Well it’s been about 6 weeks since the last blog and the game has come back some, but more on that later. The two big stories since the last blog have been the Ryder Cup and the passing of Arnold Palmer. The blog is coming from San Diego today, as I am wrapping up a week’s visit with the grand kids and will be returning to Burg tomorrow.
First the Ryder Cup. I will admit the Ryder Cup does not fire me up as much as some people, but there was certainly some great golf played. I don’t know if you can call the Rory-Reed match the greatest of all time but the front nine was the greatest of all time without a doubt. That match should be saved forever on your DVR. I think the captains did a good job of managing their teams. I think the worst move of any captain was making Lee Westwood a captain’s pick. Clark would have been better off picking Catrina Matthews. It was a very inexperienced European team and I think that was the difference. The poor play of Westwood and Kaymer was also a big factor. It was nice to see the U. S. win one, but the future looks bright for the European team. It will be interesting to see what happens in the coming Ryder cups.
The golfing world lost the king, what more can you say. I grew up watching Arnold Palmer take hold of the PGA tour. That’s the best way to describe it. Not only was Arnie a great player but he had the charisma. That and his style of play is what made him great and the tour flourish. Here is the proof in the pudding as they say. Palmer really burst onto the scene in two Masters. First the 1958 Master where he was able to charge home and with the benefit of a controversial ruling on an embedded ball win his first major. Then he again came from behind in 1960 with birdies on 2 of the last 3 holes to win his 2ond Masters and the famous Arnie charge was born. Anybody know who won the 1959 Masters and how he did it. I doubt if anyone does. It was Art Wall Jr. who birdied 5 of the last 6 holes to take the green jacket. Quite a charge wouldn’t you say, but it got lost in the Arnie avalanche. Palmer was the man and rightfully so. As great as he was, I think it was his agonizing defeats that sealed the deal for Arnie’s legacy in golf. From his double bogey on 18 at the 61 Masters that allowed Gary Player to get his first green jacket, to blowing a 7 shot lead with 9 holes to play at the 1966 U. S. Open, which led to a play-off loss to Billy Casper. It was those and other losses that made the army loyal to their king. That go for broke mentality that won him so many tournaments, also was his biggest flaw, but the masses loved him for it. The shot that is etched in my memory was at the 72ond hole of the 1968 PGA championship. This was as close as Arnie would ever come to the only major he would never win. He was battling Julius Boros down the stretch who was playing two groups behind. Palmer’s ball was in the rough on this long par 4 and the lie was bad, you could not see the ball. He took a wooden 3 wood and smashed a 230 yard bullet that did not get more than 6 feet off the ground and the rolled up about 8 foot from the hole. I still consider this the greatest shot on the last hole of any major championship. Unfortunately he missed the putt and Julius Boros parred the last hole by wedging his third shot within 6 feet and draining the par putt to win by one stroke. I know there is so much more to Arnold Palmer than golf, but it is Arnold Palmer the golfer that I will always remember and love.
As far as my own game is concerned what’s not to love. I have had more rounds in the seventies than in the eighties and of course I am working on something that is new and unusual but I probably won’t know if it’s worth anything until this time next year. I have got about 6 to 8 weeks of play left so we will see how it goes in the short term. I will keep you posted. Until then hit em straight, and hey, for one day at least, go for broke in memory of Arnie.