BY MIKE ECKERT
TRAVERSE CITY — Add Hall of Famer to the list of accomplishments for Tom Doak.
The Traverse City-based golf course architect was recently named one of three inductees to the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame.
Doak will be joined by playing pro Steve Brady and former Golf Association of Michigan president Fritz Balmer on May 19 for the induction ceremony at the Henry Center at Michigan State's Forest Akers West.
"It was a real surprise," Doak said. "I didn't have any idea it was coming. And it is an honor. Somebody asked me a long time ago about the World Golf Hall of Fame. That's not something you think about when you're out doing your job. You're just trying to do the best you can on one project at a time. So it's never really been a goal, but it's a very nice honor."
Doak has designed three Michigan courses — High Pointe in Acme, Black Forest at Wilderness Valley in Gaylord and Lost Dunes in Bridgman.
"The one downside of the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame is not more of my work has actually had anything to do with Michigan lately," Doak said. "The last time I built a course in Michigan was Lost Dunes 15 years ago."
After graduating from Cornell, Doak caddied for a summer at the Old Course at St. Andrews and studied Scottish courses. He worked for Pete Dye and now has become one of the biggest names in course design.
"We opened a new course in Florida at Christmas-time called Streamsong Resort," Doak said. "It's been in the press a lot this year because there aren't a lot of courses opening in the state. And one other project I did last year was Dismal River Club in Nebraska, which will open this summer. All of our new course work now is overseas. We have a project in China, one in New Zealand and one in France."
Doak has published several books, and has earned a reputation as a "minimalist" designer.