When I turned 50 in June 1981 and joined the fledgling Senior
tour, there were only a few tournaments a year and we were
trying to establish ourselves. To add some nostalgia and
emphasize the contrast with the PGA Tour, Gay Brewer, Billy
Casper, Bob Toski and I started wearing knickers.
As our tour grew and became successful, commissioner Deane Beman
thought we needed our own logo. He wanted something similar to
the regular Tour logo, but something that was also noticeably
different. Voila! The knickers. For some reason I was chosen as
the model--I guess because Deane thought I looked good in plus
fours. Now I'm the only guy still wearing them out here, partly
because I'm comfortable in them and partly because I feel an
obligation to the logo.
I was the guy who many years ago suggested to Payne Stewart that
he could distinguish himself on Tour by wearing knickers. He
took my advice and has since won three majors. He would be a
champion no matter how he dresses, but you have to admit his
clothing is distinctive.
The only other person I know of who has been the model for a pro
sports logo is Jerry West, whose image dribbling a basketball,
in silhouette, became synonymous with the National Basketball
Association. There's no comparison, though, between him and me.
I'm just a decent golf pro while he is one of the alltime
greats. I was simply in the right place at the right time.
There is one terrific advantage to being in my position as the
living logo of the Senior tour. Even though I've gotten older
and my game is deteriorating, I'm still at the top of the leader
board every weekend.
Jim Ferree, 68, has won 21 times as a Super Senior.
COLOR PHOTO: JIM GUND