My favorite hole at Castle Pines is the straightaway,
action-packed 17th. It's so short and the air is so thin that
even my buddy Corey Pavin can think about making eagle. A bad
drive infuriates the players because that puts the chance to make
birdie in jeopardy. From the rough you're left with a tricky
layup to a narrow spot of uphill and sidehill fairway 60 yards
short of the green. Then you have a wedge shot to a shallow,
split-level green with a huge bunker in front.
Part of what makes 17 so enjoyable is that there's nothing sneaky
about it. I cannot say the same for myself. Before the inaugural
International, in 1986, I called Castle Pines about surveying the
course, but Keith Schneider, the head pro, politely denied my
request, saying, "We already have a book."
I'd been rejected before, but I never let that stop me. I decided
to slip through a fence at night and survey Castle Pines in the
dark. So one evening I parked near the course, but no sooner had
I hauled my gear across the street than a police car pulled up
with its siren wailing. "Who are you?" the officer demanded.
"I'm surveying the course," I said. The officer told me to scram,
so I packed up and left Colorado. The next year I called Castle
Pines again. "Come on by," Schneider said, laughing, "but let's
do it the right way this time--in the daylight."
August 8, 2004
*FOR 28 YEARS--the last three months with his golden retriever,
Woody--Gorjus George has drawn the yardage books that the pros