Members of Chilliwack Golf Club, which is located approximately 50 miles east of Vancouver, Canada, have approved a golf course redesign plan created by Lobb + Partners.
The focus of the redesign is to create holes that appeal to a wider range of golfers, while also improving operational efficiency. Maintained areas will be reduced by 30 per cent to 25.5 hectares and the number of bunkers reduced by 11 to 46.
New forward tees will allow natural grasses requiring less maintenance to fill the spaces between teeing areas, while also giving a contrasting texture. An increase in short grass areas elsewhere is designed to improve playability.
“At the forefront of this plan is a desire to present accessible and appealing golf for as many golfers and potential golfers as possible,” says Oliver Tubb, a design associate at the Canadian office of Lobb + Partners. “We aim to do this through expanded short grass areas, with increased widths, and by ensuring the golfers experience more naturalised areas as they move around the course. Collectively, we are really excited for where this project is headed.”
While the routing stays the same, five new greens are proposed, and others will receive minor upgrades. Bunkers will be relocated to increase their relevance and redesigned into new shapes and a new style, giving the entire course an aesthetic update.
An existing chipping area will be converted, allowing a nineteenth hole to be created so the club can keep as many holes open as possible during construction, which is expected to begin in 2023.
“Our club has some important projects and decisions ahead of us, and we recognize the value of working with experts to help us navigate this process. From the start, our relationship with Lobb + Partners has been collaborative, insightful and rewarding,” says Chilliwack’s superintendent Kaleb Fisher.
Chilliwack opened in 1958 and has become well established in the area, hosting national tournaments and the University of Fraser Valley’s golf teams. The course was designed by Ernest Brown, one of the key figures in the development of golf in British Columbia, as a player, professional, tournament organiser and golf course architect.
“As a club, we recognise the need to be proactive in our approach to long-term planning to ensure sustainable business and golf operations. The work from Lobb + Partners is a really important part of this process,” says Bryan Ewart, the club’s general manager.