No. 18 -- Par-5 -- 574 Yards
I didn't believe in ghosts until I mapped Sugarloaf in 1997. While
I was on the 2nd tee, Squeaky bolted from the woods barking. His
ears were back and his tail was ramrod straight. I asked Mike
Crawford, the course superintendent, what could've spooked him.
"Pam," Mike said.
Many believe that Pam is the ghost of Sugarloaf. Years ago, when
the land housed an estate instead of a golf course, a 12-year-old
girl named Pam was talking on the phone in the former horse stable
near what's now the 2nd tee. A lightning bolt shot through the
phone line and killed her. Since the course opened in 1997,
employees have seen strange things in the building, including doors
that open and close on their own and elevators that go up and down
without being summoned.
The spookiest shot for the pros isn't at 2, though, it's the drive
at the formidable 18th. The twisting, snakelike landing area begins
to slope downhill 280 yards out, and it gets continually steeper
and skinnier as it progresses before flattening out about 400 yards
from the tee. As a result, even if you hit the fairway, you're
likely to have a funky, uneven lie.
Just how funky that lie turns out to be will determine whether or
not it's possible to go for the green in two, because what's left
is a long, treacherous downhill approach over water.
[*] For 28 years--the last eight with his dog, Squeaky--Gorjus
George has crisscrossed the U.S. drawing the yardage books used by
the pros at Tour events.
COLOR PHOTO: TODD BIGELOW/AURORA (LUCAS)
TWO COLOR ILLUSTRATIONS: DIAGRAM BY GEORGE LUCAS