Golf Talk Live - Tommy Bolt Transcript Segment 3

RSS

PETER KESSLER
IN THE LAST YEAR, TOMMY, IN 1999, WE LOST A COUPLE OF THE GREAT LADIES OF GOLF. WE LOST WINNER PALMER AND VALERIE HOGAN.

NOW I KNOW WHEN ARNIE AND WINNIE FIRST GOT ON THE TOUR AND WERE PULLING THAT TRAILER AROUND IN 1955, YOU - YOU WERE WITH HIM AND PLAYED WITH HIM IN THE LAST ROUND OF THE FIRST EVENT THAT HE WON, THE CANADIAN OPEN.

WHAT WAS WINNIE LIKE IN THOSE DAYS?
TOMMY BOLT

SHE WAS A SWEET GIRL . A GREAT LADY. UH, SHE JUST DIDN'T UH, SHE STAYED IN THE BACKGROUND, PETER. SHE DIDN'T, YOU KNOW UH, GET OUT. AND UH, SHE WASN'T .

YOU DIDN'T SEE MANY PHOTOGRAPHS OF HER, YOU KNOW, WITH ARNOLD. UH, AND SHE - SHE WOULD JUST UH, WELL, BEHIND EVERY GOOD MAN, THERE'S A - THERE'S A GOOD LADY, YOU KNOW THAT.

YEAH, ALL MEN - ALL SUCCESSFUL MEN HAVE GOOD WOMEN BEHIND THEM, BELIEVE ME, A GOOD WIFE BEHIND THEM.

PETER KESSLER
VALERIE HOGAN TOO, QUIETLY BEHIND THE SCENES, SORT OF CREATED THE ENVIRONMENT THAT BEN'S GREATNESS COULD FLOURISH TOO.

TOMMY BOLT
ABSOLUTELY, SHE WAS UH, SHE WAS SAME AS UH WINNIE. SHE WAS UH, NOT TOO MUCH IN THE SPOTLIGHT. BUT SHE WAS UH .

SHE WAS BEHIND EVERYTHING THAT BEN DID. SHE WAS A UH, ANOTHER GREAT LADY.

PETER KESSLER
HOW GREAT HAS YOUR MARY LOU BEEN FOR YOU?

TOMMY BOLT
OH MAN, UH . I WOULDN'T HAVE UH . I WOULD'VE NEVER WON ANYTHING, PETER, IF I HADN'T . I - I WON .

I LEARNED HOW TO PLAY AFTER UH, SHE AND I HAD MARRIED. I - I'D DECIDED TO UH BECOME A PLAYER. AND UH, THAT'S WHEN UH, I WENT TO BEN HOGAN AND .

UH, HE CHANGED MY GRIP. I - I ELIMINATED THE HOOK AND UH . THE FEAR OF HOOKING, THAT IS, NOT THE HOOK COMPLETELY, BUT JUST THE FEAR OF HOOKING.

AND UH . AND YOU KNOW, IT - IT JUST GIVES YOU THE COURAGE TO TRY A LITTLER HARDER AND PERFORM.

PETER KESSLER
YOU KNOW WHEN THE COMEDIAN W.C. FIELDS WAS GETTING OLDER AND WENT TO A FUNERAL OF ONE OF HIS CONTEMPORARIES, HE TURNED TO ANOTHER FELLOW HIS SAME AGE, AND SAID,

'YOU KNOW, THE RANKS ARE THINNING.' DOES IT SCARE YOU TO BE GETTING OLDER?

TOMMY BOLT
NOT REALLY, PETER. UH, THE GOOD LORD'S BEEN GOOD TO ME AND I'VE MADE A UH, A GOOD LIVING AT UH, SOMETHING I LIKE TO DO. AND I DON'T KNOW HOW YOU - A PERSON CAN BEAT THAT.

IT'S - IT'S - IT'S BEEN A LOT OF FUN. AND I DON'T MIND GETTING OLD, PETER. I'M NOT REALLY GONNA GET OLD, PETER. I'M GONNA TELL YOU THAT NOW. I MIGHT AGE, BUT I'M NOT GONNA GET OLDER. I'M GONNA TRY TO STAY AS YOUNG AS LONG AS I CAN.

PETER KESSLER
SO LIKE GARY PLAYER AND FRANK STRANAHAN, YOU'RE GONNA GET OFF THE PLANET ALIVE.

TOMMY BOLT
I'M GONNA TRY TO. (CHUCKLE)

PETER KESSLER
LET'S GO AHEAD AND TALK TO ONE OF OUR VIEWERS. WE'VE GOT TROY IN FLORIDA. HOW ARE YOU TROY?

TROY FROM FLORIDA:
I'M DOING WELL, PETER, THANK YOU. HELLO, MR. BOLT.

TOMMY BOLT
YES TROY.

TROY FROM FLORIDA:
UH, MY QUESTION WAS ABOUT YOUR FAMED TEMPERAMENT ON THE COURSE AND UM, YOU'D SPOKEN EARLIER ABOUT TOSSING THE GOLF CLUB.

UH, MY QUESTION IS: DID YOU TOSS THE GOLF CLUB AS A REACTION TO - TO BEING A PERFECTIONIST ON THE GOLF COURSE OR WAS IT MORE A REACTION TO HAVING TO MAKE THE SHOT SO YOU COULD PUT BREAD ON THE TABLE, SO TO SPEAK?

TOMMY BOLT
HA-HA . WELL, BOTH OF THEM REALLY. UH, YES I'M - I'M A PERFECTIONIST AND UH . AND UH, UH IT - YES, IT UH .

IT BOTHERED ME WHEN I . WHEN I MISSED THE SHOT WITH UH . ALL PERFECTIONISTS UH, HATE - HATE TO MISS THEIR GOLF SHOTS. AND I - IT - IT BOTHERED ME AND I - AND I NEVER TOSSED AS MANY AS I'VE BEEN ACCUSED OF TOSSING .

TO START WITH. I'VE THROWN SOME BUT NOT ALL OF THEM.

PETER KESSLER
AREN'T MOST GREAT PLAYERS OR ALL GREAT PLAYERS PERFECTIONISTS ON SOME LEVEL AND - AND HAVE A RESERVE OF ANGER, AND A TEMPER, AND A SENSE OF IMPATIENCE THAT THEY GENERALLY TRY TO KEEP UNDER CONTROL?

TOMMY BOLT
I HAVEN'T SEEN ONE YET THAT DIDN'T HAVE A TEMPER. UH, EVERY PLAYER THAT I'VE EVER PLAYED WITH HAS HAD A TEMPER. THERE'S NO BILLY GRAHAMS OUT THERE PLAYING THAT I KNOW OF .

PETER KESSLER
(GIGGLES)

TOMMY BOLT
PETER.

UM, EVERY PLAYER THAT I'VE EVER PLAYED WITH HAS HAD SOME KIND OF A TEMPER IF HE MISSED A SIMPLE SHOT.

PETER KESSLER
SO WHY'D THE TOUR OFFICIALS JUST PICK ON YOU?

TOMMY BOLT
WELL, IT'S (CHUCKLE) . I GUESS IT WAS - IT WAS - IT WAS COLORFUL BACK IN THOSE DAYS THOUGH, PETER. IT WAS UH, IT ATTRACTED A LOT OF ATTENTION.

AND PEOPLE, SHOW ME A PERSON THAT HASN'T THROWN A GOLF CLUB AND HE'S NOT SERIOUS ABOUT THE GAME.

THAT'S ALL I CAN TELL YOU.

PETER KESSLER
HOW DID . HOW DID HOGAN RELEASE THAT PRESSURE? NOW WE SAW HIM, YOU KNOW . HE - HE .

ON THE GOLF COURSE, HE APPEARED TO BE FAIRLY EVEN TEMPERED.

HE DIDN'T GIVE YOU A SENSE OF WHAT WAS GOING ON.

TOMMY BOLT
YES, HE DID.

PETER KESSLER
WHAT WAS HIS RELEASE AFTER THE ROUND OR AFTER GOLF TO LET OUT THE THINGS THAT HE FELT?

TOMMY BOLT
ACTUALLY, PETER, I'VE NEVER BEEN WITH HIM AFTER HE'S HAD A PRETTY - UH, AFTER HE'S HAD A BAD ROUND OF GOLF. I DON'T KNOW WHAT HE MIGHT DO. BUT I KNOW HE DIDN'T . THERE WAS NO REACTIONS ON THE GOLF COURSE.

PETER KESSLER
WHAT WOULD A WILD MAN LIKE LEFTY STACKHOUSE DO AFTER A ROUND OF GOLF?

TOMMY BOLT
WELL, HE (CHUCKLE) . HE RAN INTO A LOT OF (CHUCKLE) . HE SMACKED HIS HAND UP INTO A CACTUS BUSH, HIS RIGHT HAND INTO A CACTUS BUSH AFTER HE HOOKED A SHOT. AND HE SAYS . LOOKED AT IT AND HE SAYS, 'NOW GET INTO THAT SHOT AGAIN.'

PETER KESSLER
WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK AND AS WE LEAVE YOU FOR A MOMENT, LET'S TAKE A LOOK AT A CAREER GRAPHIC, SOME OF THE HIGHLIGHTS OF THE GREAT TOMMY BOLT ON THE GOLF COURSE.

(GRAPHIC SHOWN:
TOMMY BOLT
SELECTED CAREER ACHIEVEMENTS
3-1-0 IN 2 RYDER CUP APPEARANCES (1955, 1957)
1969 PGA SENIORS' CHAMPIONSHIP WINNER
AT AGE 55, LED 1971 PGA CHAMPIONSHIP THROUGH 63 HOLES, FINISHED 3 STROKES BEHIND JACK NICKLAUS )
(BREAK)

NEXT SEGMENT