Golf Talk Live - Johnny Bulla Transcript Segment 4
SIXTY YEARS AGO, THIS MONTH, YOU WON THE LOS ANGELES OPEN AT RIVIERA. WHAT ARE YOUR HAPPIEST MEMORIES OF WINNING THAT GOLF TOURNAMENT?
MY WIFE WAS PREGNANT AND I WAS GLAD WE COULD HAVE MADE ENOUGH MONEY SO IT MADE IT EASIER.
THE BOYS GAVE YOU A TOUGH TIME THAT WEEK, DIDN'T THEY?
VERY MUCH SO.
WELL, I WAS LEADING IT AFTER THE SECOND ROUND, OF COURSE YOU DON'T REHASH, IT'S ALL OVER WITH, BUT I WAS PAIRED WITH BYRON AND JUG McSPADEN AND ON THE FIRST HOLE, AT RIVIERA, YOU TEE OFF AND YOU GO DOWN THEN YOU GO
OVER THE BRIDGE AND JUG WENT AHEAD OF ME, AND BYRON, THEY BOTH WENT AHEAD OF ME AND JUG WALKED OUT AND BYRON WAS TO THE LEFT AND J... MY BALL AND JUG'S BALL WAS ON THE SAME
LINE. JUG WALKED OVER TO THE SHORTER BALL, TOOK A LOOK AT IT AND WALKED BACK AND STOOD AT THE SIDE, AND I ASSUMED THAT, THAT WAS MY BALL. DIDN'T PAY ANY ATTENTION TO IT, IT WASN'T, THE NAME WASN'T UP ON IT VERY GOOD, I DIDN'T LOOK TOO MUCH AND AS
I HIT THE BALL, JUG SAYS YOU PLAYED THE WRONG BALL. SOON AS I HIT IT IN THE AIR... AND UH JIM MURRAY, WHO'S A SPORTSWRITER WHO HAPPENED TO BE GOING ALONG WATCHING, HE HAD NEVER SEEN ME PLAY, AND HE TOLD ME LATER,
HE SAID THAT, THAT JUG, AFTER BYRON HIT HIS, JUG WENT OVER TO BYRON AND SAYS WE GOT HIM NOW. HE'LL BE ALL UPSET AND I TOOK SEVEN ON THE HOLE. I SHOT SEVENTY-FIVE. I NEVER HAD TOO MANY PEOPLE PULLING FOR ME BACK THEN.
BUT WAS THAT TRUE GENERALLY OF THE TOUR, I MEAN, YOU KNOW, YOU MENTIONED EARLIER THAT NOBODY REALLY HELPED ANYBODY ELSE WITH THEIR GOLF SWING AND THERE WAS VERY LITTLE PRIZE MONEY. THEY ONLY PAID 15 OR 20 PLACES. IT WAS SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST IN MANY WAYS WASN'T IT?
OH ABSOLUTELY. ABSOLUTELY. THAT'S RIGHT, BUT YOU DIDN'T HAVE TO BE THAT WAY.
I WASN'T THAT WAY. I NEVER TRIED TO HURT ANYBODY.
I'M SURPRISED TO HEAR THAT JUG INTENTIONALLY MISLEAD YOU INTO PLAYING THE WRONG BALL.
OH, HE DID THAT SEVERAL TIMES.
WELL TO OTHERS.
YOU DIDN'T FALL FOR IT AFTER THE FIRST TIME.
OH NO, NO, NO. NO ONE TIME WAS ENOUGH.
LET'S CHECK IN WITH ONE OF YOUR FANS. WE'VE GOT GEORGE CALLING FROM ALABAMA. HOW ARE YOU GEORGE?
GEORGE, CALLER FROM ALABAMA (MALE):
FINE PETER. HOW ARE YOU, SIR.
THANK YOU FOR CHECKING IN. VERY WELL, THANKS.
GEORGE, CALLER FROM ALABAMA (MALE):
HEY MR. BULLA, HOW ARE YOU DOING, SIR?
I'M DOING GREAT.
GEORGE, CALLER FROM ALABAMA (MALE): I FEEL LIKE I'VE KNOWN YOU FOR MANY YEARS AND 1956, WHEN I WAS TEN YEARS OLD, MY MOTHER BOUGHT ME A SET OF SEARS AND ROBUCK, JC HIGGINS, JOHNNY BULLA SIGNATURE CLUBS AND I'M JUST SO UH SO EXCITED ABOUT MEETING YOU AND I JUST WANTED TO ASK YOU, WHAT WAS YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH SEARS AND
IF YOU'LL JUST TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THAT I'LL HANG UP AND LISTEN, CONSIDERING THAT THE SPONSORSHIPS OF NIKE AND ALL THE BIG COMPANIES NOW, I'D JUST LIKE TO KNOW ABOUT THAT, AND THANK YOU FOR TAKING MY CALL.
GIVE ME THAT OVER AGAIN, I DIDN'T QUITE
HE WANTS TO KNOW ABOUT SEARS. YOUR DEAL WITH SEARS ROBUCK.
OH MY DEAL WITH SEARS?
GEORGE, CALLER FROM ALABAMA (MALE):
WELL, I HAD PROMOTED WALGREEN GOLF BALLS BEFORE AND I WAS THE FIRST ONE THAT PROMOTED GOLF EQUIPMENT IN THE RETAIL OUTLET, AND SEARS FELT LIKE THAT, THEY HAD A GOOD MARKET IF WE COULD DEVELOP GOOD CLUBS, SO, I
HELPED THEM DEVELOP CLUBS AND BALLS AND THEY BECAME REALLY BIG BECAUSE THEY WERE SO MUCH CHEAPER, AND A LOT OF PEOPLE TOLD ME OVER THE YEARS THAT THEY WOULDN'T HAVE PROBABLY TAKEN UP GOLF IF THEY HADN'T BEEN ABLE TO BUY CHEAPER CLUBS TO START WITH, SO I FEEL REAL GOOD ABOUT THAT.
TELL ME ABOUT THE RISE AND FALL OF RALPH GUDAL.
WELL, THEY ALWAYS SAID THAT RALPH LOST HIS GAME BECAUSE HE LOOKED AT PICTURES, THAT'S NOT TRUE. RALPH HAD A HISTORY OF BEING GREAT, AND THEN FALLING BACK. YOU KNOW HE, HE WAS SECOND IN THE NATIONAL OPEN IN '33
AND THEN YOU DIDN'T HEAR FROM HIM UNTIL ABOUT '37. HE HAD A VERY UNUSUAL SWING. HE STAND REAL, STOOD RIGHT CLOSE TO THE BALL AND HE, HE COULDN'T MOVE ON IT LATER ON IN LIFE AND HE COULDN'T HIT IT. HE JUST WENT DOWN HILL. PROBABLY AFTER, OH I GUESS, JUST BEFORE THE WAR HE STARTED LOOSING HIS GAME.
YEAH THE STORY WAS, THE POPULAR STORY THAT, IN THE LATE 30'S HE WAS ASKED TO WRITE AN INSTRUCTIONAL BOOK AND HE HAD BEEN A FEEL PLAYER AND THAT WHEN HE STARTED TRYING TO ANALYZE WHAT HE WAS DOING, THAT THAT'S WHEN HE BEGAN NOT TO PLAY WELL, BUT YOU'RE SAYING THAT'S AN EXCUSE.
THAT'S AN EXCUSE. THAT'S AN EXCUSE. NO. HE JUST, HE JUST, HE HAD A HARD TIME. HE WENT IN PEAKS AND FINALLY FELL DOWN AND NEVER BROUGHT IT BACK UP.
TELL US ABOUT LEFTY STACKHOUSE, AS WE'RE WATCHING ACTUALLY GOUDAL THERE IN HIS PRIME, AND OF COURSE HE WON SEVERAL MAJOR CHAMPIONSHIPS IN THE LATE 30'S.
TELL US ABOUT LEFTY STACKHOUSE AND IVAN GANTZ.
WELL, THEY WERE BOTH LEFT HANDED, AND THE FRUSTRATION OF TRYING TO PLAY RIGHT HANDED, ALONG WITH A GREAT BIG TEMPER MADE THINGS KIND OF HECTIC AT TIMES. I REMEMBER LEFTY,
ONE TIME I WAS DOWN IN NEW ORLEANS AND HE GAVE IT A QUICK HOOK AND, AND THERE'S A ROSE BUSH THERE, AND HE RUN HIS HANDS RIGHT THROUGH IT, AND HE SAYS, WITH HIS RIGHT HAND, HE SAYS YOU'LL NEVER GET IN THERE AGAIN.
JUST SCRATCHED HIS HANDS ALL TO PIECES AND YOU GOT TO FEEL SORRY FOR HIM, BUT THAT'S, THAT WAS HIS PERSONALITY.
BUT HE COULD ALSO PLAY COULDN'T HE?
OH YEAH. HE WAS A GOOD PLAYER. BUT HE WAS LIKE TOMMY BOLT. HE COULDN'T CONTROL HIS TEMPER.
WHAT ABOUT IVAN, THE TERRIBLE GANTZ?
WELL (LAUGHS) THE SAME STORY.
DID BRENASEED DO THE SAME THING WITH THE ROSEBUSH?
OH HE WAS, HE WAS, HE, HE BROKE CLUBS AND THREW TANTRUMS WHEN HE PLAYED BAD.
WHAT ABOUT KYLE LEFOUN?
WELL KYLE, KYLE WAS, I THINK HE WAS MORE OF A CLOWN THAN HE WAS BEING MAD BECAUSE ONE TIME, THE OLD, THE OLD STORY ABOUT HIM PUTTING SO BAD HE TIED THE PUTTER ON THE BACK OF HIS CAR WITH A STRING AND DRUG IN TILL IT
TO PUNISH IT.
TO PUNISH IT, YEAH.
IS THAT A TRUE STORY THAT YOU TWO GOT IN A FIGHT, AND YOU DIDN'T BACK DOWN FROM A LOT OF STUFF EITHER AND THAT HE SOMEHOW MANAGED TO PICK YOU UP AND THROW YOU ON TOP OF LOCKERS?
THAT IS THE BIGGEST, THAT'S THE BIGGEST FARCE THAT EVER WAS. WHAT HAPPENED, THAT INCIDENT HAPPENED BEFORE I EVEN KNEW KYLE. IT WAS BACK IN THE EARLY 30'S AND, NO KYLE COULDN'T HAVE THROWN ME ON A, ON A
LOCKER. HE WAS, I WAS 215, SIX-THREE. HE COULDN'T COME CLOSE. I HEARD THAT STORY. THE GUY WRITING THE STORY WITH HOGAN'S LIFE. HE, IT, IT WAS, YOU HEAR A LOT OF THOSE STORIES.
THAT'S WHY WE WANTED YOU TO COME IN SO YOU COULD CLEAR UP ALL THE CONFUSION.
THAT GETS, THAT GETS OUT OF HAND.
WE'LL, WE'LL CLEAR SOME MORE UP BEFORE THE END OF THE NIGHT. WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.
Club apologizes for calling cops on black women members
YORK, Pa. - A golf club in Pennsylvania has apologized for calling police on a group of black women after the co-owner and his father said they were playing too slowly and refused requests to leave the course.
“I felt we were discriminated against,” one of the women, Myneca Ojo, told the York Daily Record. “It was a horrific experience.”
Sandra Thompson and four friends met up Saturday to play a round of golf at the Grandview Golf Club, where they are all members, she told the newspaper.
At the second hole, a white man whose son co-owns the club came up to them twice to complain that they weren’t keeping up with the pace of play. Thompson, an attorney and the head of the York chapter of the NAACP, told the newspaper it was untrue.
On the same hole, another member of the group, Sandra Harrison, said she spoke with a Grandview golf pro, who said they were fine since they were keeping pace with the group ahead of them.
Despite that, the women skipped the third hole to avoid any other issues, she said.
It’s part of golf etiquette that slow-moving players let groups behind them play through if they are holding things up, and often golf courses have personnel who monitor the pace of play, letting golfers know when they are taking too long.
The five are part of a larger group of local women known as Sisters in the Fairway. The group has been around for at least a decade, and all of its members are experienced players who have golfed all over the county and world, Thompson said. They’re very familiar with golf etiquette, she said.
After the ninth hole, where it is customary to take a break before continuing on the next nine holes, three of the group decided to leave because they were so shaken up by the earlier treatment, the women told the paper.
Thompson said the man from the second hole, identified as former York County Commissioner Steve Chronister, his son, club co-owner Jordan Chronister and several other white, male employees approached the remaining two women and said they took too long of a break and they needed to leave the course.
The women argued they took an appropriate break, and that the men behind them were still on their beer break and not ready to tee off, as seen in a video Thompson gave the newspaper. The women were told that the police had been called, and so they waited.
Northern York County Regional Police arrived, conducted interviews and left without charging anyone.
“We were called there for an issue, the issue did not warrant any charges,” Northern York County Regional Police Chief Mark Bentzel said. “All parties left and we left as well.”
A phone listing for Steve Chronister rang busy on Monday. He told the York Daily Record he didn’t have time to comment on Sunday.
Jordan Chronister’s wife and co-owner of the club, JJ Chronister, said Sunday she called the women personally to apologize.
“We sincerely apologize to the women for making them feel uncomfortable here at Grandview, that is not our intention in any way,” she told the newspaper. “We want all of our members to feel valued and that they can come out here and have a great time, play golf and enjoy the experience.”
She said she hopes to meet with them to discuss how the club can use what happened as a learning experience and do better in the future.
Thompson said she’s not sure a meeting is what needs to happen.
“There needs to be something more substantial to understand they don’t treat people in this manner,” she said.
Randall's Rant: Augusta has the power to strengthen LPGA
Augusta National Golf Club is turning women’s golf upside down.
If you care about the LPGA, that should be your hope, anyway.
Your hope should be that the investment made in the new Augusta National Women’s Amateur Championship announced at the Masters three weeks ago will eventually filter up the women’s ranks.
While the new amateur event comes with significant challenges for the women’s tour - with its first major (the ANA Inspiration) in a tough spot the same week as the Augusta National Women’s Amateur - there is LPGA seed money being planted in Georgia
There’s an investment that may grow the women’s game beyond fueling new interest among girls.
“I just hope corporations start recognizing the value of investing in the women’s game, the way Augusta National does,” two-time major champion Cristie Kerr said. “There are so many corporate sponsors in the men’s game who don’t invest a single dollar in the women’s game. Obviously, that’s their prerogative, but we have a lot of value as a tour.”
And there’s your hope.
Augusta National is a collection of power brokers, CEOs and leaders now invested in growing the women’s game.
They’re taking a special interest in watching these young female amateurs emerge, and it’s only natural to expect they’ll become emotionally invested in where these young players go.
And a lot of these young players will go on to the LPGA.
The LPGA is thriving under commissioner Mike Whan’s leadership, with Whan seeing opportunities where others didn’t. He saw Asian interest in the tour as an asset, not the liability so many thought a decade ago.
The LPGA had withered to 23 events in 2011 with $40 million in total prize money. This year, it's up to 34 events with a tour-record $68 million in prize money. Whan did that with a lot of Asian backing.
Of the 10 tour events the LPGA has staged so far this year, including this week’s tournament in San Francisco, nine have Asian-based title sponsors. Even the LPGA’s domestic events are thriving on Asian money.
All six of the U.S. events staged so far this year have Asian-based title sponsors. You have to move into May and next week’s Volunteers of America Texas Classic before finding an American corporate title sponsor of an American LPGA event.
That starts changing with summer approaching, but overall there will be 17 Asian-based companies or organizations as title sponsors of LPGA events this year, with 14 American-based entities sponsoring or owning events.
Whan says that’s a good thing.
“The diversity of sponsorship on the LPGA makes us a stronger business,” Whan said. “Since I’ve been in office, we’ve worked through recessions in different parts of the world. None of those recessions were crippling to our overall schedule, because we have so many sponsors on board, from so many different places.”
Whan says American corporate interest is growing considerably, with more American marketing partners joining the LPGA this year. The next steps players would like to see are increased purses and endorsement opportunities for women.
The winning two-man team at the PGA Tour’s Zurich Classic this week will take home a combined $2,073,000. This week’s LPGA Mediheal Championship features a $1.5 million purse for the entire field.
“The income gap in golf is as much a concern to me as the corporate income gap is to working women,” 12-time LPGA winner Stacy Lewis wrote in an essay earlier this year for the World Economic Forum.
U.S. Solheim Cup captain and LPGA Hall of Famer Juli Inkster started wearing a San Francisco Giants cap this year with no endorsement deals on her bag or shirt. She has become more outspoken about the lack of corporate support for all female golf pros.
“I'm going to say it right now, and I probably shouldn't say it, but I just don't understand how all these companies get away with supporting PGA Tour events and not supporting the LPGA,” Inkster said at the last Solheim Cup. “It makes me a little upset, because I think we've got a great product. We deserve our due.”
With Augusta National investing in young amateur women, it may only be a matter of time until corporate America significantly steps up support. The game’s greatest power brokers appear ready to grow with the young women they will begin investing in next year. That should be the hope for anyone who cares about the LPGA.
Report: Tour close to finalizing Detroit tournament
With the final pieces of the 2019 schedule falling into place, the PGA Tour appears on the verge of returning to Michigan for the first time in nearly a decade.
According to a Detroit News report, the Tour is "believed to be close" to an agreement to bring a tournament to the Motor City beginning in 2019, reportedly likely to take place at Detroit Golf Club near downtown.
While the specifics remain undisclosed, the prime candidate for such a move appears to be The National. The Washington, D.C.-area event, which benefits Tiger Woods' TGR Foundation, was sponsored by Detroit-based Quicken Loans from 2014-2017. This year the tournament will be conducted at TPC Potomac without a title sponsor.
According to a Detroit News report in September, Quicken Loans CEO Dan Gilbert was open to continuing his company's sponsorship of the event if it shifted to Detroit.
In addition to The National, the only other current PGA Tour event without a title sponsor is the Houston Open. On Monday Charles Schwab was introduced as the new title sponsor of the Fort Worth Invitational beginning in 2019.
The PGA Tour has not held an event in the state of Michigan since 2009, the final year of the now-defunct Buick Open at Warwick Hills Golf and Country Club. While the final details of a revamped schedule have yet to be announced, the Tour is expected to unveil its itinerary for the 2018-19 season at The Players next month.
Inbee Park quietly reclaims world No. 1
Inbee Park moved back to No. 1 in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings in about as ho-hum fashion as you’ll ever see a player take the top spot.
It isn’t that she doesn’t care about the top ranking. It just wasn’t a priority in her return to golf this year, after missing big portions of the last two years with injuries.
With an Olympic gold medal and seven major championship titles, the LPGA Hall of Famer isn’t done trying to top the scoreboards that matter most to her.
“To be honest, I never really think about being No. 1 again,” Park said early last week, before tying for second at the Hugel-JTBC LA Open. “If it comes to me, great. If not, it doesn't matter.”
It came to her for the fourth time in her career.
Park, 29, reigned at No. 1 for 59 weeks in her longest run on top, back in the 2013 and ’14 seasons.
Oddly, this run to No. 1 almost comes as a surprise to Park, who didn’t need long to get back to the top spot after returning to the tour. She won the Bank of Hope Founders Cup last month in her second after missing seven months with a back injury.
Park last lost the No. 1 ranking in October of 2015, doing so to Lydia Ko.
In six starts this year, Park has finished T-3 or better four times. She leads the tour in scoring average (69.13) and is second in greens in regulation (77.5 percent).
Just wait until her putter heats up.
Yeah, Park’s not very satisfied with her putting. She’s one of the greatest putters who ever played the women’s game, but she has been frustrated with the inconsistency of her stroke much of this season. Of course, her standards are high. She ranks second in putts per greens in regulation so far this year.
On Sunday, this is how Park summed up her putting in 2018: “Some days, I’ve been really good. Some days, I’ve been really bad.”
Park has led the LPGA in putts per GIR in five of the last 10 years. She switched from her preferred mallet-style putter to a blade earlier this season and won with a Toulon Madison blade at the Founders Cup last month. She was back with an Odyssey White Hot 2-Ball mallet this past week. That’s the putter she used to win the gold medal in Rio de Janeiro two years ago. She used an Odyssey Sabertooth winged mallet in her 2013 run of three consecutive major championship victories.