Golf has given us some great characters over the years and been the scenery for some of the best one-liners, known to man. I thought that I might share some of my personal favorites with you, but we really want to hear about your favorites!
As a young adult (and the adult part of that might be a stretch), I had played the first round of tournament and had recorded a 77. Having played the course many times, 77, was nothing short of a disaster. In the locker room after the round, I had an excuse for everything and was bemoaning my bad luck for each shot that I miss-hit, to my coach. Stuff like, “I hit a perfect drive on #7, and my ball came to rest in a divot”; “so and so was breathing in my backswing on #11”. My coach listened to me whine for a few minutes, put his arm around me, and said “Son, let me give you some advice; 90% of the people out there watching you, don’t give a #$%^ what you shoot, and the other 10% want you to do badly. So, get over yourself!” Some of the best advice that I was ever given.
Lee Trevino made a spectacular hole in one at the Skins game, at PGA West, in 1987, on the 17th. hole. The check was the biggest he had ever won in his whole life. At his press conference, a reporter asked him if it was true that most holes-in-one were lucky or fluke shots. Without batting an eyelid, the Merry Mex quipped, “you know, it’s a funny thing, the harder I practice……the luckier I get!”
Seve Ballesteros, who is not noted for his sense of humor, was last in contention at the Masters, in 1993. Playing the third round, he was tied for the lead on the 16th tee. Seve hit the green safely but then proceeded to four-putt (and he was one of the best putters of all time) for a double bogey five. Asked at his press conference how he had managed to four putt, Seve replied, “I miss, I miss, I miss…..I make!”
Sam Snead was a notorious gambler (but only when he could skew a bet in his favor). Playing a practice round with a young South African player at the Masters, in the sixties, the young player asked for Snead’s (at the time Snead was in his 60’s) advice as to how he played the 13th. hole. “Well”, Snead replied, “I just took it down the left side over the corner”. Noticing the 80 foot high trees that lined the left side of the fairway, the young player was slightly unsure of this play, but because the great Sam Snead had told him to do so, launched his tee shot perfectly…..right smack into the middle of the trees. As they were walking down the fairway, the young man, queried Snead again about the shot. “Well” said Snead, in his Virginia drawl, “in my day those trees were only 20 feet high!” Snead won their $20 bet.