SI Vault
Intelligent Designer
Evan Rothman
August 21, 2006
After the platypus, I thought, Why not 18 in the Texas panhandle?
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
August 21, 2006

Intelligent Designer

After the platypus, I thought, Why not 18 in the Texas panhandle?

View CoverRead All Articles

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 expensive!)

People always 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 rains here.

I'm thinking 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.