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Cybergolf Writer Joins Robert Trent Jones, Jr. in Effort to Save Red Course at Dar-Es-Salam
[Editor's Note: Cybergolf's Jay Flemma was tapped by none other than world-renowned golf course architect Robert Trent Jones in his campaign to preserve the Red Course at Dar-Es-Salam in Morocco. They also united to craft yet another fantastic poem in support of that effort. We'll hear more from Jay on this story later this week.]
I'll have the entire story for you in an article later this week, but I co-wrote this poem with pre-eminent golf course architect Robert Trent Jones, Jr. It seems that the Red Course at Royal Dar-Es-Salam, the first truly great golf course in the Arab world when it opened in 1972, and an important course in the portfolio and legacy of Trent, Sr., may be completely redesigned in an effort to sell something designed by a conglomerate of famous former U.S. touring professionals.
I am sympathetic to Bob's aim - we should preserve the precious legacy of great courses by the greatest golf architects, and Dar-Es-Salam has a rich and important history as one of the world's best courses outside of the U.S. and UK. As such, I can't report on the story, but I can offer an opinion or two and make myself available to other journalists who wish to cover the story.
Bob and I co-wrote this poem as a lament for the course should the worst happen and the Red Course becomes lost. I promise you - the story of writing this poem is both hilarious and fun, and I'll always be grateful for the opportunity to work with Bob on it. Plus, I wear it as a badge of honor that he rousted me away from a Saturday night in NYC to talk poetry.
Anyway, enjoy the poem and get ready for "The Making of" or "Behind the scenes" or whatever we'll call the uproariously funny tale of how it all came to be . . .
The Rubaiyat of Dar-Es-Salam
Long let this noble tale be retold.
Dar Es Salam - a glory to behold!
When in Morocco "Play it Again, Sam,"
Rejoice in golf…refined, sublime, and bold.
The timeless sands will weep an ochre flood.
The million desert stars will mourn the blood.
The gift of Hassan Deux forever lost,
Should fertile golden land return to mud.
The Trophy of revered King Hassan,
The precious and bejeweled scimitar,
Evokes Dar Es Salam's bright legacy
Morocco's blessed ever-shining star.
Why wash away the wondrous work of Jones?
Can't three great champions create their own?
Dar Es Salam is not a Hermes scarf
Or Gucci fashion statement come from Rome.
Before the eucalyptus burn away,
And green kikuyu fairways fade to grey,
Recall the vision of our gracious King,
Preserve the course he championed, we pray.
By the Friends of Royal Golf Dar Es Salam
Inspired by Omar Khayyam
Since launching his first golf writing website in 2004, http://www.jayflemma.thegolfspace.com, Jay Flemma's comparative analysis of golf designs and knowledge of golf course architecture and golf travel have garnered wide industry respect. In researching his book on America's great public golf courses (and whether they're worth the money), Jay, an associate editor of Cybergolf, has played over 220 nationally ranked public golf courses in 37 different states. Jay has played about 1,649,000 yards of golf - or roughly 938 miles. His pieces on travel and architecture appear in Golf Observer (www.golfobserver.com), Cybergolf and other print magazines. When not researching golf courses for design, value and excitement, Jay is an entertainment, copyright, Internet and trademark lawyer and an Entertainment and Internet Law professor in Manhattan. His clients have been nominated for Grammy and Emmy awards, won a Sundance Film Festival Best Director award, performed on stage and screen, and designed pop art for museums and collectors. Jay lives in Forest Hills, N.Y., and is fiercely loyal to his alma maters, Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts and Trinity College in Connecticut.
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