FOR LAUGHS ON THE LINKS and titters on the tee: two of the best in the business: Bing and Bob.
Harry Crosby and Leslie Hope were born 26 days apart; Crosby on May 3, 1903 in Washington USA, Hope on May 29 in Eltham, S. London. Bob’s family emigrated to Cleveland, Ohio when he was four.
Both became good enough golfers to compete in the Amateur Championship, Bing in 1950 at St Andrews, Bob in 1951 at Royal Porthcawl. “Bing was a two-handicapper at best,” Bob would say, “I was mostly a six. Bing took it seriously, I played it for laughs.”
The pair helped put the PGA on the map. Bing founded a Pro Am at Rancho Fe in San Diego, in 1937 which eventually became the Pebble Beach Pro Am, and Bob founded the Bob Hope Classic at Palm Springs and the British Bob Hope Classic, held at Moor Park.
Bing Crosby died in 1977, aged 74, after a round of golf in Spain. (What a way to go) His youngest son Nathaniel inherited his passion for the game, winning the US Amateur aged nineteen.
Bob died in 2003, aged 100. His golf jokes about President Ford who he called ‘the most dangerous driver since Ben Hur’ are legendary: “There are 51 courses in Palm Springs, and Gerald never decides which one he’s going to play until after his first tee shot.”
STEPHEN GALLAGHER (45) said after his Hero Indian Open victory: “I’m really proud of this, when you’re my age you’re in the sort of twilight, so it’s a big win for me.” Poor old chap.
If Stephen’s in the twilight at 45 it’s a wonder the Seniors were able to stagger round the course at Oak Hill, N.Y. for the US Senior PGA, especially as it was wet and windy, and Ken Tanigawa, the 51 yr. old winner, probably needed artificial respiration. What’s Phil Mickelson thinking of, entering the US Open this year at 48? Hope his insurance is paid up.
AnOtHer old-timer, Graeme McDowell (39) ended his near four-year title drought with a 3-under 69 in the Puntacana Championship. Even though the Puntacana, in the Dominican Republic, isn’t exactly the Masters, it’s on the PGA Tour, and was an extremely welcome comeback for McDowell, not least because it brings him back full playing privileges on the US circuit.
Once 4th in the world, he entered the tournament outside the world’s top 250. “It’s been a rough few years.” he said, “ this is going to go a long way towards getting me back to where I want to be, in the top 100, competing against the best.”
McDowell won the US Open at Pebble Beach in 2010, just one of the outstanding performances on the Monterey Bay course, among them Nicklaus knocking the flag out on the 17th in 1972 with a one iron, and Tiger lapping the field in 2000.
The course, celebrating it’s centenary this year and hosting the US Open later this month, is a sacred spot for golfing pilgrims, even more than Augusta, probably because Pebble Beach is a public course, although the $495- $525 greens fees mean it’s usually the same old billionaires bumbling round in buggies. Players will be hoping the weather is kinder than it has been lately, nearly every tournament in America so far this year has been rained on.
.THE IDEA IS SIMPLE- by improving aerodynamics, you swing at the same speed but the club head travels quicker, equalling more yards. Cobra has designed their King F9 Speedback like a plane’s wing, inspired by the world’s fastest objects with advanced aerodynamics.
Golf Monthly says: ‘With a face 3% thinner and 10% lighter to increase efficiency and with Cobra Connect shot tracking, the stunning yellow Speedback with changeable sole weights and adjustable loft offers performance to match premium drivers without their eye-watering price.’
Bob again: “It’s wonderful how you can start out with three strangers in the morning, play 18 holes, and by the time the day is over you have three solid enemies.”
Until next time: Happy Golfing.
Contact Mick for regripping and repairs. 638 859 475.