For more than 25 years I was intent on hiding my baldness, so I
covered my head with an assortment of rugs, some of which looked
better than others. But now my bad hair days are over. Last fall,
as I began thinking about turning 60 (my birthday was on March
9), I realized the time had come to go naked.
I had wanted to reveal my baldness--like, who didn't know?--for
several years because I'd noticed that other professional
athletes, including Michael Jordan and Emmitt Smith, looked great
au naturel. I figured bald was in. But I had prostate-cancer
surgery in June 1997, and my urologist suggested that some people
might think I had lost my hair due to chemotherapy if I let the
lid off my secret. He also joked that he would never get another
patient, so I delayed my coming-off party.
I got my hairpieces from a salon in Las Vegas, and they cost
between $600 and $1,000 each. I usually traveled with three or
four of them because I never knew when I'd need to make a switch.
The toupees served their purpose, but they didn't always go over
so well. When I was doing Senior tour commentary for ESPN in the
late 1980s, Andy Young, a producer, told me that my new toupee
had too much hair and that I should go back to my old one.
The reaction to my lidless look on tour has been good. Some
players call me Sean, after Sean Connery. Being bald might even
be helping my game. Two weeks ago I got my first victory in three
years, becoming only the 10th player 60 or over to win a Senior
tour event. Tour spouses have been especially supportive, and I
tell my peers, "Keep your wives at home. They can't keep their
hands off me."
For years I was offered $10,000 to pose bald for one of those
before and after ads by hair-replacement companies, but I never
did it. Now those days are long gone. I'm bald and beautiful.
Jim Colbert has 20 wins in 11 years on the Senior tour.
COLOR PHOTO: BRAD MANGIN