CHARLESTON, W.Va. — If you want to dream, you might as well dream big.
Try this one: Recruit golf legends Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Lee Trevino to jointly design a mountaintop course, one noteworthy enough to get on the U.S. Golf Association’s radar.
And perhaps one day, attract the U.S. Open to West Virginia.
Nothing mentioned above has ever been thought of, much less attempted. Leave it to Greenbrier resort owner/gubernatorial candidate Jim Justice to chase the dream.
“What do we have left to do in life?” he asked. “If we can do something that’s fabulous for our state, we could bring a U.S. Open here someday, we could do all this stuff, my goodness gracious!”
He doesn’t stutter about the ultimate goal. After all, the U.S. Open finished Sunday on an 8-year-old reclaimed gravel pit called Chambers Bay, right?
“Everybody’s saying, ‘Aw, there’s no way you can get a U.S. Open here.’ ” Justice said. “Those same people would have said, ‘No way, The Greenbrier is dead.’ ‘There’s no way you’re going to get a FedExCup golf tournament, there’s no way the New Orleans Saints are going to come there.’ ‘The Super Bowl champion New England Patriots are going to come there? No way.’
“You see, I’m not a ‘no way’ guy.”
The man has shown as much. In one week, the sixth edition of the PGA Tour’s Greenbrier Classic will begin practice rounds at the Old White TPC course. The Saints have a new preseason home, with facilities that are the envy of other NFL players and coaches. The Patriots will visit for some joint practices this summer.
The resort just opened its new Center Court at Creekside tennis stadium, with rivals Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi putting on an exhibition match Saturday.
And now, Justice has brought the four kings of golf of the 1960s and 1970s together to build a championship-caliber golf course in the West Virginia hills…