Scot Sherman, who earned degrees from Georgia Tech and Furman University, began his golf course architecture career working first with Perry Dye and later with Bobby Weed. He is currently based in Greenville, South Carolina. His portfolio includes, in Virginia, Cannon Ridge Golf Club in Fredericksburg and the Olde Farm Golf Club in Bristol. Sherman also designed the Golf Club at Fleming Island in Orange Park, Florida; The Weed nine at Hilton Head National; and the Golf Course at Glen Mills.
I was working with Perry Dye in 1994 on the design and construction of Big Island Country Club, on the Big Island of Hawaii, near Kona. My task was to lay out the lake and green for the seventeenth hole – a par-three very much like the infamous island green par-three seventeenth hole Pete Dye designed at Tournament Players Club at Sawgrass.
Since I learned to build golf holes on the ground and not in ponds, the only way I knew to accomplish such a task was by using a tape measure and flags as the starting point. So I set out early one morning and began to wade into an area of native grasses growing about eyeball high. I could see no further than ten feet in front of me.
My plan was to trample down the grass along the perimeter of the lake then go back to the elevated tee and view what I had done. I could then make changes from there. But during the first half-hour of trampling, I got the distinct feeling I was being watched. I would hear a bit of rustling grass, but could not see anyone or anything. The feeling unsettled me.
Suddenly I was attacked. Apparently I had gotten too close to my observer, and he decided to retaliate. I was rushed by a large, black, tusk-wielding, bellowing, wild boar!
The boar’s first reaction was to ram my shins and flip me on my back; my first reaction was to begin screaming at the top of my lungs hoping that our Hawaiian crew would come to the rescue! After the initial tussle, the boar briefly stood over me tusk-to-nose. As I screamed, made his displeasure clear and trampled over my head into the bush.
My screaming was effective, though. When I emerged from the grass, I saw no less than ten Hawaiian men running toward me from other parts of the site. They were wielding machetes and rifles.
Apparently, my hollering was a familiar wild boar alarm and the crew wanted in on the action. I was completely hoarse from screaming, so I simply pointed in the direction of the monster’s retreat and watched the men disappear into the grass. I headed in the opposite direction. I was most certainly done for the day!
That night, my wife and I were invited to a luau where we were reintroduced to the boar: all 225 pounds of him, cooked to a perfect medium-rare and sporting a fresh pineapple glaze!