Imagine a ride in one of the first Ferraris, and being driven by the car’s creator, Enzo Ferrari.
You could ask him about the distinctive roar of the engine, the uncomfortable seats, and twiddle the knobs until he responded with a stream of invectives.
I had a similar experience recently when I played a round of golf with Kyle Phillips, the architect of Yas Links Golf Club.
Kyle who? you might be asking. The world of golf architecture is split in two: on one side Arnold Palmer; Jack Nicklaus; Ernie Els; even Tiger Woods – legendary names of golf recognised the world over; and in the other camp Pete Dye; Robert Trent Jones; and Kyle Phillips – hardly household names.
However, mention Kyle Phillips to golfers and even granite-like Irishmen get a tear in their eye and start to wax lyrical. “The course is fantastic, you can run balls in, they’ve got lots of great run-offs,” says Graeme McDowell, the US Open champion and Ryder Cup star who played the course this week. “You can hit lots of different shots in and around the greens. I think Kyle has created something pretty cool here.”