I’ve been watching and playing golf off and on for the better part of the last 20 years – my dad was a golfer, but I never really took much interested in it until my mid-30’s… one of the things I regret never having done with my dad before he took his trip to Heaven when I was 33 years old. It was my husband at the time that got me interested in the game, as he was an avid golfer – and a bit of an unusual golfer at that. He is a lefty, and his dad and brother are both right-handed. Back in the 70’s, there weren’t many left-handed clubs to buy or rent, so my ex had to learn to golf right handed. But he putts left-handed… it was pretty funny!
Anywho, when I started getting into the game, I would watch the Golf Channel almost religiously. I watched the matches almost every weekend whenever I wasn’t on the course, soaking up as much info and skill techniques to better my own game. I loved watching all the PGA greats, and watching up-and-coming players get their game on, determined to be on the A list. My heart broke when Payne Stewart died in that awful plane crash in 1999, just a few months after winning the US Open. And it was that US Open that made my mind up to follow fellow So Cal’er Phil Mickelson – to this very day. I was literally beside myself when Mickelson won his first Masters Championship in 2004 – I was whoopin’ and hollerin’ for DAYS, I was so thrilled!
But of all the greats I’ve been following all these years – Gary Player, Greg Norman, The Golden Bear Jack Nicklaus, Hale Irwin, Lee Trevino, Fred Funk, Raymond Floyd, Ben Crenshaw (this list could go on and on) – it would be Arnold Palmer and Tom Watson saying their final farewells on the greens at The Old course at St. Andrews who I would thank for allowing me to enjoy watching and playing the game that they loved so much.
I haven’t been watching or playing much the last few years, but watching Palmer and Watson has renewed my determination to get the game back into my system again. So thank you, Arnold Palmer and Tom Watson, for being a big part of my inspiration and determination… now I need to get off my butt and break that unrelenting dark cloud that is 100 that follows me with every course I’ve played…. *sigh*