American architect Tom Doak is known as a student of classic layouts and those to be found around the world, and as a critic of the kind of work that was done in the past half century, so he was the perfect choice to lay out the course for Cape Kidnappers. Speaking of the site he was given to work with, Doak observed that "the flattish fingers along part of the cliff-tops were ready-made fairways grazed by sheep. I played 15 of the 18 holes with my crew one day before we ever started to build anything." Like the great designers of the past, Doak was ready to let an excellent site speak for itself before working his will on it. In order to compensate for the breezes off the shore, fairways are broad and not heavily bunkered. The setting recalls that of California's Torrey Pines, in that it looks out over water far below.