Arnold Palmer flitting around in his twin-booster, partly deductible rocket ship PGA One, and Billy Casper eating baked leopards' feet and sea-lentil casserole for all those allergies, and Gary Player, the Lord improving his lies, always suiting out in bondage black—you call this colorful? You like it that the pros play the same event every week, a $500,000 Lucky Desert Cajun, everybody getting rich by finishing a nervy 29th? It doesn't bother you that Jack Nicklaus isn't there because he is limiting his play to five tournaments a year—the Grand Slam plus one to be announced—and is off in Addis Ababa filming a TV series? You chuckle and nudge your friends, do you, when Al Besselink grins at a lady scorer and hollers, "Say, bey-bah, old Al done got hisself a birdie"? You wink all around when you see that full parade of snug, flowered bell-bottoms foraging after Doug Sanders? And it really swings, does it, upstairs in the cocktail lounge when Lionel Hebert works his handicap down from 8 to 6 on the trumpet? Say, bey-bah, you know something? If you think the tour is fun now, you would have gone right out of your Spalding Dot back in the Thirties.
Boy, those Thirties. Fun Time. The years when Sam Snead had hair, right there on his head, parted on the left; when Ben Hogan was a runt with a wild hook and a snap-brim hat; when Jimmy Demaret had pink shoes and violet pants; when Ky Laffoon anointed the greens with tobacco juice; and when Ruby Keeler and Dick Powell, in their sailor suits, couldn't do the Big Apple much better than Joan and Paul Runyan or Emma and Harry Cooper. It was Fun Time, all right, Fun Time on the pro golf tour—because if you couldn't laugh about it you might as well go back to mowing fairways and raking cottonseed-hull greens.
The game still belonged to the amateurs in the early Thirties, you see, to aristocratic young men with hyphenated names and blonde sisters. A professional was anyone who had caddied after he was 14, who could wrap leather grips and who took his meals in the kitchen. The exact date is not recorded when people first realized a pro could make a nine-iron back up better than an amateur, but it happened somewhere in the Thirties. At about the same time Walter Hagen finally convinced everyone you could let a pro in the front door and he wouldn't steal the crystal. These two circumstances began to combine, introducing America to the age of the alligator shoe. This, then, was the beginning of the era that launched the big-money tour that buys 20 alpacas for Don Massengale today, that keeps Conni Venturi in Balenciagas, that overnight makes a renowned author out of any player who can chip from sand.
One result of it all is that going on the pro golf tour now is as easy as getting through the University of Houston. You birdie four holes in a row at Bleeding Birch Country Club and some automobile dealer with a coat of arms on his blazer gives you $12,000 and an air-travel card. A day later you are standing around on a putting green with Gardner Dickinson—you are on the tour. To say it was more of an adventure in the Thirties would be like saying Cary Middlecoff's dental patients had to hold their mouths open a long time. Right away there was one primary challenge, to try to put chuckburgers down your neck from Flagstaff to West Palm. If you shot over 74 in the first round you could forget it—15th was the last pay spot and, of the 30 to 40 regulars who were out there beating you, Ben Hogan was about the least known. But whether you won or lost, leaving town was always the same. You loaded into somebody's Graham-Paige or Essex and drove until you threw a connecting rod. Air travel? That was for Noah Beery Jr. up there in the sleet without any deicers while Jean Rogers wept softly in the radio tower.
The tour began in Los Angeles, just as it does now, but there the similarity ends. Everyone piled into the Hollywood Plaza for $1 a day, went directly downstairs to Clara Bow's It Cafe and began contemplating the happy fact that L.A. offered one of the biggest purses on the tour. And, next to the U.S. Open, it pulled the most spectators—so many one year, in fact, that in the congested excitement of a certain round Dick Metz had to park two miles away from the course and buy a ticket to get in. This would not have been so embarrassing for the sponsors if Metz hadn't been leading the tournament at the time.
From L.A. you went to Agua Caliente or Sacramento, maybe, or you scooped wedges around the Rose Bowl in the Pasadena Open. Wherever you were, you stuffed the bag with oranges from the citrus trees in the rough. It kept the food budget down. At the San Francisco Match Play you spewed challenges at anyone in the locker room you figured you could beat, and tried to get the pairings arranged accordingly. One tournament, the 36-hole Crosby at Rancho Santa Fe, was a little special, because a lot of Hollywood stars like Richard Arlen, Clark Gable and Randolph Scott were sure to be there, and, say, those lugs were just swell, to use one of Margaret Lindsay's more dramatic lines.
After the giddy times out on the Coast, fan belts permitting, the tour wended lazily through the Southwest, the South, the East and the Midwest until, quite sensibly, it ended as football season began. It embraced a variety of tournaments, many of which sounded as if they ought to be on the billiard circuit, namely, the Miami-Biltmore Four-Ball, the Goodall Round Robin, the Westchester 108-Hole Open, the Dapper Dan and the Vancouver Jubilee. It swung through San Antonio, oldest of the winter events (1922), for the Texas Open at Bracken-ridge Park, which was the place where sun-goggled Jug McSpaden once stunned himself by shooting a practice-round 59 at Ben Hogan, Byron Nelson and Paul Runyan. It was also there that Wild Bill Mehlhorn climbed a live oak beside the 18th green on the last day and loudly heckled Bobby Cruickshank, wishing for a three-putt so Wild Bill himself could win. Cruickshank survived, and Mehlhorn had to go on making most of his expenses at the bridge tables.
The tour moved on to New Orleans, where Lloyd Mangrum arrived one year so busted on Mardi Gras eve that he joyfully slept in the city jail. He remembers how the only bad part was going without cigarettes for two days. It hit Pinehurst for the North and South Open. There, busted or not, you had to wear a tux and your wife had to wear a formal gown if you wanted to eat dinner. There was Palm Beach, where Paul Runyan's partner in the Seminole pro-am one winter drove 310 yards on the first hole, hit his approach within 18 inches of the cup but then—just as Runyan began to think the tournament was in the bag—putted 18 feet past the hole! The partner's name was Gene Tunney.
In Florida the pros got their first inkling that they might be some kind of semicelebrities. It was all because of the Miami-Biltmore Four-Ball, a partnership tournament sponsored by a hotel that figured sports-page stories with the word Biltmore in them might give rewarding ideas to tourists. The Miami-Biltmore also may have invented appearance money, for it always paid the Open and PGA champions $1,000 each to show up, as if they had anywhere else to go. The whole field got a bottle of White Horse Scotch and a tin of Lucky Strikes for each birdie. And every day both players and wives were hoisted by autogyros over to Miami Beach for a swim. If at any time the sponsors grew lax at providing entertainment, the players took over. Such as the evening that Walter Hagen came back from a fishing trip and dumped his entire catch, including an alligator, into the clubhouse.
When the tour moved through Greensboro there were no fish, but there was a weird species called "Sammy's Lambies," a name the pros gave the girls who traipsed after Snead. Arnie's Army was not golf's first militant unit. Georgia was quail-and-wild-turkey country, and part of the deal at the Thomasville Open was playing your round quickly so you could get out and hunt, slowly, no limit, to stock up as much free food as possible.
Trying to cook quail and wild turkey gave the wives something to do besides compare clubhouse verandas. There were no more wives out on the tour then than now; it just seemed that way because they were divided into Ramblers, Setters and Shadows. The Ramblers walked about the course, chose vantage points and viewed the tournament distantly. The Setters were generally older, stayed on the porches with their knitting, or played cards, or pondered the possibility of getting a permanent wave soon. The Shadows never left their husbands, just put on bandannas and sunglasses and did the full 18 holes while displaying the fashions of the day.
Suddenly, one fine spring there came what was to develop into about the most pleasant week of the year for everybody invited. It was a brand-new experience, the Masters, and while it did not have any turkeys it had a course that looked as opulent as a La Salle with chrome horns, it had outdoor barbecues, ham cooked in wine, biscuits bigger than head covers, corn whiskey in pitchers, Bobby Jones for a host and so many southern colonels sitting under crawling wistaria that you were tempted to look up who won the Civil War.
That was the way of the pro tour. There were no more than 20 to 25 tournaments a year. But if a man could reach most of them, if he knew how to fit the club heads that were made in Scotland onto the shafts that were made in Tennessee and if he could survive the nightly games of pitch, bridge and seven-card low, he could pocket maybe $6,000 and rank a whopping fifth on the money list.
Of course, if he practiced—that odd thing Ben Hogan originated, hitting old balls to Stepin Fetchit out in a field—there was no telling how affluent he could become. He might even stagger into one of those deals like Johnny Farrell got, holding a pack of cigarettes on a magazine page for a so-help-me $1,000.
"What they call that?" Sam Snead asked Fred Corcoran, his agent and the tour's first manager. "Git me some of them un-dorse-munts."
Winning a tournament back in the Thirties was rarely worth more than $1,000, but $1,000 would buy a lot of pork and beans then. Provided you actually collected, of course. One year, 1935, Al Espinosa didn't. He won at Indianapolis but he held the check a few moments too long, at least long enough for the sponsor to vanish with the purse. It was three years before poor Espinosa got his money, and then it came from the PGA, not the long-gone sponsor.
There was, however, something more difficult than trying to cash a man's check. You had to learn how to win. Byron Nelson's baptism to the hazards of potential victory makes one of golf's best horror stories. Thin, young, broke, married and nervous, Nelson was playing in the General Brock Open at Niagara Falls, unknown and unsure, when it happened. Somehow he stumbled into the lead through the third round, and this was splendid except, great Gawd amighty, he was paired with Walter Hagen for the final 18.
Now, you get to the first tee early in a situation like that. You get there and then you fidget, pace, worry, blush and keep glancing down to see if your pants are buttoned. Naturally, in this case, there was no sign of Hagen. "Looks like Mr. Hagen is going to be late again," the starter said from deep in the cavern of his double-breasted coat, styled to the times, with lapels that were as wide as Horseshoe Falls.
"Late?" said Nelson, trying to keep down his Ovaltine. Sure. Late was part of it then, what a real pro did to a rookie—without penalty of disqualification—in fact, what Hagen usually did to everybody. Didn't he once send to the clubhouse for a folding chair so that Gene Sarazen, the man who introduced the sand iron and steel shafts, could sit down while he, that cunning Hagen, studied a simple chip shot? Didn't he like to psych guys by strolling over and peeking into their bags, shaking his head and walking away? Or look at their putts and gesture that they were impossible? Sure Hagen did. Other players, like Horton Smith, just squinted peculiarly at the rookies until the sad young men worked themselves into incurable hooks. Still others, like Dutch Harrison, sweet-talked a rookie out of his game. "Man, can you massage that ball," Dutch would say. "I ain't seen a swing that good since Macdonald Smith." But prince of the slow plays—that was Hagen.
And so it surely went, the starter saying, "You go ahead and tee off, Byron, if you wish. We'll pair Mr. Hagen with someone else when he arrives."
"But Hagen's my idol. I've wanted to play golf with him all my life."
"But I'm leading the tournament."
"We heard about it."
Nelson practice-swung and paced, his pleated trousers ballooning in the Niagara breeze like the Graf Zeppelin, his fat-bottomed tie whipping past the curled-up collar tips of his well-starched $1.19 shirt and on around his neck. In manner of apparel you could scarcely tell a young pro golfer from the sneak who came around every week to threaten you for the 15¢ you owed on the life insurance.
Fidget, pace, putt, heave went Nelson until, thanks a lot, two hours later along came Hagen in his white-on-white silk shirt, with his gold cuff links and more oil on his hair than they were pumping out of the East Texas fields.
"Hi, boy," he said.
"It's—it's sure a real big honor," said Nelson in a trance, and he went out and shot a 42 on the front nine.
But Nelson's disaster was not total. His fast, upright swing got grooved once again and brought him back in 35 for a 77, second place and a cash prize of $600.
Still, the ordeal wasn't over. "Louise," Byron recalls saying to his young wife, "we've got to hide this money before we hit the road. What if we get robbed? Since we're rich, we're bound to. And if we hide it maybe they won't get it all." So fifty went in the glove compartment, a hundred under the seat, a hundred in a Kleenex box, a hundred in the purse with the embroidery—the best pal a golf wife ever had. And you can probably guess that later on at the tourist court the Nelsons almost never found it all.
If Jimmy Demaret had won the $600 he would have been 8 to 5 to leave it in a bar or blow it on a pair of handmade lime-and-purple saddle oxfords. But the man who almost singlehandedly led golfers out of the necktie era and into knit shirts and beltless slacks found that the least of his problems was worrying about money. On the contrary. Jimmy's problem was that he destroyed it with the ease of the rich guys with whom he loafed around.
When Demaret struck out from Houston for L.A. as a rookie in 1935 he had a set of clubs, a car and a stake of $600 given to him by Sam Maceo, a Galveston nightclub operator, D. B. McDaniel, an oilman, and, yowza, Ben Bernie, the bandleader. He also had the fervent hope that he could drive past Juàrez without stopping. Of course, he never made it. And all it took to nearly ruin him the first night in Juàrez was for a man to ask, "Hey, se√±or, you want to shoot a leetle pool?"
Demaret said he didn't know, he hadn't been around the game much, didn't understand a whole lot about it, but, well, seeing as how he was there and all, what would the fellow say to some eight-ball perhaps? Demaret blew the car the first night. The second night he lost the $600 and his golf clubs, and the only reason he didn't lose the River Oaks Country Club was that nobody would take an IOU for it. If he did anything right it was saving the pawn slip for the clubs so his brother, Milton, could retrieve them and ship them to Los Angeles, where, hopefully, Demaret was to arrive at about the same time—by freight train.
Demaret did finally get there, and he did survive his first week on the tour, eating sandwiches and drinking muscatel. By his third undaunted week, as destiny so often provides for free spirits who can also fade a high two-iron, he had won a few hundred and was throwing a party that has never ended.
From almost the instant he appeared on the tour, Demaret's fast-quipping nature and passion for dressing like an Olsen & Johnson skit made him the best unofficial publicity man golf has known. If ever the sports pages nurtured a grander cliché than "Navy won the toss and elected to receive," it was "colorful Jimmy Demaret, golf's goodwill ambassador."
Colorful was rather a tame word for it. Demaret wore lavender, gold, pink, orange, red and aqua slacks, yellow, emerald, maroon, plaid, checked, striped and polka-dot coats, and more than 500 different hats—berets, Tyroleans, straws—that he mostly had imported from Switzerland. He paid $250 for the coats and $125 for the trousers in a decade when that kind of money could avert a bonus march. He ordered ladies' pastel fabrics from abroad and had them tailored in the U.S. His idea about shoes was to give a factory swatches from his slacks and have matching saddle oxfords made that looked as if something had been spilled on them.
Demaret's reputation as a wisecrack artist dates much further back than his classic remark to Roberto de Vicenzo at a relatively recent Masters. "Play good, Roberto," said Jimmy. "I'm betting on you to be low Mexican." It goes back to a time 30 years ago when a radio announcer asked Demaret which player on the tour had the most even disposition.
"Clayton Heafner," said Jimmy quickly, referring to the big, grumpy Carolinian whose professed lifelong ambition was to have a one-foot putt to win the U.S. Open so he could bitterly backhand it into a USGA official's but-toned-down throat.
"Heafner!" the announcer gasped. "Are you kidding?"
"No," said Demaret. "He's mad all the time."
When the tour didn't have Demaret for comic relief, it had Ky Laffoon. He was a portly, balding part Indian who got his start in golf by caddying for Titanic Thompson, the accomplished hustler. You've heard the story about Thompson telling some dazed opponent, "Why, I'll bet my caddie can beat you," and the guy calling it? Well, Ky was the caddie, and he could beat you.
Except on the tour. Laffoon won less than he should have, probably because of his temper. It wasn't a temper like Lefty Stackhouse had, the kind where he beat his head against a tree trunk, belted himself on the chin or pitched his clubs and caddie in a creek. It was a lovable temper. Well, almost.
Laffoon would wander off the fairway and discreetly flog all the leaves off a bush because his approach shot had not carried a pond. He would curse so audibly that his wife would stalk to the clubhouse and call a lawyer. He would miss a putt and spurt tobacco juice into the cup, enough so that the man putting next got his ball out rather gingerly.
Once Laffoon had three putts from five feet for a win at the Cleveland Open. He missed the first, missed the second and became so outraged he slammed the putter down on top of the ball, not caring anymore whether he was first or eighth, but luckily the ball hopped three feet in the air and—it's true—plopped right into the hole. He won despite himself. Seeing it in the newsreel later, his scream frightened three rows.
Another time Laffoon missed an important putt and banged his putter into the ground, breaking off the club head. Then, without realizing it, he took aim over the next putt with the jagged shaft.
"Wha-what the h-hell ha-happened?" he said, stuttering nervously, as he did in such situations.
To appease his wife during one of his rare periods of resolution, he tried to play through a whole tournament without cursing. Surprisingly enough, he scored fairly well in the first round, and he was in fine spirits that evening as he sat around the hotel lobby, telling stories to the younger pros. He told a lot about Indians, and he always made Sam Snead double over when he would say, "If the white man had found the Indian good to eat—no Indian."
But in the second round things got grim. Ky played himself into the lead, which meant every shot was desperate, and here he had promised his wife not to curse, which is practically impossible when you're leading. The situation grew more tense as his shots began to land off target. But he held back on the tobacco juice and the language. Finally, along about the 15th hole, he flew an approach shot over the green and into a bed of honeysuckle.
A jungle guerrilla with a machete could not have attacked the ball more furiously than Laffoon with his nine-iron. One swing. Two. Three. And out came a torrent of get-even words that had spectators blushing as far away as the parking lot, which was exactly where Ky's wife was heading. Laffoon somehow interrupted his verbal circus and went chasing after her and, catching up, began a panting, futile plea.
"I-I wa-wasn't m-mad, re-really," he said. "N-no kidding, d-darlin'. I-I j-just d-don't I-like honeysuckle."
The group to which Ky Laffoon felt the most philosophical kinship was a self-confessed pack of wolves acutely aware that prize money on the tour was not the only means of supporting oneself with golf clubs.
For example, Dutch Harrison eventually became a consistent money winner, but he survived his first six long years on the tour without earning a single official penny. But even Harrison was never as desperate as Joe Ezar, a trick-shot genius from Waco who stowed away on freighters to hustle in Europe and who frequently got to a tournament with only a derby, an overcoat and a pair of street shoes. "Loan me the equipment, chums, and I'll pay you back double," he would say, and he did. Nor was Dutch as flamboyantly unpredictable as Leonard Dodson, whose crowning achievement came the day in Canada he had only $1.25 in his pocket but bet a man $500 he could outrun the man's car at 100 yards. He did, of course. He took the unsuspecting fellow out to a soft-dirt farm road and he won breezing. Instead, Dutch Harrison was a relentless hawk of the club member who liked to gamble on his own ability. The practice rounds were Dutch's tournaments.
The year Dutch decided he had better concentrate more seriously on the tournaments proper was 1937. He was out in Los Angeles doing his regular act with a fellow pro, Bob Hamilton. They had two steady customers who were good for $9 a day—Dutch was never greedy. If his opponent shot 71 Dutch mysteriously managed to shoot 70. If the man shot 77, Dutch barely scratched out a 76 and moaned about his friend's bad luck, which was just bound to change.
One afternoon as the foursome negotiated on the first tee, a stranger asked if he could join up. He had a raw swing and a country voice, like Dutch, which meant he couldn't be all bad.
Hamilton, ever eager with loot in sight, said, "How much you wanna bet?" or something like that.
"Well, Ah don't know much about betting," the young man said.
"You can come along with us, young feller," said Hamilton.
No more than five holes had been played before both Harrison and Hamilton began neglecting the game with the $9 pigeons. For every shot Dutch hit within eight feet of a flag, the stranger hit one within four feet.
"My, my, son, you sure got yourself a pretty swing there," Dutch said. "And that old hook grip don't bother you none at all, does it?"
Birdie, birdie went the innocent young man.
Presently, Harrison lashed an exceptional spoon that chewed up the flag and nestled in about 15 feet away.
"Let him eat some of that," Dutch thought.
To which Mr. Innocent hit a four-iron an arm's length from the cup.
"Bob," said Dutch to Hamilton, "we done got ourselves hold of somethin' here."
Later, on the 18th green, where Dutch and Hamilton paid off, the young man said, "Sure do thank you folks. Say, what time tomorrow you gonna be out here?"
"Son," Harrison said, "you work your side of the road and we'll work ours."
"And that," says Harrison today, "is the first time I ever met Sam Snead."
The old tour was no sooner meeting Snead than along came a quite different newcomer, Ben Hogan. He was a loner and a brooder with an uncontrollable hook who had about everyone convinced that he would never make it. Devoting every waking hour to his game, Hogan warmed up to only a few of his contemporaries—mainly to Demaret, his four-ball partner, to Henry Picard, a gracious and helpful veteran who loaned both money and advice (Picard and Craig Wood were Snead's first sponsors), and to Dutch Harrison.
Harrison discovered one evening when he was rooming with Ben just how determined the Texan was. Dutch couldn't go to sleep because Hogan kept beating his fists against the bedposts in their hotel room.
"Have you gone crazy?" Dutch asked.
"I'm strengthening my wrists," said Hogan.
The beating continued until a policeman arrived, having been summoned by an annoyed guest next door.
"I won't give you any more trouble," Hogan said, contentedly. "I just figured out what was wrong with my grip."
He almost had. Hogan got through the Thirties by settling for such glamorous successes as placing third in the North American Long Distance Driving Championship—behind jimmy Thomson and Porky Oliver—at Niagara Falls. He was on the tour for four disappointing years before the breakthrough came. In 1940 at Pinehurst he finally won a tournament, then another at Greensboro and another at Asheville—three in a row—and for the next 14 years no one was any better.
Throughout the Thirties only one player ever went on the tour in absolute comfort, unfettered by financial worries. That was Lawson Little, golf's first bonus baby. He was a husky, handsome Californian with a square face and curly hair and white duck trousers. He had become the finest amateur since Bobby Jones, winning both the U.S. and British Amateur championships in 1934 and 1935—a feat that was called, clumsily, the Double Little Slam.
Little's decision to become a touring pro was the final proof that amateur golf was minor league. And when he signed up with Spalding for a whispered $10,000 and all expenses to both play the circuit and be a public-relations man, it was the damnedest thing the pros had heard of since the mallet-head putter. Not until 25 years later when Jack Nicklaus made a deal 10 times as big did amateur golf produce so glamorous a figure.
Once Little was in the Spalding stable a group was formed known as the "Trained Seals." They were Little, Horton Smith, Jimmy Thomson and Harry Cooper, and they became a famous Spalding exhibition crew. They traveled together, mostly by luxurious train while everyone else drove, and staged their own pretournament matches and clinics. "Can you fellows really balance golf balls on your noses?" Demaret would ask.
Horton Smith was the boss and the bookkeeper, and at the clinics he demonstrated the short game, chipping and putting. Jimmy Thomson hit the wood shots. Cooper, a nervous man who had a habit of jingling coins in his pocket, especially while you studied a putt, displayed the mid-irons. Lawson Little hit the long irons, his specialty.
Gallery ropes were practically nonexistent in those days. The spectators formed an umbrella of shade over their favorite players; a man hardly had room to take a backswing. Self-appointed officials would stand in the middle of the fairways, puff on their pipes and say, "You're away, Byron." During one match Harry Cooper kept finding a man's shadow over his ball when he addressed it. "Very unethical," Cooper would say, and then hit a fine shot. It happened all the way around the course until the 15th hole, when the shadow disappeared—and Cooper hit the shot, roughly, 10 feet.
"You bum," said Harry. "Why did you step on those leaves just as I was swinging?"
There were occasions when the spectators were permitted to be so indelicately close to the players that a championship could be settled by them. Or almost. No one learned this any more forcefully than Little. Though he never became the big winner that everyone predicted, possibly because he was so well fixed, he did achieve a week of glory at Canterbury during the 1940 U.S. Open. He tied Gene Sarazen for the title, and they had an 18-hole playoff the next day. It was a duel of different personalities. Little was always conscious of his public-relations role, but even his fellow pros found the independent Sarazen hard to fancy. "He had to be different," one of the old pros says now. "When everybody played in knickers, he switched to slacks. In fact, he started the trend to slacks. Now that everybody wears slacks, he is back wearing knickers."
Little seized an early lead in the playoff and seemed at last to be worthy of his role as the bonus champion of the times. But even in the pressure-filled moments of an Open playoff he didn't want to offend anybody. When a fan came up to him at the 5th hole and said, "Mr. Little, I want to ask you a question," he smiled and said, "Of course, what is it?"
"What I want to know," the man said, "is whether you inhale or exhale on your backswing?"
Oh, dandy. Just what you want to hear during a playoff for the most important championship in the world. Nothing distracting about that at all.
Little duck-hooked his next two tee shots, pondering whether he inhaled or exhaled. He never fully decided which it was, but he managed to shoot a 70 and beat Sarazen by three strokes. And once more the Spalding Dot was guaranteed t o give you extra distance.
But this was 1940, wasn't it? Sure it was. The Thirties were gone—sunk slowly in the distance with the mashie nib-lick. A wonderfully unpredictable and quite remarkable decade of golf had ended, but didn't it leave a legacy? Didn't it leave the faint memory that somewhere around every dogleg there lurked the one thing that a Hogan and a Demaret and a Snead and a Nelson added up to? Individuals is what they were, true and distinctive. It was what they had to be, really. They would never have guessed that someday out there on that tour it would be a lot more important for them to have a tax consultant.
The early Hogan look.
Paul Runyan and Toney Penna flank Bobby Jones at '39 Open.
Nelson blasts at an Open.
Craig Wood in the plaids of 1934.
Jimmy and Ben milk the publicity at Augusta.
Lawson Little, first bonus baby.
Denny Shute and souvenir hawks.
Demaret led the Masters in this hat.
In tranquil days, Ky Laffoon practiced and Al Watrous watched.
Snead, with hair and trophy.
Hogan and wife at '39 PGA.
Shute wore stripes in '37.
Little as an amateur.
Picard, defending Masters champ.
Gene Sarazen, always different.
Lloyd Mangrum in the Masters.
Guldahl in PGA at Hershey.