Shirley Spork, a founding member of the LPGA, died yesterday at the age of 94.
Bob Goalby, one of the major stars on Tour in the 1960s, died Thursday. He won eleven tournaments, including the 1968 Masters at which Roberto De Vicenzo, who tied Goalby at 277, signed an incorrect scorecard giving him a 278. The rules of golf required the mistake to stand and Goalby was declared the champion.
Read this article at Golf Digest.
And in The New York Times.
Goalby set a PGA record of eight straight birdies at the St. Petersburg Open in 1961 that stood until Mark Calcavecchia recorded nine straight in 2009.
In addition to his Masters win, Goalby finished second in the 1961 U.S. Open and in the 1962 PGA, both times by one stroke. Overall, he had seven top ten finishes in the American major championships. He never played in the Open Championship.
Tim Rosaforte, one of the Golf Channel’s leading journalists, died on January 11 at the age of 66 from aggressive Alzheimer’s Disease.
Tributes can be found by searching on his name. This one appears on the Golf Digest website.
If you want to talk about the greatest golfers of all time, proponents of Jones, Snead, Hogan, Nicklaus, and Woods would have lively debate.
Female golfers? Wright, Whitworth, and Sorenstam all have their claim.
But then there is Joyce Wethered. If you don’t know who she was, read this. If you do know who she was, still read it.
I once had a book of essays by Bernard Darwin, the best golf writer ever. He had a few on Wethered that exhausted his supply of superlatives. She was that good.
Below is the only known detailed Ben Hogan swing sequence series made with a stop-action camera. It was reproduced from the book, The Search For the Perfect Golf Swing.
The sequence has sixteen frames, but only four for the backswing. In an in-time sixteen-frame sequence, the backswing would take up about twelve of the frames.
Hogan did not take the club back in a leisurely way. Notice that the shaft is already bending.
Halfway back, his wrist hinge is almost fully set.
Notice his ramrod straight left arm. Only Hogan gets away with this.
It looks like Hogan has a tremendous amount of lag, but it is because his flat swing tilts the plane of his arms and clubshaft far away from a vertical plane of the film. Figure 8 shows his lag better.
This is really late to be retaining this much lag. Don’t you try this.
You know what I always say about the hands leading the clubhead at impact? Here it is.
Hogan did not cross his hands over after impact. This, and figure 14, show his right hand underneath the handle for a long time. This is a huge anti-hook move, but it’s very hard to do.
Mickey Wright, IMO the greatest female golfer of all time, died today of heart attack in Florida. She dominated women’s golf in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Coming out of San Diego, she was one of the game’s greatest champions, winning 82 tournaments including 13 majors in a career cut short by injuries.
Ben Hogan said she had the finest swing he ever saw. See it below.
She wrote an instruction book called Play Golf the Wright Way, a book I refer to often.
Anne van Dam, a rookie on the LPGA. Scroll down to the second video, the one in which she is wearing a light green sweater and there’s a ladder in the background. Don’t watch her, though, watch the club. If you can make the club do that, your problems are over.
Even Brandel Chamblee likes it.
Renowned golf writer and member of the World Golf Hall of Fame (2012) Dan Jenkins passed away on March 7 at the age of 89.
And this tribute from Golf World.
Read also his hilarious “interview” with Tiger Woods which the then imperial personality did not find to be amusing. Be sure to listen to his monologue below the end of the article.
Jenkins’s novel, Semi-Tough, about pro football, was made into a movie starring Burt Reynolds, Kris Kristofferson, and Jill Clayburgh.
Another of his novels, Dead Solid Perfect, about professional golf, was filmed as well, starring Randy Quaid and Kathryn Harrold.
And finally, read his account of the stroke-play qualifying for the Greatest of All Time Invitational, played starting March 20 at the Augusta National Golf Club. It’s in the April 2109 Golf Digest, with Jordan Spieth on the cover. The article is likely Jenkins’s final piece of golf writing. It will leave you in stitches. What a gift to leave to us.