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?
August 26, 2001
Bruce Zabriski missed the cut in his sixth appearance at the PGA.