The 18th hole at Doral's Blue Monster has long been one of the
Tour's most revered closing holes, but it was a piece of cake the
first time I played it. I ripped a drive, hit a four-iron to 25
feet and made a birdie. That was the early '70s, and I was
playing in the most prestigious tournament I ever won, the BMGA
Open. BMGA stands for the Beach Managers Golf Association, a
motley collection of 30 guys who labored at Miami Beach
resorts--I worked at the Fontainebleau--and used our connections
to get onto swank courses.
The Monster has evolved over time and was renovated again this
year. Now 40 yards longer, 18 still has a lake along the left
side, but the long bunker that skirted the edge of the hazard is
gone, replaced by rough. The hole can still be had with a driver
and a mid-iron in calm weather, but if the wind blows, all hell
will be unleashed.
*For 28 years--the last eight with his dog, Squeaky--Gorjus
George has crisscrossed the U.S. drawing the yardage books used
by the pros at Tour events.