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A Perfect Drive.

The Preston Trail Golf Club in Dallas, TX, is the course Dick Brooks likes to play the most. And not surprisingly, it's also where he finds his favorite golf hole.

"It's the par-four seventh," explains the 63-year-old head of Central and South West, a $5.5 billion utility holding company based in the Big D. "The hole measures 422 yards from the back tees, and it's just such a challenge to play. You have to hit almost a perfect drive to get yourself in position to have a good shot to the green. And that green can be very tough to hit into."

The seventh at Preston Trail is a dogleg right, with trees running down both sides of the fairway and the White Rock Creek on the right. "You have to hit your drive about 240 yards just to get your ball in a position where you can see the green for your second shot," says Brooks, a native Texan and longtime player who sports a seven handicap but laments that he only gets to play a couple of times of month. "There's a fairway bunker at the corner of the dogleg, about 270 yards from the back tees, so you can't hit your ball too far. Then you have about 155 yards or so to a slightly elevated green that has bunkers on both sides and a pretty tough slope from left to right. The best approach is a high cut shot, aimed at the trap on the left, that lands softly. If your ball leaks at all, it will end up in the water, the trap, or the trees. And you don't want to be above the hole because it can be lightning putting to it."

According to Brooks, it's not aesthetics that makes No. 7 his favorite or the fact that something particularly significant happened there during one of his rounds at Preston Trail. "I just like the design of the hole, and the challenge it presents," he explains. "It really takes two good shots to be on in two. It's one of those holes where a good drive is absolutely essential to have a chance at the pin."

John Steinbreder is a senior writer for Golf Week magazine and is the author of five books, including Golf Courses of the US. Open.


Course Profile--Preston Trail Golf Club

Location: Dallas, TX

Hole: 7th, par-four, 422 yards from the back markers, 407 from the regular tees.

Hole Description: A tough, dogleg right that requires a long and precise drive of at least 240 yards from the back to have a clear shot at the green. The fairway slapes slightly from left to right, so the ideal play is to aim right at a fairway bunker that lies at the corner of the dogleg some 270 yards from the hole; everything kicks right at that point, and the ball landing there should roll toward the hole and leave the player with an open approach shot. The second shot usually requires a 1 55-yard iron to a slightly elevated green that slopes from left to right and is guarded by bunkers on both sides. The green is usually very quick, and any balls left above the hole will be hard to stop on a putt.

Course Architect: Nelson Plummer

Club Description: Founded in 1965, Preston Trail is a small, private golf club with less than 300 members. The one-time home of the PGA Tour's Byron Nelson Classic (1968-1982), it remains a favorite of many past and present touring professionals, including Nelson himself, who is a member. The par-72 course has a lot of doglegs and measures just over 7,000 yards from the back tees and 6,623 from the regular markers.
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Title Annotation:Dick Brooks, head of Central and South West recommends the Preston Trail Golf Club
Author:Steinbreder, John
Publication:Chief Executive (U.S.)
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2000
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