ANYONE LOOKING to make an eagle at Summerlin's 16th hole during the Michelin Championship at Las Vegas has to roll the dice off the tee. To reach the green in two, you must thread the needle with your drive to avoid jail--the huge bunker to the left of the landing area and the trees on the right--but if you're successful you might have only a short iron left. If you end up with a longer approach, the pond fronting the green comes into play, so it's easy to see why there were more triple bogeys or worse (six) at the 16th than at any other hole a year ago.
When I last visited Sin City, in February to map the city's LPGA venue, I almost landed in a real jail for the "crime" of listening to Frank Sinatra. No joke. One evening at the RV park, I was grilling a steak and savoring a martini while Sinatra tunes played on the radio. An old guy from a nearby RV came over and said, "Turn down the music. It's bothering my bedridden wife."
"Listen hear, Curly," I replied, "the music is so low I can hardly hear it. Anyway, this is Vegas, not church."
He called security, who called the cops, and soon a couple of squad cars with sirens wailing rolled up to my rig. One of the officers told me that I could leave or be arrested. I didn't relish a trip to the slammer, so I packed up my stuff, and Squeaky and I spent the night at a truck stop a few blocks away.
October 10, 2004
*For 28 years--since May with his golden retriever, Woody--Gorjus George has traveled the country drawing the yardage books used by the pros.