People always ask for my autograph, but not because they think
I'm a great golfing celebrity. They think I'm Steven Spielberg.
When I register at hotels, wait in line at airports or go to
movies, I often see people whispering and pointing at me.
Friends now ask me to check in with the maitre d' when we go to
a crowded restaurant.
Of course there are worse things than being mistaken for a
famous movie director. Someone called me Kenny Rogers. On the
Senior tour I have been referred to as the mad professor, the
mad scientist, the hippie golfer and Kozmo Kramer. Hale Irwin
calls me the Bushman.
I get a lot of flak for my beard and shoulder-length hair. It's
true that I don't fit the mold of the typical Senior tour player,
but I'm comfortable with my look. I've had long hair since I was
13 and a full-length beard for 10 years. I have thought about
cutting my hair and shaving my beard, but they've become a big
part of my identity.
It would be nice to be recognized for my golf. Over the past 28
years I've won 17 times worldwide and played on virtually every
major international tour and in more than 80 countries.
This is my first year playing full-time in the U.S. I haven't won
yet, although by finishing in the top 10 seven times, I joined
Tom Kite and Tom Watson as the only rookies on tour to rank among
the top 31 on the money list and earn an exemption for 2001. I
also tied Jim Thorpe's Senior tour record this season for the
most consecutive rounds in the 60s. I shot 70 last Friday at the
Senior Tour Championship to end the streak at 10.
I don't mind when people mistake me for Spielberg. Who knows?
Maybe someday someone will mistake Spielberg for me.
Ginn, 51, tied for 10th at the Senior Tour Championship.
COLOR PHOTO: MARY ANN CHASTAIN/AP