Vancouver’s University GC introduces new par three to address safety issue

  • University Golf Club Vancouver
    Lobb + Partners

    Alex Hay of Lobb + Partners with Charlie Goodwin and Shaun Eckhart of Goodwin Golf at University Golf Club in Vancouver, Canada

  • University Golf Club Vancouver
    Lobb + Partners

    Hay plans to convert the par-four sixth into a par three, to address a safety issue

Richard Humphreys
By Richard Humphreys

University Golf Club in Vancouver, Canada, has turned to Alex Hay of Lobb + Partners to provide a permanent solution to reduce the number of balls being hit out of the property from the tee shot on the sixth hole, which runs alongside a residential road.

As a temporary measure, the club had been using a forward tee to address the issue on the par four hole. Hay, who runs the Canadian office of Lobb + Partners, has proposed converting the sixth into a par three, and then creating a new par-four seventh to replace the existing par three.

“The new sixth green sits perfectly on the natural terrain, moving from left to right,” said Hay. “Ordinarily, with a green of that orientation we would probably bunker the right side of the green, but to guide golfers away from the road we’ve placed a large visual bunker on the left side, and opted for a short grass runoff to the right.”

Hay’s project on the public Vernon Macan layout – which opened in 1929 as Westward Ho! and was renamed in 1985 after a redesign – will also see the introduction of native grasses in out-of-play areas to reduce irrigation requirements.

Construction, which is being handled by Alberta-based contractor Goodwin Golf, has started on the new sixth hole, with a temporary hole created so the course will have 18 holes in play throughout. Work on the new seventh expected to begin in 2025.