Lobb & Partners
golf course architects


The LOBB + PARTNERS eNewsletter – Summer 2017


LOBB + PARTNERS golf course architects
Lobb + Partners eNewsletter – Summer 2017
Summer is often a quiet time in the golf design and development business, as, on the renovation side of things at least, clubs often prefer to do as much construction work as they can during the winter, when play levels are at their lowest.

This isn't always bad news; if you're going to be quiet, it's rather nice to be so during the summer, when you can spend time enjoying the weather with friends and family. But this year, at LOBB + PARTNERS, that's far from the situation, with a number of new course builds coming towards their conclusion and opening soon, another one about to start, and busy times in the renovation space too. Ah well - I hope you are getting to enjoy the summer!

Tim Lobb

Vintage look planned for Berkshire work

The Berkshire is one of England's greatest golf clubs, with two wonderful courses, the Red and the Blue, both designed by Herbert Fowler in the late 1920s. Our introduction to the club came about as a result of a course design policy document we produced two years ago, along with golf historian and writer Adam Lawrence.

After that report was well-received by the club, Lobb + Partners was hired by the Berkshire as its consulting architect, with a remit to work over a period of time to improve both courses and move them closer to Fowler's original vision. This project started last year, with new and restored bunkers on the fourth and fifth holes of the Red course, but the programme for 2017 is significantly bigger, taking in holes on both the Red and Blue courses. In all cases we shall be returning the bunkers - to a more vintage look, as is appropriate for a course of this age, and trying to enhance the club's already impressive heather landscape. It's a privilege to be working at a club like the Berkshire!

You can watch the project video here>>

Design work starts on new Soma Bay course in Egypt

Tim Lobb visited Egypt recently to start work on his fourth new course design in the country. The Soma Bay resort in the Red Sea resort town of Hurghada already has a course designed by Gary Player's firm; now Lobb + Partners has been appointed to design a second eighteen holes for the development.

L-R Design team: Ahmed, Ahmed, Major, Peter, Tim, Kanaeson, Lara onsite at Soma Bay in July.

Soma Bay is owned by a combination of Egyptian, Lebanese, Saudi Arabian and other investors. "We were selected because of our prior experience and strong reputation in the Egyptian market, plus our masterplanning experience" Lobb said. "The Soma Bay site is huge - the whole property is 1,100 hectares - with the Red Sea on three sides. The development already has five hotels, including a Westin, a Sheraton and a Kempinski; the golf resort is Westin-branded. Our course will complement the existing Player Design course; it won't be a super-long championship layout, but it will be player friendly and entertaining. We expect construction to start before the end of this year." Tim Lobb's work in Egypt up to press has included the El Ein Bay resort course and the spectacular NEWGIZA course which is close to completion.

You can view more pictures from the Soma Bay project page here >>

L+P appointed to historic Huntercombe Golf Club

Lobb + Partners has been appointed as consulting architects at the historic Huntercombe Golf Club in Oxfordshire. Huntercombe, which was designed by Willie Park Jr at the same time as he was working on Sunningdale's Old course, and opened in 1901, is a vitally important landmark in the history of golf course architecture, and is widely considered a 'hidden gem' among aficionados.

Park's design is characterised by grass pots and hollows which define the playing strategy of many holes. Huntercombe has only 13 bunkers on the entire course, meaning that the hollows, other landforms and the quite unique set of very dramatic greens are its principal defence.

Pits and hollows make Huntercombe a unique golfing experience.

"Huntercombe does not need major surgery, but we will look to reintegrate some of Park's lost design features, including pots and hollows, to restore scale back to the limited bunkers and review the landscape philosophy," said Tim Lobb.

"Our traditional golf club has carefully considered the selection for our consulting golf course architect and determined that Lobb + Partners were best suited. We look forward to working with Tim Lobb for years to come," said greens chairman Muir Parker.

You can view the Huntercombe Golf Club project page here >>

Green wins Thomson Cup at L+P golf day

Although many things have changed since the birth of Lobb + Partners last year, some have not. One thing that definitely hasn't changed - and hopefully won't for many years to come - is the tradition of our golf day, at which a group of friends and business colleagues meet up for good fellowship and to compete for the Thomson Cup.

This year was the tenth year the Cup had been played for, and for the first time, the venue was the Buckinghamshire golf club north west of London, which reopened this spring after a major renovation led by architect Tim Lobb.

Co hosts Nigel Wyatt (Profusion Environmental) and Tim Lobb (LOBB + PARTNERS)
present Steve Green with the Thomson Cup. Well played Steve.

Guests came from all over the UK, as well as Sweden, Portugal and Australia (Don Lobb, Tim's father, the guest of honour!) to compete on a beautiful summer's day, and Steve Green, the secretary of Huntercombe GC ended up victorious, with an impressive score of 38 Stableford points off a four handicap. Congratulations go to him, and thanks are due to the golf club for hosting us, and to Profusion Environmental, contractor on the Buckinghamshire job, who co-sponsored the day.

Read more about the Buckinghamshire golf club project here >>

The art and science of masterplanning

For any golf project that is dependent on other amenities - housing, hotels and the like - for its success, the overall site masterplan is crucial, according to Lobb + Partners principal Tim Lobb. And, he adds, collaboration between everyone involved in the project is the best way to get a good result.

Lobb is in a good position to know - he has been involved in masterplanning golf developments for over twenty years, starting in Malaysia and after his move to Europe - working on projects in Asia, Africa, Europe and the Middle East.

"An effective masterplan must take into account the needs of every part of a development," Lobb said. "That's why collaboration between the owner, the project architect, the golf designer and any other stakeholders is so important. If anyone is missing it is likely that some part of the project will not get enough attention and will suffer. Different people have different ideas and priorities. People often think 'Oh, we can change this as we go through the project', but in fact, the decisions taken early on tend to endure. The initial pen strokes that hit the paper are defining for the project - they create the footprint.

As discussed above, Lobb is currently working on the masterplan for the new golf course project at Soma Bay in Egypt. He says it is a process that must not be rushed. "It does take time - often several months - to develop a plan that allows every element of the project to be complementary to each other. It's easy to rush, but you generally regret it later."

You can watch Tim explain his masterplanning process 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.

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