Architect of the Year: David McLay Kidd

Architect of the Year: David McLay Kidd

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David McLay Kidd.
Mike Houska/Dogleg Studios

It has been almost a decade since David McLay Kidd
announced himself to the golf world with the stunning
layout at Bandon Dunes. Back then he really was a kid. Now
he’s 40, but even if the architect is hitting middle age, you
can rest assured that his designs are not middle-of-the-road.
Kidd has compiled an impressive portfolio since Bandon
Dunes opened, but his accomplishments in 2008 are
what have earned the son of a Scottish superintendent our
inaugural Architect of the Year award.

His two high-profile
course openings — the Castle Course in St. Andrews
and Tetherow in Bend, Oregon — are distinctive and
compelling statements in marketplaces already
overflowing with acclaimed layouts.

Kidd remains a genuine minimalist — he believes that a
golf hole should fit as seamlessly as possible into the natural
landscape — but he’s equally adamant that his courses be
anything but plain vanilla. To Kidd,
a lush and manicured playing
field equals “bland, uninspiring
and cookie-cutter.” While his
designs often provoke polar
reactions, his spirit of adventure
and willingness to break with
convention — both evident in
spades at the Castle Course and
Tetherow — are to be saluted.