Tom Doak Taking On Old Rival, Your Notions With New Course

Tom Doak waited more than 35 years for the opportunity that was presented to him this summer, ever since he first saw Swinley Forest and Rye. Those two Harry Colt courses in England – renowned for being short on yardage but long on challenge – are the genesis of Sedge Valley, Doak’s recently announced course at Wisconsin’s Sand Valley Resort.

Great architecture exposes weaknesses in skill or judgment, and Doak’s proposed design probes the psyche even before a shot is struck. Sedge Valley is just 6,100 yards, par 68, guaranteeing that some will dismiss it sight unseen as too short to bother with, while others will assume it’s a pushover.

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David McLay Kidd Reinvents Himself At Sand Valley

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David McLay Kidd’s Mammoth Dunes in central Wisconsin.

David McLay Kidd was at the pinnacle of the golf course architecture world a decade ago when he realized that his work was winning more awards than fans. He grew weary of hearing bruised golfers say they wouldn’t hasten back.

“Owners want me to build these things but when I consider my end user — the average golfer is my retail client, no matter who gets in the middle — he’s not having that much fun,” Kidd says. “That’s a recipe for failure. I had to figure out where I came off the path and my way back to it.”

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Tour Pros See Opportunity, Not Nuance in Course Design

Golfers who play for a living tend to look at courses the way the rest of us look at office cubicles – just a functional place in which to ply one’s trade. Sure, some feel more comfortable and fit the eye better than others, but you’re there to make money, not study the artistry of the workspace.

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The Coore-Crenshaw course at Kapalua in Maui.

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