Let me begin by quoting my favorite Bob Hope celebrity Yogi Berra: I never said most of the things I said.
Travel as much as we do and you invariably find yourself in some strange and wonderful places. Tuesday that spot was at a picnic table next to the driving range at PGA West eating an In-N-Out burger with Arnold Palmer. I had more fun and won more tournaments here than anywhere in the world, he said. Somebody called it work and I said, Let me keep on workin!
Young pro Nicholas Thompsons looking forward to meeting Yogi. Thompson was a Yankee bat boy for several years during spring training in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
Tim Herron dropped by to enjoy lunch with the King. Lumpy, a former Bay Hill winner, settled for the double-double burger, backing off In-N-Out's mammoth four- by-four. I told him I was disappointed, that it was like laying up at 15 at Augusta with 190 yards to the hole. Chip Beck did it, Lumpy replied. He thought about it for a second and then added, But then I guess Im not built like Chip Beck am I?
Huey Lewis is back at the Bob Hope, relating a tale Ive heard before but one so good it bears repeating. Stuck between a 5-wood and 3-iron on the first at Spyglass with dozens of fans huddled close by, Huey turned to his caddie for advice. Go with the 5-wood, the caddie said. I dont hit the 5-wood that good, Huey told his looper. You dont hit 3-iron very good either, the caddie shot back.
Arnie walked into an auditorium to address 500 volunteers. They gave him a standing ovation. He thanked them for the efforts.
Thompsons sister, Alexis, just won the SALLY, a prestigious womens amateur event in Daytona Beach, Fla., by 13 shots. Shes only 13 years old. Pro golf is a few years off for Alexis, but Nicholas says flatly, Shes good enough right now.
Huey told me something Id never heard before. Joe Pesci, who once played the Hope but is not here this year, is actually a very good jazz singer. He wont perform, though, because he has stage fright.
Arnie recounting just how he met his late wife, Winnie: It was at Fred Warings Shawnee-on-the Delaware. I met her on a Tuesday and asked her to marry me on Saturday. Arnie never did hesitate, did he?
Huey says the experience of playing alongside the pros with millions watching on TV calls to mind a song called Stage Fright from The Band. The lyrics go like this: See the man with the stage fright, standing up there giving it all his might, he got caught in the spotlight, but when he got to the end, he wants to start all over again.
Bo Jacksons brought his five-handicap to the desert from frigid Chicago. Hes the only man to make baseballs All Star Game and the NFLs Pro Bowl. So what moment do fans most want to talk about when they see him? Runnin over (Brian) Bosworth on Monday Night Football, he told me. There was a lot of trash talking all week. After I ran over him I got up and said to him, Next time I run over you have the bus fare. The first ride is free.
The tiny par-3 17th at the Palmer Private course is the celebrity television hole. Great place to see millionaires choking their guts out, says broadcast partner Brandel Chamblee. Im thinking about that hole all day, says Huey.
Bos leadoff, 450-foot homerun off Rick Reuschel in the 89 All Star Game wasnt a bad moment.
Actors and athletes are accustomed to staying within the confines of what they know and maintaining carefully crafted images. Playing golf takes them out of their comfort zones. Huey says Jack Lemmon used to tell him about making a nine on a hole and television showing every single shot! It takes courage to come out and throw your comfort zone to the wind, said Huey. But Jack always said that people dont care how you play. Theyre just out there to see YOU. So smile and enjoy it.