Though it may surprise some, our Planet Golf Architect of the Year for 2010 is American Jim Urbina. Having started in the design business working for Pete Dye in the mid-1980s, Urbina left Dye in 1992 to join an unknown novice named Tom Doak, whom he worked with successfully for more than 17 years. In 2010, after completing their second masterpiece at the Bandon Dunes Resort in Oregon, Tom Doak and Jim Urbina went their separate ways – and one gets the sense that Urbina was as stunned as anyone else when the partnership ended. It’s not an easy time to establish yourself as a serious solo designer.
So onto our award, and the reason for the choice of Jim Urbina is simple – he not only assembled a wonderful portfolio of completed work whilst working with Doak, but he was the Renaissance Design man on the ground at Old Macdonald, which is surely the most significant global golf course to have opened during the past year. Of course Doak himself was a strong contender for the award, as were Kyle Phillips (Verdura & Yas Links), Bill Coore (Lost Farm & The Dormie Club) and Brian Curley (Lava Fields, Blackstone & others in China).
And vote on which golf designer you believe was the Architect of the Year in 2010 by voting below. Results will be published in next month’s Planet Golf newsletter.