Although consisting of just two words, this axiom conjures up a multitude of golfers’ recollections that have transpired during the past half-century. Wait a minute! Let’s call it “during the past 50 years.” That sounds better to those of us who happen to be “long of tooth.” At any rate, here we go down memory lane.
In professional golf, 1958 was the first year the touring pros played for a total season purse that exceeded one million dollars for the 39 tournaments that were scheduled.
This was the year Arnold Palmer won The Masters for his first major championship. He persevered by a stroke over Fred Hawkins and defending champion, Doug Ford. Arnie went on to become the most charismatic golfer ever to grace a fairway.
Tommy “Thunder” Bolt captured the U.S. Open contested at Southern Hills C. C. in Tulsa (OK), with a single shot victory over Gary Player.
Bolt was recognized as one of golf’s best ball strikers, but a volcanic temper sometimes stood in his way. Bolt once was reputed to ask his caddy for an 8-iron when his caddy handed him a 3-iron. “I said I want an 8-iron,” Tommy growled.
The caddy insisted, “You’ve got to hit a three.” Tommy screamed “Why do I have to hit the three when I have an 8-iron shot?” At that time his caddy answered, “Because that’s the only iron you have left in the bag. You’ve broken all the rest.”
The ‘58 Open would prove to be Tempestuous Tommy’s only major championship. A reporter supposedly asked him, “What’s the toughest shot in golf?” Bolt answered, “The one you’re trying to hit next.”
In 1958, Dow Finsterwald won the first PGA Championship contested at stroke play instead of the traditional match play format. He shot 276 for a two shot win over Billy Casper at Llanerch C. C. in Havertown, Pa. Finsterwald was also named the PGA Player of the Year.
Australian Peter Thompson claimed his fourth British Open title during a five-year period.
His win at Hoylake allowed him to join only eight other players to win the Claret Jug four times.
In women’s professional golf Patty Berg won the last of a record 15 major championships when she captured the Women’s Western Open title.
Mickey Wright would win her first major championship and go on to add a dozen more. Wright was believed by many to have golf’s best swing among men or women.
Gary Player won the Kentucky Derby Open for his first win on the PGA Tour. At that time he was 22 years old. He would later be recognized as one of golf’s “Big Three” joining Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus with that designation.
• Congratulations to Chris Cassell for his sparkling 68 in the annual Interclub Match and a tip of the hat to the Hulman Links squad as they secured “bragging rights” for the coming season.
Kudos are due to North’s Rachel Welker and South’s Sloane Engle for qualifying for the Indiana High School Golf Finals. It’s never easy to achieve, but it’s always an outstanding feat as well as a learning experience.
• Tip of the week — Stay down on your putts, don’t come up and out of the position you were in when you stroked the ball. Don’t even follow the ball with your eyes; just listen for the sound of the ball falling into the cup.
Well, that’s the - 30- mark for this columnist for our 19th season. Keep your head down and your shoestrings tied. Maybe, just maybe we can tee it up for one more golf season.
- Rub of the Green
RUB OF THE GREEN: Ryder Cub drama a great part of American sports scene
The recent Ryder Cup matches are over, but not done with! At the time the final match had concluded the “talking heads” had already gone to work assessing blame to those who didn’t live up to their preconceived expectations.
Snedeker the big winner after FedEx Championship
The season-long FedEx Championship has finally come to an end and Brandt Snedeker may need a Brinks truck to haul his winnings to the bank.
RUB OF THE GREEN: Memories of Crooked Stick
The BMW tournament that concluded Sept. 9 at Crooked Stick in Carmel brought back a flood of memories.
RUB OF THE GREEN: "Fair Joe" known expects rules to be followed in local hunts
Fair Joe is the name and golf is the game when referring to Joe Bukovack, who has sponsored hunts in Terre Haute as well as throughout Indiana during the past 25 years.
The “Fair” in Joe’s title refers to the fact that players who wish to participate in Bukovack’s competition must be willing to follow the rules of golf to the letter, otherwise they will not be invited to participate.
RUB OF THE GREEN: Enjoying the game after all these years
When golf is referred to as “The Game for a Lifetime,” you’ve got to believe that description is definitely on target. For example, there is the Danny Williams hunt that converges on the first tee at The Landing on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings. Many players are in their 70s and retired dentist, Bill Aikin, has seen 92 birthdays.
RUB OF THE GREEN: Hunts still popular on golf course
There is something about golf that lends itself to some friendly competition and in times gone by, the competitions were called “choose-ups.” Somewhere along the line, choose-ups became “hunts.” Regardless of what you call them, they remain a most popular mode of play for Terre Haute divot-diggers on courses throughout the Wabash Valley.
RUB OF THE GREEN: Heat doesn’t deter Terre Haute golfers
“When you’re hot, you’re hot, and when you’re not, you’re not.” Those are the words of country singer Jerry Reed and they apply to golfers as well.
Rub of the Green: Father’s golf imprint still evident today
I was lucky and I knew it. My father, Robert Erwin Arnett, was one of the best dads any youngster could hope for.
RUB OF THE GREEN: Hogan, small of stature, left big footprints
With the Crowne Plaza Invitational being played at Colonial Country Club today, it conjures up images of the man himself, Bantam Ben Hogan, who won so often at Colonial it became known as “Hogan’s Alley.”
Rub of the Green: Bowling or golf? Both provide plenty of challenge
The question has been raised in the past, is it bowling or golf that is the more difficult endeavor?
RUB OF THE GREEN: Sometimes this can be a confounding game
To be sure, the great Sam Snead certainly knew what he was talking about when he delivered his favorite axiom, “The sun don’t shine on the same dog every day.”
RUB OF THE GREEN: Grayless takes over as golf professional at Hulman Links
Ed Grayless has assumed the “head man’s” position at the Links after Ryan Klopfenstein resigned as Hulman Links golf professional in order to pursue other interests.
RUB OF THE GREEN: Young players should match course to skills
One of the biggest mistakes a beginning golfer can make is to keep playing a golf course that is far too difficult for the ability demonstrated by that player.
RUB OF THE GREEN: On the lanes or links, Davis is competitive
Darrell Davis carries a 240 bowling average which obviously puts him in some strong company on the alleys, but he feels that golf is a much more difficult sport than keggling.
RUB OF THE GREEN: Loquacious golfers can provide priceless quotes
Golfers always seem to have a great deal to say, but determining who said what and who said it first can be a problem.
RUB OF THE GREEN: Rick Fernandes can look back on a great golf career
What does an outstanding golfer have left when an accident has robbed him of the consummate skills he once possessed? The answer most assuredly would be one word, “Memories.”
RUB OF THE GREEN: Feherty’s humor good for golf
David Feherty is an extremely funny man. If you have read his book written a few years ago, you might have guessed what to expect from him. The book, entitled “Somewhere in Ireland a Village is Missing an Idiot,” set the stage for his far out brand of humor, most of which is directed at himself.
RUB OF THE GREEN: It's all in your head
A pair of divot diggers had been discussing their favorite sport when one could be heard saying, “You know, I think this game is 90 percent mental.” After a short pause his friend replied, “Well, I think you’re about 10 percent short in your estimation.”
Golf: ‘The Game You Love to Hate’
Golf has been called “The Game You Love to Hate.” In addition, love-hate relationships have been around since the beginning of time.
RUB OF THE GREEN: Golf is only sport that offers both hilarity, pathos
It’s been stated more than once that “golf is a microcosm for life itself.”
This writer would heartily agree. No sport or game can offer combinations of happiness and sadness, hilarity and pathos as evidenced by an activity called “cow pasture pool” by some of its practitioners.
RUB OF THE GREEN: Even golfers say there is drug problem on Tour
Are professional golfers using performance-enhancing drugs? This writer wouldn’t have the foggiest, but if you asked Gary Player, one of the game’s greatest, the answer would be a resounding, “Yes.”
RUB OF THE GREEN: Not all golfers display their trophies
Back in the “old days,” let’s say the 1940s, most of the time when you won something in a golf tournament your prize came in the form of a trophy. That was it, just a dust catcher. Later, merchandise prizes were added.
RUB OF THE GREEN: Golf full of colorful characters
Every sport has its own cast of characters and golf is definitely no exception. Whether it is diving head first into a greenside bunker or tying an unreliable putter to a car’s bumper and dragging it down the road, golfers can do some strange things.
RUB OF THE GREEN: Winter made golf impossible this year
Old Man Winter along with Mother Nature must have something against area golfers. They have joined forces to sabotage a sport called winter golf, an activity many Wabash Valley players have enjoyed in years gone by.
RUB OF THE GREEN: Golf instruction a strenuous art
Few who have ever tried their hands at playing the game of golf would describe the sport as “easy”. In fact, just the opposite would be the case.
BOB ARNETT: No matter what your level, watch out for pressure
What is the affliction that can affect most any golfer from those who can’t break an egg to skilled golfers who can break 70?
RUB OF THE GREEN: THGA tournaments include variety, long history
In days gone by, the Terre Haute Golf Association has always offered more than just a 72-hole stroke play tournament.
RUB OF THE GREEN: PGA playoff system still needs work
Is anyone fed up with the convoluted Fed Ex playoffs? The PGA has been tweaking its so-called Fed Ex playoff system for years, and they never seem to get it right.
Rub of the Green: Golf can be roller coaster for young pros
Dustin Johnson may be best remembered for his appearances in the major tournaments in 2010, but not because he won. He didn’t win. But he came awfully close.
Rub of the Green: One size does NOT fit all when it comes to golfing ability
Literally hundreds of books have been written on the subject of golf instruction, and we can be certain they all agree on one fundamental, always keep your head stationary throughout the swing.
Right? Nope, wrong as it could be! How’s that, you say? As examples both David Duval and Annika Sorenstam at one time were rated the world’s No. 1 professional golfers, respectively, and both swiveled their heads well before their clubheads reached the impact zone. In fact, Duval is one of a select few who has a 59 to his credit on the PGA Tour.
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