by GOD, as toldto Evan Rothman
I guess you couldsay that Heaven and Earth was my first signature design, but I've been itchingto do a golf course ever since Shadow Creek opened back in 1989. If someone canmake Vegas--Vegas!--look like nirvana, well, color me inspired. I thought, Lookwhat Tom Fazio can do, and I was the one who created Fazio. Working for adecade as an apprentice under Pete Dye was a tremendous education for me, andI'm so grateful to American Golf Corporation for taking a chance on a rookiehere at Lubbock National. I am truly blessed. (Either that, or Nicklaus was tooexpensive!)
People alwayscredit me for the Old Course at St. Andrews. With all due respect, thanks butno thanks! Look, I'm all-seeing, and even I don't like blind hazards. Put itright out there in front of people, that's my motto. That, and don't covet thyneighbor's putting stroke.
My colleagues arealways saying, "I didn't design that hole--God did." Funny, no one eversends a check; and, honestly, that Crenshaw-Coore minimalism thing has neverbeen my style. Sure, I rested on the seventh day, but on those first six Ipushed around a heckuva lot of dirt. I suppose if you can get paid simply tostick flags in the ground, more power to you.
Anyway, let metell you about Lubbock National. I'm generally not partial to one piece of mygreen earth over another, but this place is special. It was made for golf, andI should know, right? Never mind that Doak gets all the plum oceanfront sincePacific Dunes (off the record: overrated!) and that the tie-dye crowd wouldn'tlet us drain the wetlands because of some endangered toad.
In the long run,I'm all about forgiveness. But Lubbock National is just a wonderful test, withrisk-reward holes that would make Solomon scratch his head. It will challengegolfers of all abilities. Each hole has an infinite number of tee boxes, soplayers can choose how much they want to bite off. Plus, I make sure it neverrains here.
I'm thinkingabout buying a homesite, and Michael Jordan has already joined as a foundingmember. Was he comped? You'd have to ask him.
I know somearchitects design to the strengths of their own game, but there are no high,soft 550-yard fades required. (I can still smite it, but I'm playing off sixthese days--touch of the yips, though rumors aside I'm hitting the one-iron aswell as ever.) With its undulating greens and, dare I say, devilish collectionareas, Lubbock National also has tons of short-game interest.
Not to soundimmodest, but this is the kind of course you'll find in heaven--if you fix yourdivots and pitch marks. And this you can take as gospel: Every club in the bagwill get dirty.
TRUST ME by JAMES P. HERRE
Caddies are hired to be fired. Michelle Wie's bagmanhad a good 10-month run.
Sergio García, star of the last PGA at Medinah, hasyet to fulfill his promise
CHARISMA + BRAVADO + YOUTH * YIPS / SUNDAY INTERRUPTUS = MAJORDISAPPOINTMENT