Courses & TravelFebruary 9, 2008

The Guy Behind THE Guy(s) . . .

Where am I?

For the purpose of this entry I'm in Palm Springs. I'm not really there as I type, but I was there the first week on the job, detailed in my boss' letter from the editor.

I unpacked my luggage at LaQuinta Resort and Club for a few days. This is my first Away Game. The idea being, each month I'll find a new destination. I'll parachute in (figuratively) and play golf, eat, drink, test the spa and sleep (optional) and then tell you whether it's worth your time, and more important, your money. (I hope you know, that I know, that you know, that I know, that this job is ridiculous.)

As you'll read in the March issue of Golf Digest, I loved LaQuinta. I played PGA West Stadium Course, the Mountain and the Dunes. I also played a round on what the locals call the Nick-Private (the Jack Nicklaus-designed private course).

I played the Dunes with Jim Mahoney. Big hat, bigger cigar and he wore green and yellow garb. Just shy of 80 years of age and playing off a 10-handicap, he seemed like a perfect partner. Our opponents were Tom Fazio's son Austin who's in town working at the ultra-private Madison Club, and Dillon Dougherty, who finished second at the U.S. Amateur in 2005. He is working with Jim McLean's Director of Instruction, Denny Gray, while trying to get his tour card. A solid foursome. On the second tee I asked Mahoney what he did for a living.[#image: /photos/55ad70c0b01eefe207f6740c]|||Mahoney_3|||

"P.R.," he said.

"People, places or things?" I asked.

"Gable, Sinatra, Carson, the Stones and U2 are some of the ones I worked with.''

"Impressive [understatement]. If they got in trouble, you'd help them out?"

"If they got in trouble, I knew it before they did," he said.

"Who was the best to deal with?"

"Sinatra."

"Who was the worst to deal with?"[#image: /photos/55ad70c0b01eefe207f67409]|||Stevemcqueenmugshot|||

"Steve McQueen [mugshot]. He wouldn't get into a limo if it wasn't a stretch, white and the current year."

Mahoney (top left with Sinatra) lives in LaQuinta and is shopping a book he's just finishing about his life and the people he worked with. Based on the stories he disseminated throughout the round it should be worth a read. Mahoney's favorite course is the Mountain--a unique golf experience. The better test of golf is the Stadium. Play them both if you're in town.

Mahoney/Ginella win, 1 up. Bet: $10 closeout. Amount collected: $0.

"Did you notice they never paid up?" Mahoney asked as we were headed for the parking lot.

"I did."

--Matty G

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