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My Shot
Bruce Zabriski
August 27, 2001
Playing in the PGA was a ton of fun, but nothing beats my job at Trump International
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August 27, 2001

My Shot

Playing in the PGA was a ton of fun, but nothing beats my job at Trump International

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For three years I've had the best club pro job in the U.S.—director of golf at Trump International Golf Club, in Palm Beach County, Fla. I was a little nervous when Mr. Trump hired me, but my job has been anything but dull, and the perks are unbelievable. Besides serving the members, my chief task is to keep the boss happy, and Mr. Trump always returns the favor. After I shot a 69 in the first round of last week's PGA, Mr. Trump called me on the driving range and said he wanted to fly down from New York to cheer me on. I told him to stay home, but it wouldn't have been out of character for him to hop on a jet at a moment's notice.

My first week on the job, Mr. Trump asked if I wanted to join him at the Daytona 500, and before I could say yes, we were in a limo on the way to his black 727. Forty minutes later we landed in Daytona Beach. Two policemen on motorcycles escorted us into pit row, where we chatted with Dale Earnhardt. After a few hours Mr. Trump got bored, so we flew home and watched the last 20 laps on TV at his private club, Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach.

When Mr. Trump visits his golf club, I never know what will happen. One morning he said, "Hit some balls and put on your game face." He told me Australian businessman Kerry Packer was in town with his teaching pro, Steve Mann, and he and Mr. Packer had made a $50,000 bet on a match between Steve and me. I won with a five-under 67, and Mr. Trump gave me $25,000 and $25,000 to the club staff. Another time Mr. Trump and a long-legged brunette in a miniskirt and a tank top showed up at the range. The woman was Melania Knauss, Mr. Trump's girlfriend, and he wanted me to give her a lesson. When I told Mr. Trump that Melania wasn't properly attired, he made a new club rule: Anyone who looks like Melania can wear whatever she wants.

Friends often ask if I'd be happier playing the Tour than working as a club pro. The Tour was great, but think about it: Mr. Trump overpays me, and I get six months of vacation and am always around good-looking celebrities. Where would you rather be?

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