Lobb & Partners
golf course architects


The LOBB + PARTNERS eNewsletter – Summer 2020 Newsletter


LOBB + PARTNERS golf course architects
Lobb + Partners Summer Newsletter
The COVID-19 crisis has affected pretty much the whole world, and the golf community has, of course, been no different. At the start of the pandemic, golf courses, along with virtually every other form of activity were closed down to try to slow the virus’s spread, but, as governments recognised that outdoor recreation was relatively low risk, and that golf in particular offered relatively few opportunities for the virus to be transmitted, the game was one of the first economic sectors to reopen. And the effect has been remarkable — across the world, clubs are reporting full tee sheets and plenty of new membership sales. Ironic though it may seem, COVID-19 seems to be offering golf a chance to reboot itself as a healthy, low-risk form of recreation and exercise.

We too have used the enforced travel shutdown to reboot. We have, as you’ll see later in this newsletter, taken the opportunity to restate our design principles for the post-COVID world. On a more personal level, principal Tim Lobb has transformed his life with dieting and exercise, shedding 20kg and running regularly, to the extent that, on Sunday, he will run the marathon distance of 26.2 miles in support of the Stroke Association - if anyone would like to donate to Tim’s efforts, his fundraising page can be found at justgiving.com/fundraising/tim-lobb.

Canadian GolfBC group appoints Lobb + Partners

Western Canada’s largest golf course owner and operator and one of Canada’s foremost golf, resort and residential management company is pleased to announce the appointment of the Canadian and British based golf course architectural firm, Lobb + Partners.

In the first instance Lobb + Partners will review the architectural nature of GolfBC Group’s seven golf courses in British Columbia. Tim Lobb, founder and principal of Lobb + Partners said: “It is always a thrill to work with clients who seek to make their golf facilities player friendly, sustainable, adaptable to an evolving market and maintenance friendly”.

Premier Canadian multi golf operator and owner GolfBC Group appoint LOBB + PARTNERS. L-R Brett Finlayson, Andy Hedley, Alex Hay and Oliver Tubb at GolfBC Group HQ in Vancouver.

“Our Director of Grounds Maintenance, Brett Finlayson and I undertook a comprehensive interview process to carefully appoint the correct design partner for our group. It was imperative the selected design firm had a thorough understanding of multi course ownership dynamics while delivering design solutions that enhance the playing experiences for our customers. We greatly look forward to working with Tim Lobb, Alex Hay and Oliver Tubb from their British Columbia base,” said Andy Hedley, VP of Golf Operations, GolfBC Group.

The work with GolfBC Group is scheduled to commence later in 2020 with further review in 2021.

Read full press release here >>

Lessons from history

Working on a historically significant golf course is challenging on many levels. Lobb + Partners has been lucky enough to work on several. With a base in Surrey, we have a number of ongoing clients among the heathland courses south of London, the area where, in many ways, modern golf architecture was first conceived and executed. Lowland heath is a rare and precious ecosystem, and the southward development of the London suburbs and exurbs in the last 200 years has resulted in much of it being lost, and much of what remains being in the care of golf clubs. Until recently, heath has been in decline on most of the golf courses in the area: we are delighted and proud to be helping a number of clubs to reverse this trend. We seek, like the greats of yesteryear, to produce courses that sit lightly on their surrounding landscape.

Our approach to a historic course starts, almost always, with thorough research. We make use of multiple sources: old aerial photographs are among the most useful, but club archives often contain hidden treasures such as reports and even plans from the original architects.

The historic aerial image study of the famous fourth hole at Huntercombe Golf Club.

To give a few examples of our historical work. At Woking Golf Club we have helped the club undertake a large and very exciting piece of heath regeneration: the area between the second green and the eleventh fairway, about two acres, was cleared of trees, and now, a year on, heather is starting to regrow. At Willie Park Jr’s Huntercombe GC in Oxfordshire, we have consulted for a number of years, recently adding ‘Park-like’ pits to the sixteenth hole.

Read full article here on our approach to working on historically significant golf courses.

Major pro-am at L+P client Worplesdon Golf Club

The lovely Worplesdon GC in Surrey, a Lobb + Partners client for several years, recently hosted a high profile pro-am featuring a substantial number of leading professionals, including Colin Montgomerie, Ross Fisher, Georgia Hall and Charley Hull. Hosted by European Tour stars Andy Sullivan and Paul Waring, the event was in aid of two excellent charities, Dan’s Fund For Burns, which supports people with burn injuries, and the Rainbow Trust Covid-19 Emergency Appeal, which supports seriously ill children and their families. With fantastic weather, a great day was had by all who attended, including Tim! Thomas Detry won the professionals’ competition and the £10,000 prize with a score of 64 (-7).

Colin Montgomerie said: “This week was the first time I have played at Worplesdon in the charity pro-am. The course is a delight to play and it has been great to be competing again. The clubs vision and works to restore and enhance the heathland landscape and bunkering with Lobb + Partners is quite spectacular and has further elevated this already beautiful course. Worplesdon reminds me a lot of Sunningdale and is one of the finest heathland courses in England”.

Click the play button above to view the official video of the day.

Design principles renewed

During the enforced slow-down caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Tim, Alex and Oliver have taken the opportunity to assess and restate the principles that govern their work. The five principles are:
  • Create enjoyable, strategic and safe golf experiences, suitable for all players, that promote fast play;
  • Golf design solutions that are sustainable, environmentally sensitive and maintenance friendly
  • Traditional designs that are forward thinking, and when appropriate are respectful to historic content and design philosophies
  • Aiding existing courses to sit perfectly in their indigenous landscape; and
  • Creating a solid ROI for our clients through intelligent design solutions.
Tim Lobb said: “The last few months have been difficult for everyone, but they have also been an opportunity to rethink how we go about our work – a reset if you like. I don’t believe we need to change what we do particularly. But it is always good to focus on what really matters – fun, strategic golf that sits lightly in its landscape and is sustainable both ecologically and economically, that delivers results for clients, whether a traditional golf club or a commercial operation.”

Click on the picture below to view the video of our renewed design principal.

Tim features in Australian golf magazine

Tim was recently interviewed by Golf Australia magazine for its ‘Aussies Abroad’ segment. The interview covered his entire career since leaving Australia at the age of 26 in 1996, to work for Ted Parslow in Malaysia, including his move to the UK in 1998 with European Golf Design, the formation of Thomson Perrett and Lobb in 2004 and the creation of Lobb + Partners in 2016. Tim said: “Though I have lived in the UK for 22 years I still see myself as a proud Aussie, which makes for some good banter with my British friends every time the Ashes comes around!

Golf Australia interview - Tim Lobb is one of this country’s proudest exports when it comes to golf course design.

I haven’t ever worked as a golf architect in Australia, so it is rather nice to be recognised back home as a successful Aussie export. One of my biggest remaining ambitions is to design a course in my homeland. Perhaps this interview will be a help in that respect… you never know!”

Read full article here >>

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.

To learn more about LOBB + PARTNERS view our new corporate video.

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