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RUSH: Folks, sometimes I get personal questions — and most of the time I don’t deal with them but some days I’m in the mood to. I’m wearing a new shirt today, and it’s been also commented on by people watching the program on the Dittocam.

‘What is that shirt, Rush? I really like it.’

I got this shirt on the golf trip last week. The logo here says Stock Farm. Let me run through the trip again. We went to five cities and golf courses in five days. On Monday of the previous week, we went to Stock Farm (which is near Hamilton, Montana) and that is a development that is owned by Charles Schwab. He was there, and we had a nice evening with him after we had played golf. From there we went to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Gozzer Ranch. Beautiful… These are all, by the way, Tom Fazio-designed courses; and Tom Fazio put the itinerary together, and all of these places love Fazio.

So we were treated like kings. And people say, ‘Well, who else was on the trip?’ Friends of mine. Peter Morse and the Honorable Lord David Rosow were on the trip, along with Fazio and myself. Everywhere we went they just went out of their way, because they all love Tom Fazio. He built the golf courses in all these developments. At Gozzer Ranch, we’re up there overlooking Lake Coeur d’Alene, and the vistas from this golf course are just indescribable. It’s almost, in its own way, like playing at Pebble Beach — and all these golf courses are at a certain altitude, 3,000 to 6,000 feet. So the golf ball travels a little further so it’s more fun. We had a 600 and — no! It was a 598 yard at Jackson Hole. It was a 598 yard par 5. Driver, 5-iron pitching wedge, Brian, and a 598 yard par five. We had a 514 yard par 4 that we parred! And it was fun. We ‘played the tips.’

From Gozzer Ranch at Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, we went to Redmond, Oregon, and the course there is Pronghorn. That was the fascinating place. It was funny. As we’re driving around all these golf courses Tom Fazio is explaining to us how he built the course, what it was like before he got there, and what he had to do to build it. He had to build his own lakes. He had to build hills, valleys, and so forth. And at one point — I think, it was either Gozzer Ranch or Coeur d’Alene or Pronghorn and Redmond. I think it was Gozzer.

‘See this?’ He’s pointing at what was right in front of us. ‘We had to move a whole bunch of dirt and we had to dynamite some things to make this look natural.’

I said, ‘You blew it up to make it look natural? It was natural, Tom! You screwed with nature by blowing it up,’ and everybody started chuckling.

We started calling him an ‘environmental revisionist’ and ‘God Jr.’ But at Pronghorn, number 8 is a par 3. And there’s a little gully between the tee box and the green, and we were walking to the hole and they stopped us halfway through, turned left, and there’s this giant arched cave with about a 20-foot-tall ceiling. And there’s a guy standing in front of it looks like a Benedictine monk with a little cart with wine and cheese and crackers on it. He only looked like a monk because of black slacks and a black apron. I thought it was a monk uniform.

So they escort us into this thing and we walked 600 feet into this cave. It’s 49 degrees day and night. The golf course maintenance guy has his office in there, and the cave wall is dedicated to Fazio. Fazio pictures, Fazio autographs, Fazio everything — and they didn’t know it existed. It’s lava. It’s lava rock and they didn’t know it existed ’til Fazio started blowing up the golf course to build it. It just surfaced. It was fascinating.

I said, ‘What are we walking in a cave for?’ That was my attitude when we started. ‘We’re here to play golf.’

They had to get flashlights and lanterns because it’s dark in there. And, you know, we had to get somewhere when we finished and we walked through it. It turned out to be just amazing. All these golf course are just great because they’re Fazio courses. They’re great. And so from Pronghorn and Redmond, Oregon, we went down to Truckee-Lake Tahoe to Martis Camp, M-a-r-t-i-s and we’re at 6,000 feet here. So the ball is really traveling.

We had this young caddie named Danny who was sprinting. He’s wearing everybody out sprinting after golf balls whether they’re inbounds or out-of-bounds or whatever. In fact, all the caddies on this little trip were running all over the place. So we got nine holes in at Martis Camp before it got down to 30 degrees. We quit when the sun was going down. We got up, played 18, and from there we flew to Jackson Hole (this is Friday) and opened a course that Fazio just finished designing: Shooting Star. That’s where the shirt today comes from. We got shirts and caps from everyplace, but the shirt today comes from Shooting Star in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. It was just a treat because, as I said, all these developers in these places love Fazio. Except for Jackson Hole and Coeur d’Alene, all these courses are out in the middle of nowhere. It’s just them in the middle of the housing development that…

(interruption) Well, yeah, you gotta… Well, I didn’t have to belong, Snerdley, because I was with Fazio. I didn’t have to join, no, but theoretically, yeah. You have to be a member to play or you have to be prospective owner of a piece of property to play or some such thing. I mean, they’re developments. They’re trying to sell houses for people that like to play golf — and they’re nice! They’re not seasonal. Cottages, houses, whatever you want to buy they’ll build. Then we flew home. I went to Pittsburgh on Saturday. I went to dinner at LeMont atop Mount Washington in Pittsburgh. It overlooks downtown, the golden triangle, the football stadium. The people at LeMont were great, too. So it was a great… (interruption) Yes, Snerdley. (laughing) Don’t… Pittsburgh is a great city. I lived there for four years in the early seventies. It was my first big city away from home, and I loved it. No, it was great. Mount Washington at night, the sun was setting, and it was just beautiful. (interruption) LeMont. There are three of them up there but we chose LeMont and it was a lot of fun. So then we got back on Sunday and started working on show prep from today’s and this week’s shows — which, you will admit, have been damn good.

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