Hawtree Limited and the 10th green complex re-built to produce a fine example of a subtle renovation blending into the existing course.

 

 

The new 10th greensite at Yarra Yarra

The new 10th greensite at Yarra Yarra

 

 

On the Mornington Peninsula, just an hours drive from Melbourne there is some of the best golfing territory around. Rolling landform, deep sands and sea views make the perfect foundation for some of the best golf courses in Australia.

 

 

The natural and dramatic bunkers on The Ocean Course, National Golf Club

The natural and dramatic bunkers on The Ocean Course, National Golf Club

 

 

The silky swing of a 5 times British Open winner - Peter Thomson

The silky swing of a 5 times British Open winner - Peter Thomson

 

 

Thomson, Perrett & Lobb enjoying a round. We all love playing golf. Some are better than others of course.

Thomson, Perrett & Lobb enjoying a round. We all love playing golf. Some are better than others of course.

 

 

Last week also saw the hosting of the Nationwide/ Australian Tour event, The Moonah Classic on The Open Course at Moonah Links. The course was designed by our Melbourne office (Thomson Perrett) and has the good fortune of being built in perfect golfing land within the Mornington Peninsula.

 

 

18th green of The Open Course, Moonah Links, what drama

18th green of The Open Course, Moonah Links, what drama

 

 

6th West at Royal Melbourne, natural terrain for a great hole.

6th West at Royal Melbourne, natural terrain for a great hole.

 

 

Richard Forsyth, Course Superintendent at Royal Melbourne Golf Club was kind enough to show me around the West and East course to inspect the ongoing re-grassing activities. A major re-grassing exercise has been undertaken in preparation for next years Presidents Cup and it looks as if Royal Melbourne will be back on top of the perch once all grown in.

The final course visited was Riversdale Golf Club, 20 km out of Melbourne. It was my old home course and it brought back alot of memories to go back there.

 

 

Hole 10 at Riversdale Golf Club, a tempting short par 4.

Hole 10 at Riversdale Golf Club, a tempting short par 4.

 

 

It is always great to meet up with golf industry leaders in various golfing regions and environments. The underlying key to success for each and every region is that the individuals involved with the golf courses, whether it be the design, the construction or the maintenance of the golf course is that they produce a golfing product that is fit for the purpose.

That purpose will be environmental, financial, social and cultural considerations.

Back to the UK next week to enjoy some cold weather again.

WRITTEN ON February 10th, 2010 BY Tim AND STORED IN Our projects, Peter Thomson, Philosophy, Press Releases, Tim Lobb, Top Courses, Travels

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