Originally Posted by JesseV
Did you actually meet and or know either Bobby Jones and or Mr. Hogan?
"And, unlike contemporaries such as Bobby Jones (a bigot) and Hogan (an arrogant and aloof ass)"
That is what I disagree with. As far as I know Hogan was devoted to his wife and by all accounts off the course was a true gentleman, and was very charitable and was devoted to those he considered a friend. Bobby Jones was a gentleman even though he grew up in a different era and time.
I will agree with what you state about Nelson because by all historical and known accounts he was a gentleman of the finest sort.
But I suppose the arrogant and aloof among us can always judge the character of men they never met nor knew who are long dead and not around to defend themselves.
I saw in another post that someone commented that many members of this site will deny racism no matter what proof is presented, so perhaps there is no point in responding to this challenge to support my statements.
I'll start this off by saying that my comment about Jones was originally based upon a memory of something I read long-ago about some country club official who vowed never to let black golfers play at his club, and believed it was Bobby Jones. Doing a bit of research, I now realize that it was probably not Jones who I remember reading about making those comments. It was his friend and Augusta National co-founder Clifford Roberts (see below).
No black players were invited to play in the Masters during Bobby Jones' lifetime (fyi, he was made president-for-life of Augusta National in 1966).
Pete Brown became the first African-American player to win a PGA-sanctioned event, the Waco Turner Open, in 1964. He also won the 1970 Andy Williams San Diego Invitational.
Charlie Sifford won the 1967 Greater Hartford Open and won the 1969 Los Angeles Open. Source: PGA: http://www.pga.com/timeline-african-american-achievements-in-golf
So there we have it, two black golfers each won two tournaments on the PGA tour. In four separate years during Jones' lifetime (he died in December of 1971) a black golfer won on the PGA tour. Neither Brown nor Sifford received invitations to the Masters. Four separate times, black golfers were passed over for an invitation (the Masters is an invitational tournament and the Masters' Committee can invite anyone they want) and were deemed unworthy as golfers to be included in the field for the Masters, notwithstanding that they were worthy enough golfers to have beaten over 100 other professional golfers and had won PGA tournaments. In fact, they were passed over as two-time tour winners. The Masters Committee invited South African golfer Harold Henning 10 times to play at the championship while Jones was alive. From what I can tell from Wikipedia, Henning's career was no more impressive than Brown's or Siffords - the difference is that Henning was white.
Unquestionably, if Bobby Jones had said "Gentlemen, there's this fellow named Sifford, he's a tour winner, he's clearly good enough to play in our tournament, and I think we should include him in this year's field" Sifford or Brown would have been invited. But Jones did not do that, did he? He did not want a black golfer playing in the Masters, otherwise one would have been invited.
Let's talk about what sort of black people Jones did have at Augusta National. "Before 1982 all players in the Masters were required to use the services of an Augusta National Club caddy, who by club tradition was always an African American. Indeed, club co-founder Clifford Roberts is reputed to have said, "As long as I'm alive, golfers will be white, and caddies will be black." " http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masters_Tournament#Other_traditions. Why the white jumpsuit? Surely it was to make it abundantly clear that any black person on the grounds of Augusta National was there as a servant - it was a uniform akin to a prison jumpsuit. But rather than admit that, the Masters Committee continued to require the jumpsuit after 1982 when players could bring their own caddies.
Of course, we'll hear some sniveling retorts about how racism was a part of Southern culture in the 30's, 40's, 50's, 60's and early 70's and how we can't blame an individual for simply being a part of that culture. And such an argument is a load of crap. Personal integrity is above societal trends. Tom Watson had personal integrity when he quit the Kansas City Country Club because of its racist policies. Bobby Jones had no such personal integrity. The argument "You can't blame an individual for a society's prejudices" holds even less credence when that individual is a leader and acknowledged as a great man, as was the case with Bobby Jones. I personally don't fully understand the exceedingly high level of respect that certain sports figures have had, but only a very few athletes have been revered as Bobby Jones was. If he wanted to end racism at Augusta and at the Masters, single-handedly he could have accomplished it - he WAS Augusta, he had that amount of clout and influence. The fact that racism at Augusta National continued during his lifetime meant that he didn't want the status quo to change. That makes him a racist.
As for Ben Hogan being an aloof, arrogant ass, if you are not familiar with his reputation for rude curtness and for ignoring people greeting him, well, you've never heard much about him. Hogan refused to write a letter of recommendation for Fred Hawkins, one of his most frequent practice partners, and as a result, Hawkins did not receive a job offer at a country club; rather understandably, Hawkins resented Hogan for it years later http://armchairgolfblog.blogspot.com/2007/11/conversation-with-ben-hogans-practice.html . Hogan did not acknowledge, let alone thank, playing partners' compliments of his shots - that's not focus, that's rudeness. See http://www.golfdigest.com/golf-tours-news/golf-masters/2007-03/20070330benhogan?currentPage=3 If you're the Hogan fan you claim to be, you're well aware of the time that a young Gary Player wanted to talk with Hogan, who, upon learning that Player used Dunlop clubs, not Hogan clubs, refused and told him to go talk to Mr. Dunlop.http://www.nytimes.com/1997/07/27/sports/ben-hogan-s-real-secret-a-mystique.html I'd call someone like that an ass and most people would agree with me. Hogan was once asked about golf balls, stated he'd play a two-piece surlyn ball, when asked why stated "Because it's better" and when asked why it was better, he refused to answer and walked off. http://www.golfsdrivingforce.com/2011/08/long-putter-its-better.html Finally, I think almost everyone would agree that the people one likes and dislikes says a lot about a person - would you agree? Well, Ben Hogan disliked a certain rather well-regarded golfer, a guy you may have heard of - his name was Arnold Palmer. Source? Arnie himself - http://www.arnoldpalmer.com/experience/exhibits/superseven.aspx Apparently when Palmer first started playing on tour, Hogan made some snide comment about him not not belonging on tour.
And your argument about Hogan caring about his wife - what does that have to do with anything? 70 years ago a little man with a mustache cared about his wife. Her name was Eva Braun, but we tend not to think very highly of her husband, do we?
But hey - just ignore me. For an arrogant and aloof person like myself to dare to judge your precious "Mr." Jones and your "Mr." Hogan - I'm sure I don't know anything at all about your heroes and you know everything important there is to know about them.