BC Golf Course Architects

July 21, 2014

Jim Lee (British Columbia Golf)

In 2011, I was thinking about golf in BC for a newsletter article, and what kind of course best represented the essence of golf in the province.  This got me to thinking about who had designed what courses and whether any one architect had captured best the spirit of golf in the province.  I did some research on the courses in the province, going to websites to track down designers.  This wasn't always easy.

Following is the list I’ve come up with of course designers who have created more than one course in the Province.

Graham Cooke
Black Mountain
Crowne Isle
The Dunes
Harvest Golf Club
Shadow Mountain
Talking Rock
Sun Rivers

Thomas McBroom
Tower Ranch
Morgan Creek
Fraser View
Les Furber 
Bootleg Gap
Christina Lake
Fairview Mountain
Garibaldi Springs
Hyde Mountain
Kelowna Springs
Mayfair Lakes
Meadow Gardens
Myrtle Point
Predator Ridge (Predator)
Salmon Arm
St. Eugene
Springs at Radium
Storey Creek
Trickle Creek
Sydney Island
Bear Mountain - Valley
Bear Mountain - Mountain
Nicklaus North
Okanagan Bear
Doug Carrick
Predator Ridge  Ridge
A V Macan
Royal Colwood
Marine Drive
Gorge Vale
Stanley Thompson
Arnold Palmer
Northview Ridge
Whistler Golf Club
Bill Robinson
Arbutus Ridge
Gallaghers Canyon
Olympic View
Eagle Ranch
The Ridge Course, Cordova Bay
Les Furber has clearly designed more courses in BC than any other architect, with good courses in all regions of the province and several of these are highly rated.  Both McBroom and Cooke, based in Ontario have completed a number of courses, with a couple of these exceptional courses.  I had also forgotten that Jack Nicklaus had designed the very private course on Sidney Island, and with the Bear Mountain courses, has also created some good courses.  Doug Carrick designed two of the higher ranked courses in Canada with the new Predator Ridge course and Greywolf.

The venerable Stanley Thompson created the great courses at Banff and Jasper and many in the east, but for some reason did not do much work in BC.

I was most surprised by the work of A. V. Macan.  A Google search quickly brought up a brief biography and listing of his courses.  As I’m from Vancouver Island, I was aware of his work at Royal Colwood, but you then add some of the best courses in Canada at Shaugnessy and Marine Drive.  These courses have all ranked in the top 100 in Canada.  His designs are prevalent throughout the Pacific Northwest and California, including the Seattle and Everett Golf Clubs.  He was also a scratch golfer, winning BC (several times) and Pacific Coast championships. 

My vote on who best represents the essence of golf in BC has to go to Macan.  How would you rank BC's golf course architects?.  Let me know jim@britishcolumbiagolf.org
For those interested, this is a link to a brief article on Macan by Jeff Mingay in Golf Course Architecture magazine.  Read More

Image courtesy of Marine Drive Golf Club

Editor's Note: an earlier version of this story had Capilano designed by AV Macan instead of Stanley Thompson.  In addition, Bill Robinson was not identified for the courses he has designed.