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High Pointe Golf Club

Redefining the Green

Still, building the Loop seemed a risk. The design was hard enough to execute, but then once the course was built there was—and still is—a fear that one routing of the course might surpass another in quality or popularity, in effect, ruining the concept. Doak insists the Loop is one course and not two separate eighteen-hole courses occupying the same piece of land. But even if he is fearful that one routing might be favored, he’s also resolute—and defiant—about what he created. “There are surely some people who’d like to see me fail publicly,” he says, such as the architects he’s rankled over the years. “But there are also lots of others who would have loved to build something similar and just don’t have the opportunity—or the balls—to do something this bold when they do get a job.” Mike Young, a golf architect from Georgia and an admirer of Doak’s, says that some in the business think Doak has been fortunate to receive great canvasses to do his work—that the sites of his courses are idiotproof—and that he’s only been lucky. Doak is well aware of these charges and says of his critics, “They’re always implying that I’ve had it easy because I’ve been given such great sites, and that it takes more talent to work under tougher conditions. But I don’t have any interest in proving that I’m a ‘better architect.’ I’m just trying to build great courses.”