old school whether it be golf or old doo wop seems to have died over the weekend. being yourself isn’t allowed any longer out on the golf course. doing what you’ve always done out there can’t be done anymore. i alluded to tommy bolt in yesterday’s part one. tommy was a fiery irishman with quite the temper. a man of personality and a passion for his game. a very good golfer who in today’s world of corporate greed and the watering down of golf and everything else, tommy would not fit in very well. and i’m also very sure he wouldn’t have put up with their bullshit either.
here’s a short bio of tommy bolt and a few quotes.
Born: March 31, 1918, in Haworth, Oklahoma
Nickname: “Terrible Tommy” because of his on-course temper. Sometimes called “Thunder” for the same reason.
U.S. Open: 1958
Awards and Honors:
• Member, World Golf Hall of Fame
• Member, U.S. Ryder Cup team, 1955, 1957
• Tommy Bolt: “Always throw clubs ahead of you, that way you won’t waste any energy going back to pick them up.”
• Ben Hogan: “If we could’ve screwed another head on his shoulders, Tommy Bolt could have been the greatest who ever played.”
• Tommy Bolt: “Never break your driver and putter in the same round.”
there’s a story about tommy that’s been around for years. i’m not sure if it’s true or not but it really doesn’t matter as it sums up his playing in a nutshell. tommy was having a particularly bad day out on the course and he was breaking or throwing his clubs into any available water. along with tossing out some of his more spirited epitaphs. by the time he was at the 9th or 10th hole he asked his caddy for his driver. his caddy handed him a pitching wedge. goddamn it, i want my driver. the wedge is the only club left in the bag, was the caddies response.
yes, old school is dead. it got thrown under the bus. i suppose it’s been dead for a number of years but the last shovel full of dirt was thrown on the coffin this past weekend in augusta, georgia by the pga and the augusta national board of elders.
a board of elders who have not been in tune with much of real life for many a year. a board of elders who still to this day won’t allow women to become members. oh, a woman can play the course but only if invited by a member. ok. sure it’s their club and i suppose they should be able to do what they want with it membership wise. but if you are gonna go and get all amped up about golfers swearing because they made a bad shot then you may as well let woman in as members. what the fuck?
i spent some time in augusta back in 1970. april to be exact. the month of the masters. i never got anywhere near augusta national. i was in the army at the time and it was made more or less fairly clear that lowly army draftees were not welcome to go ‘looking’ at the hallowed shrine of golf. i guess i could have but i may as well have been a black man looking to marry into the the augusta national board of elders. that’s not gonna happen either.
i really didn’t care much for augusta. not because i wasn’t welcome at the club. hell, i’m still not welcome in most places. that doesn’t bother me. i didn’t care for augusta because the place stank. stank of the paper mills and whatever they were belching into the air. trust me, i’d rather smell cow shit. plus it was just another army town with army town sensibilities. an oppressive atmosphere to be sure.
oh, carmel and pebble beach are or used to be an army town. i spent time there in the army as well at ft ord. i think the big difference there was and is pebble beach is a public golf course. anyone can play the course. make a reservation, cough up the $300 plus green fees, and go for it. pacific ocean vistas and golf. it doesn’t get much better.
all that being said, augusta national is one of the finest courses in the world. if not the finest test of golf imaginable when it’s set up for the past weekends event. i’m just disappointed in golf and augusta and their no more swearing rule deal or whatever. spoken or unspoken. doo wop is dead. golf is gonna die too if they won’t let personalities be personalities. after all personality is what makes things interesting. tiger woods has personality and passion for his game. under most circumstances personality and passion should never be stifled.
yeah, i’ve been all over the place here. but that’s pretty much standard. plus i’ve repeated myself a bit. also standard. however, before i go there’s an old tommy lasorda interview tape that has surfaced on sports radio off and on over the years. i guess you can find it someplace if you are interested or just call your local sports talk radio station and ask em to play it. they must have a copy. it might even be on youtube these days. tommy lasorda is another man of personality and passion about his game. he was interviewed after a game in which dave kingman of the mets hit a few home runs. the tape has personality. tommy lasorda has personality. every other word is bleeped out. it’s hilarious. it’s a man being what he is. not something the corporate suits or some board of elders with their thongs all twisted and stuck up their ass telling him what to be do or say.