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Ground Broken on Doak-Designed Course in Central Oregon
Tom Doak has broken ground on Wicked Pony, a new private club that is part of the Remington Ranch resort development outside of Redmond and Bend, Ore. The course is scheduled for completion in late-summer 2008.
Winchester Development is backing the new Remington Ranch Resort. The company’s president, John Shaw, became familiar with Doak as a founding member of the Doak-designed Stone Eagle Course in Palm Desert, Calif., which opened last year.
"This was the third call I had received about designing a course in central Oregon in less than a year, so my first reaction was, well, I guess I am going to keep getting these calls until I commit to a project," said Doak, president of Renaissance Design. "I hoped this would be the right one for us, and it was. I was impressed with John Shaw's commitment to the golf course; we really had our pick of the 2,000 acres, and there was a lot of good land to choose from."
Wicked Pony will be an invitation-only, single-membership private golf club stretched over a large portion of Remington Ranch's 2,079 acres. The course is being built within a private, gated community that will contain 67 home sites averaging 2-plus-acres in size. Ranch cabins will provide overnight lodging for members and guests, and a 12,000-square-foot clubhouse will contain locker facilities and member-only dining. Wicked Pony will be a "walking only" golf course.
"The land features native-sand areas, sage, and rock with patches of open sandy soil that popped up in places where the sage and juniper where present. Our goal is to expand those sandy areas and to use them as a playable transition area between the fairways and the native vegetation," said Doak.
Doak will use much-heralded Pine Valley in New Jersey as a reference point for Wicked Pony’s site, including the eventual creation of island fairways and greens surrounded by the native-sand areas, sage and rock.
"Pine Valley is routinely ranked as the best course in America, and it's also got a reputation for being one of the hardest courses in the world,” explained Doak. “I'm not saying we will be able to achieve all the same things, but it's a good case study for what we are building."
Wicked Pony will be Doak's second design in Oregon following his award-winning Pacific Dunes at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in the southwest corner of the state along the Pacific Ocean. Doak will distinguish the new course in Oregon’s desert region several ways.
"I think the native areas I've described will give the course a feel of its own; certainly different than any other course we've designed to date. But more than that, I think John is really pushing us to be daring in our design and to try and create something exceptional. We're trying to live up to that challenge. I'm not sure just how it will manifest itself; that is what the next six months of work will be about."
Remington Ranch Resort will feature two private golf courses and a public layout, 800 single-family homes, and 400 overnight units, with half the property retained as open space. The housing community will also have foot, bike, and equestrian paths. For more information about the development, visit www.remingtonranch.com.
Prior to launching his career as a leading golf course architect, Doak inspected over 1,000 of the world’s best golf courses on five continents to establish himself as an expert in classic golf course architecture. His designs are thoughtful and strategic, and he strives to make each new course an original work. More information about his firm, Renaissance Golf Design in Traverse City, Mich, can be found at www.renaissancegolf.com.
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