Tom Doak Seems Determined To Be Different Than David Kidd

Eamon Lynch of Golfweek talks to Tom Doak about the golf architect’s plans to build a much shorter but also demanding course at Sand Valley resort where David McLay Kidd’s Mammoth Dunes was recently unveiled.

Given that the course is years away from opening, it’s odd that Doak seems more obsessed with countering Kidd’s design than quietly going about building a great course and letting the results speak for themselves. But maybe this faux drama is what the “retail golfer” clamors for.

“The hardest part will be to convince them to let me make it somewhat challenging,” Doak said. “I don’t think they think that’s a really important part of their business model, and the feedback on Mammoth Dunes says maybe they’re right. I don’t think that’s a difficult golf course and people love it.”

Mammoth Dunes was designed by David McLay Kidd, with whom Doak has had a robust rivalry since they built the first two courses in Bandon. Kidd had lobbied for Doak to get Sand Valley’s third job (Coore and Crenshaw preceded Kidd).

“He’s really competitive with me and he really wants to beat me head to head, which he can’t do if I don’t do a golf course there,” Doak laughs.

Kidd cheerfully dismissed his rival’s tweaking. “You can still have challenge but allow recovery,” he said. “Nobody is shooting 58 just because I built a course that’s fun.”