LAKEWOOD, Wash. — One is a Northwest icon, universally respected by his fellow pros but not a household name in the greater world of golf.
The other is Jack.
When Ken Still called his friend Jack Nicklaus, a few years back, he had a simple message: Buddy, you gotta design a back nine for the guys out here at American Lake Veterans Golf Course. As the story goes, that was all Nicklaus needed to hear. He agreed to donate his design services to the project.
With Nicklaus on board, the golf course (and its one-of-a-kind golf rehab and learning center for disabled American vets) had its designer for the long-needed second nine holes. But the all-volunteer Friends of American Lake that run the course had more than that — they had the one-name golf personage so critical to the fund-raising to follow.
They had Jack.
The new nine is done now, according to Bruce McKenty, manager of the golf course. A water issue on 11 and sluggish grow-in on a couple following fairways keep the golf course from being too firm on the April 17 grand opening date.
But by all accounts, the new nine is a beautiful piece of work. It seems they got the right guy to create it.
They got Jack.