Friday, November 6, 2009
Caddying for Tom Doak: Part II
Mr. Doak shows up to the first tee with no golf bag and decides that he will borrow clubs from the other three players in the group. This is the second time I have walked 18 holes at Old Macdonald. Back in April I was privileged to play with Mr. Doak and three other intern candidates. The golf course was largely incomplete and we played half on the sand and half on the grass. This time the entire golf course is grassed and reasonably ready for some golf. Mr. Doak is completely in his element and seems relaxed and observant as always. He acts as conductor, telling the group where to place their shots and how far to hit their golf ball (he made my job easy that day). As the day proceeds Mr. Doak moves some of the flag sticks on the new greens, as he deems them "unplayable". I find this a bit amusing. It is an insight for me about the struggle for creative control as a golf course architect.
Mr. Doak hits a few snap hooks, but hits the ball pretty good for someone with his travel schedule and no clubs. I asked where he had been travelling from and got a response that included New York City, Scotland, Netherlands, India, and China. It is clear to see that Doak will be travelling to the corners of the world to design his golf courses and I will have to do the same if I want to get in on the fun.Mr. Doak has an encyclopedic response to almost any question there is to be answered about his designs or the classics. There is not much time for small talk, something I quickly learned while working construction at Old Macdonald. This allows me to focus on my own thoughts as well and make my questions count. There is so much knowledge of golf design to soak up from a master craftsman like Doak, I try to absorb everything I see and hear.