Born in Dublin, Ireland in 1882, Vernon was a highly educated man. Being from a well-to-do family he was sent to one of England's foremost schools, Shrewsbury, and eventually read Law at Trinity College, Dublin.

All aspects of golf became his passion however, and he became one of Ireland's most prominent amateur players.

In 1908, "Mac" emigrated to Canada. By 1910 he had migrated to Victoria and joined the Victoria Golf Club, and soon made his presence felt by winning the B.C. Amateur in 1912 & 1913. In 1913 he also won the Pacific Northwest Amateur and the Washington State Amateur.

What was the philosophy of the busiest golf architect on the Pacific coast? "Au Naturel" is probably the most appropriate phrase. He loved the links course at St. Andrews in Scotland so much that it would serve as his guide. In a quote, he maintained two basic design rules: "All par 4's should require two well planned and played shots to the green" and "greens should not be flat but hogbacks, undulations and crowns should be incorporated to defy the backspin players."

Despite losing his left leg below the knee in the First World War, "Mac" played golf for many years to a 4-handicap. He was regarded as one of the purest strikers of the golf ball.

His solid reputation as a result of his Colwood design quickly led to appointments to design the layouts for Marine Drive in Vancouver, Inglewood in Washington State and to alter both Victoria and Seattle Golf Clubs. Fircrest in Tacoma, Columbia-Edgewater, Colwood National Golf Club in Portland and California Golf Club of San Francisco. Richmond, Shaughnessy, Nanaimo and the initial 9 holes of Cowichan were some of the other projects illustrating his vision.

In 1964, at the age of 82, A.V. Macan succumbed to a heart attack while hard at work redesigning the Sunland Golf Course in Sequim, Wa. During his lifetime Macan's talent and integrity were recognized as he became the first Canadian member of the American Society of Golf Architects. "Mac" was truly a most important figure in B.C. golf and Royal Colwood is very proud of his association with our course.