by GOD, as told
to Evan Rothman
I guess you could
say that Heaven and Earth was my first signature design, but I've been itching
to do a golf course ever since Shadow Creek opened back in 1989. If someone can
make Vegas--Vegas!--look like nirvana, well, color me inspired. I thought, Look
what Tom Fazio can do, and I was the one who created Fazio. Working for a
decade as an apprentice under Pete Dye was a tremendous education for me, and
I'm so grateful to American Golf Corporation for taking a chance on a rookie
here at Lubbock National. I am truly blessed. (Either that, or Nicklaus was too
credit me for the Old Course at St. Andrews. With all due respect, thanks but
no thanks! Look, I'm all-seeing, and even I don't like blind hazards. Put it
right out there in front of people, that's my motto. That, and don't covet thy
neighbor's putting stroke.
My colleagues are
always saying, "I didn't design that hole--God did." Funny, no one ever
sends a check; and, honestly, that Crenshaw-Coore minimalism thing has never
been my style. Sure, I rested on the seventh day, but on those first six I
pushed around a heckuva lot of dirt. I suppose if you can get paid simply to
stick flags in the ground, more power to you.
Anyway, let me
tell you about Lubbock National. I'm generally not partial to one piece of my
green earth over another, but this place is special. It was made for golf, and
I should know, right? Never mind that Doak gets all the plum oceanfront since
Pacific Dunes (off the record: overrated!) and that the tie-dye crowd wouldn't
let 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, with
risk-reward holes that would make Solomon scratch his head. It will challenge
golfers of all abilities. Each hole has an infinite number of tee boxes, so
players can choose how much they want to bite off. Plus, I make sure it never
about buying a homesite, and Michael Jordan has already joined as a founding
member. Was he comped? You'd have to ask him.
I know some
architects 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 six
these days--touch of the yips, though rumors aside I'm hitting the one-iron as
well as ever.) With its undulating greens and, dare I say, devilish collection
areas, Lubbock National also has tons of short-game interest.
Not to sound
immodest, but this is the kind of course you'll find in heaven--if you fix your
divots and pitch marks. And this you can take as gospel: Every club in the bag
will get dirty.