2010 Architects of the Year: Tom Doak and Jim Urbina

Doak (center) and Urbina (right) with Bandon Dunes creator Mike Keiser.
Wood Sabold

Had we initiated this
award before 2008, Tom Doak
would have already won it,
likely more than once. Forget
minimalism—no modern
designer has advanced the
cause of classic virtues, with
its emphasis on strategy,
width and contouring more
successfully than Doak.

“Undulating topography
is the soul of great golf
courses,” says Doak, who
has a skill for either finding
it or creating it with reliably
spectacular results. Pacific
Dunes, Australia’s Barnbougle
Dunes and New Zealand’s
Cape Kidnappers are among
his most effective expressions.

Sharing top honors with Doak
is his longtime collaborator,
Jim Urbina. Once described
as a “practical genius (on a
bulldozer), someone who
could translate ideas into
tangible shapes,” Urbina first
teamed with Doak on a Pete
Dye-led crew in 1985, and he
has served as Doak’s righthand
man on many of
Doak’s greatest layouts,
including Pacific Dunes.

Old Macdonald marks the
first time in Urbina’s 27 years
in the business that he’s
earned a design credit, and
what a debut it is. The layout’s
rippling fairways and sprawling
greens demonstrate a mindboggling
attention to detail.