Cottonwood Valley

May 16, 2004

I decided to become a yardologist during the 1976 Byron Nelson
Classic. The tournament was held at Preston Trail, the men's-only
club on the north side of Dallas, and I was caddying for a pro
who went on to such fame and fortune that I can't remember his
name. Like my father, Walter, who was a bomber pilot during World
War II and a civil engineer, I'm a perfectionist, and the yardage
books available in the mid-1970s were imprecise. I knew I could
do better.

After my man missed the cut, I had a gut feeling that I should
try course mapping, so I hit the road in my yellow '66 Mustang. I
drove to Memphis, where I charted my first course, Colonial
Country Club, for the following week's Tour stop, the Danny
Thomas Memphis Classic. I knew I'd made the right choice when I
sold 125 books for $5 each, instantly quintupling my $125-a-week
caddie salary.

Of the thousands of holes that I've mapped, the 1st at Cottonwood
Valley--one of the two tracks now used at the Nelson--has the
most memorable green. It's shaped like Texas, complete with a
pond to the right representing the Gulf of Mexico, and a yawning
bunker behind the green in the shape of Oklahoma. At last year's
Nelson the 1st was Cottonwood Valley's third-toughest hole.

*For 28 years Gorjus George has drawn the yardage books used by
the pros.

COLOR PHOTO: DAVID WALBERG (LUCAS) B/W DIAGRAM: DIAGRAM BY GEORGE LUCAS No. 1 Par-4 473 Yards

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)