Golf Course Architecture - Issue 72, April 2023

33 TEE BOX Whistler Golf Club, north of Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada, has hired Arnold Palmer Design Company (APDC) to develop a renovation masterplan for the Whistler course. The mountain resort has four eighteen-hole courses: Big Sky, designed by Bob Cupp, Nicklaus North by Nicklaus Design, Chateau Whistler by Robert Trent Jones II, and the Whistler course by APDC, which opened in 1983. “Core golf, subtle elevation changes, pristine mountain streams, and a vibrant native landscape palette make this property singular in its beauty,” said Thad Layton, senior architect at APDC. “We’re thrilled to re-engage with the club to envision just how good the course can be.” Whistler’s long-time director of golf, Alan Kristmanson, spearheaded the effort to retain APDC and will work closely with the design firm on the project. Layton is currently developing a masterplan that aims to improve on- and off-course sightlines, improve the playability and maintenance of bunkers, and add more strategy to the layout. “Over time, maintenance operations and weathering have altered the interest and overall visibility of the bunkering,” said Layton. “Through reshaping, restyling and, in some cases, repositioning, we intend to add vitality, interest and visibility to Whistler’s bunkering. Given the expected resort clientele, punching up the bunkering will assist in wayfinding for golfers navigating the course for the first time.” Layton also intends to restore the proximity of greenside bunkers to better engage pin locations and increase interest from the approach, and reconfigure fairway bunkering within widened corridors and expanded fairways to provide more avenues from tee to green. Tree trimming and vegetation removal will open sightlines across the property. Layton says this will improve the condition of the turfgrasses and restore playing corridors. Construction begins this spring on the first phase of the long-range masterplan. Thad Layton develops masterplan for Whistler Photo: Arnold Palmer Design Company