Jim Nantz2

Flashback Friday – Jim Nantz

Two years ago this week, CBS Sports’ Jim Nantz joined us on our podcast.

He was being driven to the San Francisco airport getting ready to call the Memorial Tournament on the weekend.

Worldwide Golf Shops' Bill Grigsby with Jim Nantz at a charity event a few years back (photo courtesy Grigsby library)

Worldwide Golf Shops’ Bill Grigsby with Jim Nantz at a charity event a few years back (photo courtesy Grigsby library)

As most guests, Jim agreed to an interview in the 10 minute range.

To our surprise, the conversation lasted much longer.  More than twice than the planned time.

Jim discussed his 9-hole college golf tryout for Coach Dave Williams at the University of Houston, his longtime relationship with Fred Couples, the recent loss of his dear friend Ken Venturi, memorable Masters moments and much, much more.

You can listen to the episode below, by visiting our WEBSITE, or by subscribing free on iTUNES.

Whichever way you decide, we encourage you check out this episode.  It’s one of our finest, and happens to be with one of the finest gentlemen in sports broadcasting.

ken_venturi

One of Harding Park’s Greatest – Ken Venturi

Ironic that the WGC Match Play Championship was held at TPC Harding Park.

After a doctor told Ken Venturi’s mother that Ken was and “incurable stammerer,” Harding Park is the place where Ken retreated to.

“To take up the loneliest game that I know,” he said.

We were lucky enough to interview Mr. Venturi 4 years ago, as the 2011 US Open was at Congressional was approaching, the site of his memorable win in 1964.

You can listen to that episode below, by visiting our website (click HERE) or by subscribing free on iTunes.iTunes_Logo

We hope you enjoy it.

pavin_profile_480x288_1

20 for 20 with Corey Pavin – GolfBetter Podcast #182

20 years ago Corey Pavin won the US Open.

Corey joins us in this episode of GolfBetter to discuss his time as a college golfer at UCLA, his experiences of being a Ryder Cup player and captain and his memories from that 1995 US Open, including that famous 4 wood shot to #18.

All in under 20 minutes.pavin_profile_480x288_1

And he answers our “5 Questions in 50 Seconds”.  If we scored each answer 4 points each, he’d have 20 points.

Check out the episode by clicking below, by going to our website (click HERE) or by subscribing free at iTunes.

Oh, and if you’d like one of those Cleveland VAS #4 woods, word is you can probably find one preowned.  For about $20.

iTunes_Logo

Tiger now knows how Norman, Couples and Els felt

If you were Greg Norman, Fred Couples, Ernie Els and other top players playing in the 1997 Masters you had to have a premonition after the tournament was over.

Here was a 21 year old kid coming to this hallowed ground and breaking the tournament record and leaving little doubt he would be a force to reckon with for many years.

They had to know that winning majors in the future would be a daunting task with a Tiger prowling.

Fast forward to 2015.

Here comes a 21 year old kid tying the tournament record and leaving the field in the dust.

Tiger now knows the feeling that his fellow players had in 1997.

He also knows that a 25 year old Rory McIlroy, who beat him head to head on Sunday by 7 shots, makes his drive to win another major even more difficult. Youth will be served, again.

Trivia Tidbits from Golf First Major

Any chance you have one of those guys around that thinks he knows virtually everything about the first major of the year? The course? The past winners? You know that guy, the guy that thinks he knows EVERYTHING!

Well, here are a few nuggets of little known or forgotten information that you might want to drop on him.

  1. “The 2 leaders after the 3rd round have always played in the last twosome. Of course they have! – Nope. Incorrect.  In the early years, the 3rd round leader was given the honor of being paired with Bob Jones for the final round. When Mr. Jones’ health would no longer permit him to play, the honor was passed on to Byron Nelson until 1956. That year, the tournament leader was none other than Nelson’s student, amateur Ken Venturi. Thinking that playing with his instructor might give Venturi an advantage, the committee paired Sam Snead. From that point forward, the low 2 scores have paired together for the final round. Also, the 1956 tournament was the last one to be played without a 36-hole cut. Another little nugget of information for you free of charge.
  2. “I’ve got a buddy that’s good friends with the winner from 19XX, and he’s getting us on (to play the course) this summer!” – Not so fast my friend, wrong on 2 counts. Back in 1987 when Ben Crenshaw snapped his Wilson 8802 putter in the Ryder Cup and was trying to find a suitable replacement, I contacted him and sent him mine. Long story short, he used it for a bit, sent it back, thanked me and asked if anything he could do for me. Well now, being the salesman that I was, I jumped on the opportunity to ask him to get me on the course with him sometime, as he was now a Member of the club after winning, right? Not quite. Per Gentle Ben, the tournament winner is considered an Honorary Member of the club, not a Full Member, and is not allowed to bring guests. Guests must be invited by, and play with, Full Members. So, no, your buddy cannot get you on because he knows a past winner, and especially during the summertime. The course is closed from the end of may May until October.
  3. “The best hot dog I ever had in my life was at the tournament.” - Probably one of my all time favorites. A few years back, a local windbag was going off about the greatest hot dog he ever had was at the tournament and how cheap it was. I let him ramble on for awhile before I buried him by going through the menu of pre-prepared sandwiches that are sold at the concession stands that I knew by heart: Pimento Cheese, Ham and Swiss on Rye, BBQ, Masters Club, Egg Salad, etc. There are no hot dogs or burgers at the concession stands at the course that hosts the first major. “Well, maybe it wasn’t a hot dog I had.” I got a little personal satisfaction writing this speeding ticket. They say if you’re nice to the cop, he might go light on you. I didn’t on this guy.
  4. What are the 2 things found on most golf courses that you absolutely will not find at the club that hosts the year’s first major. Hint – Hot dogs and hamburgers don’t count. Think about it. Give up? Here you go, this one might win you a quarter or two. Cart paths and ladies tees. “Hey, there’s a cart path that cuts across 15 fairway in front of the tee box?” Unfortunately, that’s a maintenance path/service road that bisects the course, not a cart path. And before you pull out that the former U.S. Secretary of State is a member, yes she is and she plays from the member tees. On another note, you won’t find the tees that were played back in the day, the ones before the course was lengthened a couple of times. They’re gone. But, they do have GPS markers planted at the location of the old tees so that they can be easily found if ever needed.
  5. Final Jeopardy question? Here you go. “On this year’s telecast, they kept referencing this as the 79th  tournament. The first ever was played in 1934, so that would make this year’s 82nd, right? Why are they saying the 79th  You’re right, it would be 82 years, if it were played each year. But, in 1943, 1944 and 1945, the tournament was not held because of World War II, when the club assisted the United States in the war effort by closing the course and actually allowing cattle and turkeys to be raised on the grounds. The course reopened for member play in 1945, but the tournament didn’t resume until 1946, so counting each year it has been played, yes, this year was 79th.

Well, there you have it.

5 little nuggets of info that you might not have known or may have forgotten.

“But, where are all of the pictures normally found in your blog,” you might ask?

Ah, the club that hosts the first major championship for men’s golf each year (you note we’ve not mentioned either the name of the club or the tournament) certainly has those photos, and you can find them on the Internet. But, they are copyrighted.

Like the name of the club and the tournament.

Posting them would be a big no-no.

Let’s put it this way.  The only money we’d want to see change hands as a result of this blog is money from that guy’s pocket that you’re thinking of, into yours.

Who knows? With the right wager, you might win enough to buy yourself a hot dog.