• Announcements

    • iacas

      Create a Signature!   02/05/2016

      Everyone, go here and edit your signature this week: http://thesandtrap.com/settings/signature/.
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Clambake

Anecdotes from The Crosby

1 post in this topic

One of my prized golf books is "The Crosby: Greatest Show in Golf" by Dwayne Netland published in 1975.   We're now a few weeks past this year's ATT National Pro-Am, but I thought you might enjoy a few anecdotes from the book:

The very first Bing Crosby National Pro-Am, known as the Clambake, was played in 1937 at the Rancho Santa Fe CC near San Diego.    Sam Snead won it in wet and muddy conditions following a hard rainstorm, and when presented with the first place check of $500 replied “If you don’t mind, Mr. Crosby, I’d rather have cash.”

In 1957 at Cypress Point, Henry Ransom attempted to recover from a bad tee shot down by the water at the 16 th .   He hit three shots that nailed the cliff in front of him, and the third one ricocheted back and hit him in the stomach.  Henry ordered his caddie to pick up the ball and stalked off angrily with the comment “When they start hitting back at me, it’s time to quit”.

1964 found Arnold Palmer trying to play his 2 nd shot on Pebble’s Par 3 17 th from the rocks by the 18 th tee.   Jimmy Demaret was the roving TV commentator, and informed that Palmer could lift and drop keeping the line behind the position of the ball, Demaret remarked “In that case, his nearest drop would be Honolulu.”

One year, trumpeter Harry James and his pro partner finished the 18 th on day 1 at 18 over par, but the scoreboard boy accidentally transposed the digits an put an 81 on the board.   “Never mind”, snickered comedian Phil Harris.  “by the time they finish they won’t have to change that board.”

Many of the early celebrities in the Crosby were known to consume more than a bit of liquor.  One of the hardest drinkers was Phil Harris, and one year Harris and Crosby were traveling together through Scotland by car, and passed the lights of a distillery.   “Look over there, Phil.  They’re making it faster than you can drink it.”    Harris replied “Yeah, but at least I got the bastards working nights.”

Phil Harris was kind of the early version of Bill Murray, always quick with wit yet serious about his game.   One year when Crosby was hospitalized, Harris filled in for Bing as a TV commentator.    Chris Schenkel observed that Johnny Miller had just hit a bunker shot with a smooth touch.    “Yeah,” agreed Harris into the microphone.  “As smooth as a man lifting a breast out of an evening gown.”     Watching on TV from his hospital room, Crosby said that he was pretty drugged up but that comment woke him up fast.

Clint Eastwood first visited the Crosby in 1952, sneaking into the awards dinner where he and a friend went around eating up all the left over desserts.   Later when he was starring on Rawhide, Eastwood was asked at a dinner if he played in the Crosby, and he commented “No, I’m not.  I guess they don’t like cowboys.”     Shortly after he received a personal invite from Bing in the mail, with a little note “By the way, we do like cowboys.”

Dean Martin was another regular, and with a 9 handicap he was a respectable player.   One year, he described his round at Pebble:   “I didn’t get a par until the fifth hole.  Then I brought out the vodka.  I played great the rest of the way.  Those Russians have all the answers.”

Bob Hope was paired with Jimmy Demaret in 1953, and asked his partner “Can I get home from here?” on the 13 th fairway at Pebble.   “I dunno”, replied Demaret.   “Where do you live?”

Strolling by a roving radio reporter at Monterey Peninsula CC, Hope was asked for a quick rundown of his day.    Hope’s reply:  “On behalf of Crosby – and who wouldn’t want to be half of Crosby with the loot that guy has – I’d like to say this is the place for the elite, where ocean and golf ball meet.”

Although we say this year’s ATT Pro-Am played in spectacularly gorgeous weather, the Crosby was known for its tough weather conditions.   LA Times columnist Jim Murray described it this way:   If Bob Hope and Bing Crosby ever want to get together and do a picture on the Crosby golf tournament, I’ve got the title for them – ‘The Road to Pneumonia’.    They ought to call it ‘The Penicillin Open’.   The Smith Bros. ought to sponsor it. [Ed - a cough drop maker]     Seven thousand guys fight to get an invitation to an oxygen tent and fever chart.   They can get the same sensation standing in a bucket of ice, turning on a 10,000 horsepower fan in their faces, and hiring someone to spray them with a fire hose and shoot sand in their eyes.”

In another year, Jim Murray said this about the Crosby tournament:  “Of all the tournaments, my favorite of all is the Crosby.   The trouble with the pros is that they don’t know how tough this game is.   They usually tee up in nice sunny weather with a slight breeze at their backs, the fairways hard, the greens medium fast, and the crowd quiet and respectful.   The Crosby is something else.  That’s the tournament where they find out what a chamber of horrors 18 holes of golf can be.   I have to think its good for them.  Into each life, a little Crosby must fall.”

There, I hope you enjoyed a little Crosby falling into your life too!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Want to get rid of this advertisement? Sign up (or log in) today! It's free!

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0



  • Want to join this community?

    We'd love to have you!

    Sign Up
  • 2016 TST Partners

    GAME Golf
    PING Golf
    Lowest Score Wins
  • Posts

    • Jack or Tiger: Who's the Greatest Golfer?
      I think you seriously underestimate the difference in the level of dominance each had, when you lump them together as standouts of their caliber, because the calibers were not the same at all.  For the years 1997 through 2007 Tiger was the best player for every single year except 1998 and 2004, and for both 1996 and 2008 he was clearly the best player for the portion of the year he was active. You will find it a challenging task to find anything like that number of years for which Jack was the best.  He was always in the top 3 or so, but not that many years where he was the best.  That is why he has so many fewer POY awards and NO Vardons. Not only did Tiger have more years as the best player for the year, his dominance in those years was far beyond anything Jack ever did in HIS best years.  Tiger had winning streaks of 7, 6, and 5.  Jack's longest was 3 (which isn't even as long as Tigers 4 consecutive MAJORS).  There is the consecutive cut record.  The record setting winning margins in various majors.  The record setting margins by which his stroke averages beat his competitors.  
    • How do I organize a charity tournament to be a raging success?
      26 and a stroke? Holy smokes. Very sorry to hear that.  I have no idea how to organize a tournament but I have played in my share. The best ones are scrambles where you can organize your own team. The outcome has rarely ever mattered to us as long as we were well fed. Find a local restaurant (usually a bbq place) that wants to help you out and give a discount for advertising and spend your money there. Everyone will love to come for a good meal. Some nice prizes and maybe a raffle with some local companies offering you something if you are able to convince them it is worth it to give something to the cause.  Another thing I have seen work well is a silent auction at the end with donated items. I donated airline miles of which I have tons and 100,000 miles went for $205. Free gift for me and the cause got $205. 
    • How to eliminate blowup holes
      Haha - I get a couple of reputation points for a post and then go and have a blow up hole. Good drive, left myself 145 in down hill (8i), aimed #deadcenter, pulled 2 shots 25 yards left out of bounds, made 9 (+5) in a 9 hole round of (+11). A better way to avoid blow up holes - play stableford!
    • Donald Trump for president?
      Come on now, that's a bit uncalled for in Bernies case.  His political ideals might be way left, but he is at least honest and virtuous.
    • Jack or Tiger: Who's the Greatest Golfer?
      I'll have to examine your other post closer. That's a good point to consider about the expansion to Continental Europe. Largely explains the poor showing of UK & Ireland in the 60's with many top tier European players not eligible. But considering the 200 million U.S. population base to 63 million in the U.K. & Ireland at the time, the latter did surprisingly well if population base was all that matters. IMO an established competitive golfing culture matters in producing elite players too. Those same European players excluded from Ryder Cup were always eligible for the Majors. The Ryder Cup is also a limited field event. It concentrates the 12 top players of the European Tour. From what I've read, depth of field is still stronger for the 'typical' PGA event, though some non-major Euro events are now stronger than some of the 'minor' PGA events. That is a significant change in Euro competitiveness from the 60's. To some extent that 30% drop sounds like it could be due to simply more international players occupying slots in the fields. If the period you mention covers when majors started to use OWGR for automatic qualification that has some not insignificant inherent issues in terms of strength of field. Having a guaranteed start rather than having to qualify would certainly make for an easier decision to travel to the event. But I'm not arguing against the policy decision facilitating international competition with a little points boost just trying to point out that field strength may not have been as weak in Jack's day as you seem to think. Compared to his peers, which is really the only thing I think you can do without speculative nuance I agree there's no question he's the best golfer. I'm really just arguing that standouts of their caliber (so many more wins so many more majors) than typical players among already elite fields are so rare, that I expect they both represent near the achievable human pinnacle in golf talent, which I don't think really differs within a few generations. The nuances of comparison across eras is interesting to me so I'll debate relative points, but I'm against arguments undervaluing Jack's achievements against 'weak fields'. They both faced very stiff competition.   I'm not dissing Jack. I think his achievements are amazing. I also think the same of Tiger's record. IMO winning percentage per start in the Majors is a very significant stat and Tiger has that in his favor (they are both top 10 and within ~ 2% of each other's number). That number is not the official one for Jack though, I truncated his Major starts to end at age 47, which I think is a reasonable cutoff for competitiveness. If Tiger competes as long as Jack did his major win % (up to age 47) might stay about the same, increase, or decrease (more likely), but he certainly won't match the 18 Majors if he doesn't get like 22+ more major starts between now and age 47.
  • TST Blog Entries

  • Images

  • Today's Birthdays

    1. glinks
      glinks
      (43 years old)
  • Blog Entries