This, of course, is wrong as rain. But it serves to comfort those that are afflicted with the game. It is not possible, they rationalize, to have a lively mind and a balanced life and be a great player.
Perhaps my favorite golfer this way is Peter Jacobsen. Theres no question that it takes a lot of discipline and dedication and downright single-mindedness to win a professional golf tournament. To conquer a U.S. Open or a U.S. Senior Open calls for even more focus.
Jacobsen is the defending champion at the U.S. Senior Open that begins Thursday in Ohio. Jacobsen is a singer, a songwriter, a father, an entrepreneur, a little bit of clubhouse lawyer, a truly gifted mimic and a lot of other things.
Where does he find the time? Where does he store the spare parts of his schedule? Earlier this week, Jacobsen visited the press room at NCR Country Club. What follows are a few excerpts.
JACOBSEN ON ACTOR JACK LEMMON
Jack was the rare individual. He never stiff-armed the public as we see a lot of sporting individuals do today. Jack would almost reach out and pull you into his world.
JACOBSEN ON ARNOLD PALMER
So were signing autographs and at one point I signed a hat and handed it to Arnold and he shoved it back in my face and he said, What is that? I said, Thats my autograph. He said, I cant read it. He said, That scribble may be okay on a check because your banker is not going to look at it, but if somebody wants you to sign a piece of memorabilia, youd better be able to sign it so he can read it.
JACOBSEN ON DREAMING
Think of what happened with Casey Martin when he was on Tour and still playing the Nationwide Tour. Look at what Lance Armstrong has done coming back from a cancer scare to win seven Tour de Frances. Those are things we need to embrace and we need to reach out and grab the fan and grab the junior player and pull them inside the ropes rather than stiff arm them. They would go on and on about that. Ive got my own opinions about that. It would probably get me in trouble.
JACOBSEN ON HIMSELF
I dont take my golf home with me. If I shoot an 83 or a 63, I get done, I enjoy it or I kick my bag or whatever with the 83, but when Im done I pretty much leave it there. One thing thats important to know and this is how I believe, what I shoot is my score. What I shoot isnt me. And unfortunately somebody said a lot of guys dont look like they enjoy their golf. I think too many guys identify with their score. They shoot a 63 theyre awesome, theyre a great guy; they shoot an 80, theyre a bum. That isnt true.
Or at least it shouldnt be. You have to be yourself. And personalities like Peter Jacobsen just dont fall out of trees. But younger players can and should learn from him in these times.
Jacobsen is a human being who happens to be a very good golfer, not just a very good golfer who happens to be a human being when it is convenient for him to be one.
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