Jack Lemmon Was a Golfing Hero


Jack Lemmon was not a grumpy old man.
Golf was fun for Jack on the course. Playing bad was fun for Jack on the course. Playing well was fun for Jack on the course.
Just being out at Pebble Beach in the AT&T, being out with his friends at Hillcrest in L.A., being out anywhere on the golf course was great for Jack Lemmon!
Jack Lemmon once said that playing golf is like getting up on stage, and slowly, piece by piece, taking off your clothing, until you were naked. And then having to turn around slowly, because golf absolutely strips you naked. You can see right into the golfer's soul.
And if that is true, with the kind of golf Jack Lemmon played, we saw deep into his soul. At Pebble Beach in the AT&T, he had gone through many, many years trying to make the cut and failing. Dont forget, 180 teams start, only 25 make the cut. Each year we finished pretty close - one back, two back. Three back, a couple times.
But it was like the search for the Holy Grail for Jack Lemmon.
He said many times, I would trade my two Oscars, to make the cut and play on Sunday at Pebble Beach.
The year was 1998, the AT&T Pebble Beach pro-am, its the third round and we are clearly within the cut. And what happens? A monsoon comes over Carmel (Calif.), and they rain out the pro-am portion. But we were only four strokes out of the lead, playing with Scott McCarron and Huey Lewis. We were a lock cinch for the pro-am. I told him we made the cut. We didn't play on Sunday, but we made the cut.
Jack Lemmon has been nominated for so many awards and hes won so many awards. Lifetime achievement awards, Oscars, on down the line. If I were to give him an award, it would be for being the most human person I have ever met.
He was incredibly warm, and so incredibly friendly to people that would stop him on the street. At Pebble Beach, he would get out and walk his poodle Cloey. And he would walk around and people would stop him and he would always have time for anybody.
And I was just struck by the fact that here is a man who is internationally acclaimed, and one of the greatest actors of our time, yet, he treats people the way that he wished to be treated.
And that goes down into my hall of fame!
Jack, miss you.