Golf Talk Live - Tommy Bolt Transcript Segment 1
MAJOR CHAMPION, TOMMY BOLT, WAS ONE OF THE MOST IMAGINATIVE SHOT-MAKERS AND CLUB THROWERS TO EVER THE PLAY THE GAME.
HE GAVE ARNIE A SPECIAL PIECE OF ADVICE WHEN PALMER FIRST JOINED THE TOUR: ALWAYS THROW THE CLUB IN THE DIRECTION YOU'LL NEXT BE WALKING.
MEET TOMMY BOLT TONIGHT ON GOLF TALK LIVE.
(GTL INTRO/MUSIC BEGINS)
IN THE 1950'S, TOMMY BOLT PLAYED HIS VERY BEST GOLF. SAM SNEAD AND BEN HOGAN WERE ALSO AT THEIR BEST. WHEN BOLT WON THE 1958 U.S. OPEN AT SOUTHERN HILLS, HOGAN SAID, 'TOMMY'S PERFORMANCE WAS THE FINEST GOLF EVER PLAYED IN A U.S. OPEN' AND BOLT AGREED.
THE MOST KNOWLEDGEABLE OBSERVERS BELIEVED BOLT'S SWING TO BE AS FUNCTIONAL AS THE ONES MADE BY HOGAN AND SNEAD, BUT THAT TOMMY SOMETIMES ALLOWED HIS EMOTIONS TO INTERRUPT THE NEAR PERFECTION FROM TEE TO GREEN.
WHEN TOMMY WAS TOLD THAT HIS PERSONALITY WAS BETTER SUITED TO TRAVELING WITH BONNIE AND CLYDE THAN BEN AND SAM, BOTH IMMEDIATELY OFFERED TO PLAY THE BETTER BALL OF THE 2 DEPRESSION ERA BANK ROBBERS.
TOMMY SERVED HIS COUNTRY IN WORLD WAR II, FOUND HIS ASSIGNED DUTIES TO INCLUDE PLAYING AND DEFENDING A 15-HOLE GOLF COURSE IN ITALY, A TASK HE PERFORMED BEAUTIFULLY.
HE JOINED THE TOUR IN 1950 WHEN HE WAS 34 YEARS OLD. AND HIS 15 TOUR WINS INCLUDED BRILLIANT PERFORMANCES ON THE BEST GOLF COURSES. HE WON AT PINEHURST NUMBER 2, AT COLONIAL IN FORT WORTH, AND THE U.S. OPEN AT SOUTHERN HILLS AT THE AGE OF 42.
HE WON EVERYTHING WORTH WINNING AS A SENIOR, THREATENED TO WIN MAJORS IN HIS 60'S, AND MAYBE WOULD HAVE IF HIS PUTTING HAD BEEN MORE COOPERATIVE.
TOMMY WOULD LIKE YOU TO KNOW THAT HE NEVER THREW CLUBS. HE TOSSED THEM. KNOWING HE'S IN HIS MID-80'S, YOU THINK, NOW IS THE TIME TO TAKE HIM ON. PLEASE NOTE, HE SOMETIMES BEATS HIS AGE BY NEARLY A STROKE A HOLE.
AND HE'D BE REAL PLEASED TO SHOW YOU HOW IT'S DONE IN EXCHANGE FOR A FEW OF YOUR DOLLARS.
WELCOME TO GOLF TALK LIVE. I'M PETER KESSLER. GREAT PLEASURE TO INTRODUCE YOU TO A FELLOW WHO'S A MAJOR CHAMPION ON AND OFF THE COURSE AND A VISION IN BLUE, TOMMY BOLT.
YOU SURE ARE LOOKING TERRIFIC.
GOOD TO SEE YOU, FELLOW. YOU LOOK GOOD YOURSELF.
WELL, THANK YOU VERY MUCH. IT'S GREAT TO SEE YOU.
GREAT TO SEE YOU AGAIN.
BEFORE I FORGET, WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A TOSS AND A THROW?
PETER, A TOSS IS REALLY NOT A THROW. YOU HAVE TO USE THE PROPER GRIP TO THROW THAT CLUB. AND YOU HAVE TO TAKE A KIND -A LITTLE RUNNING START TO GET IT GOING.
NOW, SUPPOSE YOU DON'T LIKE THE SHOT, AND THE CLUB GOES 30 FEET UP INTO THE AIR BUT LANDS NEAR THE BAG. WHAT DO YOU CALL THAT?
WELL, THAT'S THE TOSS TO THE CADDIE, A TOSS TO THE CADDIE.
THAT'S A TOSS, OF COURSE.
YOU KNOW, WHEN GENE SARAZEN TURNED 90, THEY STARTED TO GIVE HIM ALL OF THESE AWARDS. AND HE KEPT SAYING, YOU KNOW, 'WHERE WAS I THE LAST 30 YEARS THAT YOU COULDN'T GIVE IT TO ME THEN?'
WHAT WOULD IT MEAN TO YOU NOW, AT THE AGE OF 83, TO FINALLY DESERVEDLY GET YOURSELF INTO THE HALL OF FAME.
OH PETE, THAT WOULD UH . THAT'S WHAT I'M LIVING FOR, BOY, HONEST TO GOODNESS, STILL PLAYING GOLF AND TRYING TO PLAY GOLF, THAT IS, YOU KNOW, WORKING AT IT.
UH, IF I COULD GET INTO THE HALL OF FAME, THAT WOULD BE THE - THE - THE ULTIMATE UH, FINISH TO MY CAREER.
NOW THAT'S THE SAME THING YOU WANTED REALLY WHEN YOU WERE 12 YEARS OLD, TO BE A PROFESSIONAL GOLFER AND TO MAKE IT AS FAR AS YOU COULD GO.
YES, I DID. I WANTED TO . UH, WE USED TO ALWAYS WHEN WE - WHEN THE CADDIES PLAYED, WE ALWAYS PLAYED FOR THE NATIONAL OPEN.
AND UH, I SET . SET THE NATIONAL OPEN AS MY GOAL. AND I ACHIEVED IT. AND AFTER THAT, I DIDN'T - THERE WAS NOTHING ELSE TO CONQUER. SO I DIDN'T REALLY PLAY TOO MUCH GOLF. I DIDN'T PLAY COMPETITIVELY LIKE I SHOULD HAVE.
I WON A COUPLE OF - COUPLE OF OTHER TOURNAMENTS, BUT I DIDN'T PLAY ENOUGH UH, COMPETITIVE GOLF.
THAT SAME YEAR, 1928, WHEN YOU WERE 12 YEARS OLD AND YOU KNEW YOU WANTED TO BE A PROFESSIONAL AND A GREAT ONE, LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE AT THE TIME, EVEN THOUGH STEEL HAD BEEN INVENTED,
EVERYBODY WAS STILL USING HICKORY. FOR GREAT PLAYERS LIKE JONES AND SARAZEN AND HAGEN, WHAT WAS THE SPECIAL CHALLENGE OF HICKORY?
OH MAN, IT WAS - UH, HICKORY WAS UM . I'LL TELL YOU UH, PETER, YOUR UH HICKORY SHAFTS WERE - WERE HARD TO PLAY WITH. THEY DIDN'T UH - THEY'RE NOT NEARLY AS GREAT AS THE MODERN CLUBS THAT WE HAVE NOW, THE UH EQUIPMENT WE HAVE NOWADAYS.
UH HICKORY SHAFTS, IN ORDER TO SOFTEN THE SHAFT, WE COULD BREAK A COKE BOTTLE AND KIND OF SCRAPE IT NEAR THE HEAD, YOU KNOW. AND TO GET THE RIGHT KICK, THE RIGHT FLEX IN THERE,
YOU'D UH SCRAPE SOME OF THE BARK OFF THE - UH, NOT THE BARK OFF THEM BUT SOME OF THE CLUB UH, OFF AND - AND GET THE UH, GET A LITTLE KICK INTO THE SHAFT.
OH, I'VE DONE THAT A LOT OF TIMES TO MAKE IT FEEL RIGHT, GET A LITTLE SNAP, GET A LITTLE KICK INTO THE BALL.
YOU KNOW, A COUPLE YEARS LATER, IN 1930 WHEN YOU WERE 14 YEARS OLD, BOBBY JONES, OF COURSE, WON HIS GRAND SLAM. WHAT DO YOU REMEMBER ABOUT THAT?
I REMEMBER BOBBY JONES. AND HE WAS PROBABLY THE MOST UH RECOGNIZED SPORTS FIGURE IN 1932. HE - HE EVEN SURPASSED UH BABE RUTH UH, AS A - AS A SPORTS FIGURE .
IF I CAN REMEMBER CORRECTLY. AND UH.
HE WAS JUST A - THEN IN THOSE DAYS, HE WAS THE GREATEST GOLF PLAYER THAT WE EVER HAD, NO DOUBT ABOUT IT.
BUT WE'VE GOT SOME NOW THAT IT'S - THAT LOOK LIKE THEY'RE GONNA SURPASS HIM.
NOW JONES WAS A MUCH BIGGER CLUB THROWER THAN YOU EVER WERE, WASN'T HE?
UH YEAH, HE THREW. HE - HE THREW MORE CLUBS, PETER, THAN I EVER SAW.
BUT UH, HE COULD THROW THEM BECAUSE UM, AND GET BY WITH IT, BECAUSE HIS DADDY OWNED A BANK. HE WAS UH .
HE - HE COULD AFFORD TO THROW THOSE GOLF CLUBS. IT WAS PRETTY TOUGH FOR ME TO THROW CLUBS IN THOSE DAYS `CAUSE I DIDN'T HAVE ENOUGH OF THEM REALLY TO BREAK THEM AND THROW THEM.
NOW A GUY WHO TURNED PRO RIGHT AFTER JONES RETIRED IN 1930, AFTER HE WON THE GRAND SLAM, WAS BEN HOGAN, YOUR GREAT FRIEND.
WHY, WHEN YOU WROTE YOUR AUTOBIOGRAPHY WHICH YOU COMPLETED LAST YEAR, 'THE WHOLE TRUTH', DID YOU DECIDE TO DEDICATE IT TO BEN HOGAN?
WELL . IN MY ESTIMATION, HE'S THE GREATEST GOLF PLAYER THAT EVER LIVED, PETER, GREATEST I EVER PLAYED WITH.
UH, `COURSE THEY . SOME OF THE OTHER PLAYERS - SOME OF THE OTHER GUYS RANKED SNEAD ALONG WITH HIM. BUT UH, SNEAD'S - UH - UH, HOGAN IS THE GREATEST PLAYER THAT I'VE EVER PLAYED WITH .
BETTER THAN NICKLAUS? BETTER THAN JONES?
YES, I NEVER PLAYED WITH JONES. BUT I'VE PLAYED NICKLAUS. I THINK THAT HOGAN WAS A BETTER PLAYER THAN NICKLAUS, YEAH. THEY - AND THEY - BUT THEY BOTH WERE GREAT CONCENTRATORS.
THEY - THEY - THEY WERE GOOD AT UH APPLYING THINGS - APPLYING THEMSELVES TO THE SHOTS THAT THEY WERE ABOUT TO MAKE. THE UH, THEY - THEY WERE EQUALLY AS GOOD, ONE AS GOOD AS THE OTHER.
YOU COULD SHOOT A CANNON IN UH, AT THE TOP OF THEIR SWING. IT WOULDN'T BOTHER THEM AT ALL `CAUSE THEY HAD THEIR MIND ON THEIR BUSINESS.
HOW DID YOU FIND YOUR SWING WHEN YOU WERE A KID LONG BEFORE YOU AND BEN HOGAN EVER WORKED ON YOUR GOLF GAME TOGETHER?
WELL, I REALLY DIDN'T HAVE A VERY GOOD GOLF SWING WHEN I WAS A KID, PETER. I HAD A STRONG LEFT HAND. AND I WAS - I WAS - I FOUGHT THE HOOK.
AND FIGHTING THAT HOOK, BOY, IT'S JUST LIKE FIGHTING RATTLESNAKES. I MEAN IT IS TOUGH.
I - I WON TOURNAMENTS WHEN I TURNED PROFESSIONAL, BUT I REALLY DIDN'T KNOW HOW I WON THEM. I - I - I GOT IT UP AND DOWN FROM EVERYWHERE. AND UH,
I REALLY LEARNED TO PLAY GOLF WHEN I WENT TO BEN HOGAN. HE CHANGED MY GRIP . MOVED MY LEFT HAND OVER ON TOP OF THE CLUB.
WHEN YOU WERE A KID AND YOU WOULD SEE SOMEBODY WITH A GOOD GOLF SWING, LIKE OTHER KIDS NOW AND THEN, YOU WOULD MIMIC THAT SWING.
YES, YOU WOULD. YOU'D UH - YOU'D PICK THE - YOU'D CADDIE FOR SOME OF THE BETTER PLAYERS AND - AND YOU'D MIMIC THE UH, BETTER PLAYERS BECAUSE - `CAUSE THERE WAS SOME PRETTY GOOD PLAYERS BACK IN THOSE DAYS.
AND THERE WAS SOME PRETTY GOOD SWINGS. AND THAT'S THE SWINGS THAT YOU MIMICKED.
NOW WHEN WE COME BACK, WE'RE GONNA TALK ABOUT THE FELLOW THAT YOU ALLUDED TO A MINUTE AGO WHEN YOU SAID THERE'S SOME AWFULLY GREAT PLAYERS.
AND I THINK YOU'RE THINKING OF ONE IN PARTICULAR, TIGER WOODS. AND WE'LL TALK ABOUT YOUR REACTION TO WHAT HE'S UP TO RIGHT AFTER THIS. WE'LL BE BACK WITH TOMMY BOLT.
Singh's lawsuit stalls as judge denies motion
Vijay Singh’s attempts to speed up the proceedings in his ongoing lawsuit against the PGA Tour have been stalled, again.
Singh – who filed the lawsuit in New York Supreme Court in May 2013 claiming the Tour recklessly administered its anti-doping program when he was suspended, a suspension that was later rescinded – sought to have the circuit sanctioned for what his attorneys argued was a frivolous motion, but judge Eileen Bransten denied the motion earlier this month.
“While the court is of the position it correctly denied the Tour’s motion to argue, the court does not agree that the motion was filed in bad faith nor that it represents a ‘persistent pattern of repetitive or meritless motions,’” Bransten said.
It also doesn’t appear likely the case will go to trial any time soon, with Bransten declining Singh’s request for a pretrial conference until a pair of appeals that have been sent to the court’s appellate division have been decided.
“What really should be done is settle this case,” Bransten said during the hearing, before adding that it is, “unlikely a trail will commence prior to 2019.”
The Tour’s longstanding policy is not to comment on ongoing litigation, but earlier this month commissioner Jay Monahan was asked about the lawsuit.
“I'll just say that we're going through the process,” Monahan said. “Once you get into a legal process, and you've been into it as long as we have been into it, I think it's fair to assume that we're going to run it until the end.”
Videos and images from Tiger's Tuesday at Torrey
Tiger Woods played a nine-hole practice round Tuesday at Torrey Pines South, site of this week's Farmers Insurance Open. Woods is making his first PGA Tour start since missing the cut in this event last year. Here's a look at some images and videos of Tiger, via social media:
Tiger sighting on the range! pic.twitter.com/rcJYLCes7R— Morning Drive (@GCMorningDrive) January 23, 2018
Back on TOUR.pic.twitter.com/OPmjaXFo1l— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) January 23, 2018
Power Rankings: 2018 Farmers Insurance Open
The PGA Tour remains in California this week for the Farmers Insurance Open. A field of 156 players will tackle the North and South Courses at Torrey Pines, with weekend play exclusively on the South Course.
Be sure to join the all-new Golf Channel Fantasy Challenge - including a new One & Done game offering - to compete for prizes and form your own leagues, and log on to www.playfantasygolf.com to submit your picks for this week's event.
Jon Rahm won this event last year by three shots over Charles Howell III and C.T. Pan. Here are 10 names to watch in La Jolla:
1. Jon Rahm: No need to overthink it at the top. Rahm enters as a defending champ for the first time, fresh off a playoff win at the CareerBuilder Challenge that itself was preceded by a runner-up showing at Kapalua. Rahm is perhaps the hottest player in the field, and with a chance to become world No. 1 should be set for another big week.
2. Jason Day: The Aussie has missed the cut here the last two years, and he hasn't played competitively since November. But he ended a disappointing 2017 on a slight uptick, and his Torrey Pines record includes three straight top-10s from 2013-15 that ended with his victory three years ago.
3. Justin Rose: Rose ended last year on a tear, with three victories over his final six starts including two in a row in Turkey and China. The former U.S. Open winner has the patience to deal with a brutal layout like the South Course, as evidenced by his fourth-place showing at this event a year ago.
4. Rickie Fowler: This tournament has become somewhat feast-or-famine for Fowler, who is making his ninth straight start at Torrey Pines. The first four in that run all netted top-20 finishes, including two top-10s, while the last four have led to three missed cuts and a T-61. After a win in the Bahamas and T-4 at Kapalua, it's likely his mini-slump comes to an end.
5. Brandt Snedeker: Snedeker has become somewhat of a course specialist at Torrey Pines in recent years, with six top-10 finishes over the last eight years including wins in both 2012 and 2016. While he missed much of the second half of 2017 recovering from injury and missed the cut last week, Snedeker is always a threat to contend at this particular event.
6. Hideki Matsuyama: Matsuyama struggled to find his footing after a near-miss at the PGA Championship, but he appears to be returning to form. The Japanese phenom finished T-4 at Kapalua and has put up solid results in two of his four prior trips to San Diego, including a T-16 finish in his 2014 tournament debut. Matsuyama deserves a look at any event that puts a strong emphasis on ball-striking.
7. Tony Finau: Finau has the length to handle the difficult demands of the South Course, and his results have gotten progressively better each time around: T-24 in 2015, T-18 in 2016 and T-4 last year. Finau is coming off the best season of his career, one that included a trip to the Tour Championship, and he put together four solid rounds at the Sony Open earlier this month.
8. Charles Howell III: Howell is no stranger to West Coast golf, and his record at this event since 2013 includes three top-10 finishes highlighted by last year's runner-up showing. Howell chased a T-32 finish in Hawaii with a T-20 finish last week in Palm Springs, his fourth top-20 finish this season.
9. Marc Leishman: Leishman was twice a runner-up at this event, first in 2010 and again in 2014, and he finished T-20 last year. The Aussie is coming off a season that included two wins, and he has amassed five top-10s in his last eight worldwide starts dating back to the Dell Technologies Championship in September.
10. Gary Woodland: Woodland played in the final group at this event in 2014 before tying for 10th, and he was one shot off the lead entering the final round in 2016 before Mother Nature blew the entire field sideways. Still, the veteran has three top-20s in his last four trips to San Diego and finished T-7 two weeks ago in Honolulu.
Davis on distance: Not 'necessarily good for the game'
It's a new year, but USGA executive Mike Davis hasn't changed his views on the growing debate over distance.
Speaking with Matt Adams on SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio, Davis didn't mince words regarding his perception that increased distance has had a negative impact on the game of golf, and he reiterated that it's a topic that the USGA and R&A plan to jointly address.
"The issue is complex. It's important, and it's one that we need to, and we will, face straight on," Davis said. "I think on the topic of distance, we've been steadfast to say that we do not think increased distance is necessarily good for the game."
Davis' comments echoed his thoughts in November, when he stated that the impact of increased distance has been "horrible" for the game. Those comments drew a strong rebuke from Titleist CEO Wally Uihlein, who claimed there was "no evidence" to support Davis' argument.
That argument, again reiterated Tuesday, centers on the rising costs associated with both acquiring and maintaining increased footprints for courses. Davis claimed that 1 in 4 courses in the U.S. is currently "not making money," and noted that while U.S. Open venues were 6,800-6,900 yards at the start of his USGA tenure, the norm is now closer to 7,400-7,500 yards.
"You ask yourself, 'What has this done for the game? How has that made the game better?'" Davis said. "I think if we look at it, and as we look to the future, we're asking ourselves, saying, 'We want the game of golf to be fun.' We want it to continue to be challenging and really let your skills dictate what scores you should shoot versus necessarily the equipment.
"But at the same time, we know there are pressures on golf courses. We know those pressures are going to become more acute."