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Studio Host: We are back on Morning Drive live in studio AP and here, TPC Myrtle Beach, home of the Dustin Johnson Golf School, but also where this week's Dustin Johnson World Junior Golf Championship is being held. Tom Watson may have won the Senior PGA Championship here, but another World Golf Hall of Famer spoke with Bob Papa recently about his ties to the place. Take a listen.
Bob: Lanny, what are your memories of designing TPC Myrtle Beach?
Lanny: Well, I was the co-designer with Tom Fazio, and it was really a very cool experience for me. I was very involved, made a number of trips there. We were designing it for the Champions Tour's season ending event. We only played it there one time. Tom Watson won, so always has a good feeling about that, that the course I co-designed the best player out here won on, so that means the course is probably pretty good. It was a lot of fun being there. We did some creative things. We had a drivable par 4. I actually stopped one hole from being a par 5, because we had a beautiful tree behind down there that they were going take out, and I thought it would frame a par 4 better. So a lot of things I was involved in, and I really enjoyed the experience.
Bob: You know, when you're working on a course, it's hard to imagine what it's going to be like many years later, but TPC Myrtle Beach, as you mentioned, hosted the senior tour championship, it's been ranked one of the 100 greatest public golf courses, and our own Matt Ginella says it's one of the top five TPC layouts. How much pride do you take in the acclaim that the golf course has received?
Lanny: I take a lot of pride in it, Bob, because I did spend a lot of time there. One of the things in the back of our mind doing that, we were doing it for the senior tour's tour championship, but at the time, the tour owned the facility, so there was always the thought in the tour's mind that we may play a President's Cup there, so we put in back tees. I think that's one reason Dustin Johnson, who played and practiced there so much liked the place. He could hit drivers. So there is ample yardage to play at any length that you want to play at. I went there several times when we played college tournaments there. My son Travis actually played in a couple of college events there, the General Hackler Invitational that Wake Forest won, and Travis on the winning team, so it was very cool for me to be there watching him play the course I worked on.
Bob: Well done, my friend.
Lanny: Thank you.
Bob: Nice design.
Studio Host: Well done indeed. It's beautiful. Love hearing from Lanny Watkins, a Wake Forest alum, 1985 PGA Tour Player of the Year, the 1977 PGA Champion, 21 wins on the PGA Tour, another on the senior circuit, and has had his hand in golf course design. Well done is a light way to put it. A one of a kind guy. Speaking of, how about one of a kind clubs? Put your stamp on your wedges.