Feb 09,2007 00:00
Bend Weekly News Sources
Tom Doak selected for his minimalist approach to course design and ability to preserve natural environment and topography
His first attempt at course design in Oregon resulted in one of the greatest upscale public courses ever created –- Pacific Dunes. In 2006, three of his designs (Ballyneal, Tumble Creek and Stone Eagle Golf Club) were ranked among Golf Digest’s top 10 best new private courses in America, and three others (Pacific Dunes, Cape Kidnappers and Barnbougle) were ranked among Golf Magazine’s top 50 courses in the world. Now, Tom Doak returns to Oregon to work his magic on Wicked Pony -– the first of three courses to be built at Remington Ranch, Central Oregon’s newest and finest residential golf community and destination resort.
When asked to draw parallels between his vision for Wicked Pony and that of an existing course in the United States, Doak chose to mention the basic concept for Pine Valley in New Jersey -– widely considered one of the best and most difficult courses in the world.
“I’m not saying we will be able to achieve all of the same things, but Pine Valley is a good case study for what we are building,” said Doak. “Since Remington Ranch will have three courses, they were comfortable with the idea that Wicked Pony can be a little rougher around the edges and a little more intimidating than the typical golf course.”
Winchester Development, the company overseeing development of Remington Ranch, had recently worked with Tom Doak while participating in the development of Stone Eagle Golf Club in Palm Desert, and knew his minimalist approach to design would be an ideal fit for Wicked Pony.
“The open landscape, varied terrain and natural setting all screamed his name to us,” said John Shaw, Principal of Winchester Development. “Tom had already received several calls about designing a course in Central Oregon and was eager to find a project he could really take ownership of – after visiting the site, he knew Wicked Pony was the opportunity he had been looking for.”
Unlike traditional projects where course architects are asked to fit their designs into a pre-determined site or acreage, Doak was given the rare opportunity to survey the entire 2,079-acre parcel at Remington Ranch and select his preferred routing for Wicked Pony.
“Remington Ranch has some abrupt elevation changes, with three ‘shelves’ on the property that have 25-foot drops separating them,” said Doak of how his minimalist style of design fits well for Wicked Pony. “We are able to use those abrupt changes to give the course some dramatic features without having to blast them out of the lava rock.”
Known for its scenic vistas, mild climate, abundant sunshine and outdoor recreation, Central Oregon is rapidly becoming one of the country’s top golf destinations. “There is no question that Central Oregon has a wonderful climate and that it’s a beautiful place to live,” said Doak. “For many people, that requires it to have some golf courses which are worthy of its charms, and I hope our course will add to that.”
About Remington Ranch: