"He Plays Too Slow." On the very first hole, a downhill, 455-yd. par-four, Palmer pushed his drive into the rough, knocked his No. 6-iron approach over the green, overshot the pin by 15-ft. with a chip shot, two-putted for a weak bogey five. Playing near-flawless golf at a deliberate, almost indolent pace ("He plays too slow," said Palmer, "and I told him so"), Nicklaus made his par and took a one-stroke lead that he never relinquished...
After eight holes, grimacing, shaking his head, cursing his "crooked" putting, Palmer trailed Nicklaus by four strokes, and hundreds of his rooters streamed dejectedly toward the air-conditioned clubhouse bar. But at that moment, when his cause seemed most hopeless, Palmer's cold putter turned hot. Plagued all tournament long by putts that simply would not drop-- including one eight-footer that hung stubbornly on the rim while he waited 3½ minutes [see photo]-- Palmer now could not miss. He birdied the ninth and eleventh holes, holed another birdie on the twelfth, and sliced Nicklaus' margin to a single stroke. Scoreboards flashed the news, and fans flocked back to watch Palmer stage another one of those whirlwind rallies that have made him the most exciting golfer of his time.
"Don't Be an Idiot." "I wasn't scared," recalls Nicklaus. "I wasn't supposed to beat him anyhow, so why should I be scared? I just told myself, 'Most people get flustered when Palmer does this and start bogeying. Don't be an idiot. Remember, you've played twelve holes and you're one up-- that's all that counts. Just play your own game. Palmer can bogey them too.'" On the par-three, 161-yd. 13th hole, Palmer did just that: he underclubbed himself, hit the green 40 ft. short of the pin and three-putted.
Now Nicklaus had a comfortable two-stroke cushion, and Palmer was running out of holes... "I told myself not to play conservatively for any reason," says Nicklaus, "because if I did, I'd lose. So I went for birdies on every hole. I didn't make them, but neither did Arnie. By the 18th, I still had a two-stroke lead.
"I hadn't been frightened all day, but I was worried about my tee shot on 18. I pulled it about 18 in., into the rough at the left. I had an awful lie, but at least I was in bounds. I had about a 180-yd. shot to the green, but I had to clear a trap, and from my lie it was questionable. So I did the safest possible thing: I took out my wedge and played it onto the fairway short of the trap. I figured that I was 103 yds. from the pin. 'An easy 9-iron will get you to the front,' I said to myself. 'A hard 9 will get you over. So let's hit a nice easy one.' Then Palmer hit his pitch shot and I thought, 'Oh God, I guess I just have to expect it to go in.' But it didn't; it rolled past about 10 ft. Even then, I wasn't sure of winning. If he made his putt and I three-putted, we were going to the 19th-- and even making a two-footer isn't easy when it means a national championship. But Arnie missed, and I thought, 'Well, finally, it's over.'" All that remained was the last, quick putt, and a brief handclasp from a tired, dejected, and thoroughly-beaten Palmer...
The New York Times, August 11, 1921 p. IM2:|
The Royal and Ancient Game of Golf.BY JAMES MAIN DIXON.
Golf is regarded as a Scottish game in its origin and history, and this is so far justified. But the word itself, pronounced "gowf" by the native Scot, and "goff" by the gentleman player, is to be traced to a Hollandish source. The original term is kolf, i. e. "club"; and a primitive game seems to have been played on turf in the Netherlands long ago.
During the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries there was considerable traffic between the ports of the Forth and Tay estuaries in Scotland and the ports of the Netherlands. Indeed, skilled workmen were brought from these busy centers to teach the uninstructed Scots, and several villages are said to have been settled by Flemish artisans. One Scottish queen, Mary, of Guelders, wife of James the second, was a Fleming.
The new game became fashionable, as it was played on the shores of the Forth, so that a government proclamation was issued in the time of one of the Jameses against over-indulgence in it, to the neglect of profitable work.
The upheaval of the Reformation, with the overwhelming attention given to the church and to preaching, was unfavorable to the popularity of the game. It remained, however, as "gowf" in various quiet places like Crail, in the east Neuk of Fife.
Not until the middle of the eighteenth century was a golf club formed, and this took place in far-off London, where the London Scottish element has always been strong. This organization was followed by the founding of the Honorable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, who played on the west end of the Meadows, an open tract south of the university.
Then there was formed at St. Andrews, across in Fife, where "the gowf" had always survived as a citizen's recreation, the Royal and Ancient St. Andrews Golf Club. The "links," sandy meadows lying between the cliffs on which the old cathedral town is built and the estuary of the Eden, offered a fine three-mile course for the game.
Links are properly meadows, formed by the windings of a river. The battle of Banockburn was fought beside the links of Forth, which stretch south from Sterling castle. The neighboring gentry in Fife, like the Haigs, took up the game. There was also the support of the university professors and students, and the townsmen were hereditary golfers.
When Queen Victoria was a girl, King William IV was gracious enough to give a gold medal to be played for annually every September; and henceforth the game had prestige. It spread to the west of Scotland, and at Prestwick, just north of Burns's town of Ayr, which is itself "on a sandy valley spread," there was organized a golf club, the recreation of well-to-do men.
Later in the century the Queen's son, Prince Leopold, accepted the post of captain of the Royal and Ancient St. Andrews Golf Club.
The game had continued in a quiet way in Edinburgh. The ball at this time was made of leather and stuffing, and naturally it did not carry very far, nor was it durable.
But in the year 1860, with the introduction of the gutta-percha ball, the game took on a new lease of life. It became popular not only in London, but in holiday resorts all over the south of England.
By the year 1879, a Devonshire player, young Molesworth, had the temerity to challenge the famous Scottish champion, young Tom Morris. His father, old Tom Morris, club-maker and professional, was for many decades at the very center of golfing affairs in St. Andrews, highly respected and trusted.
The match came off in December of the year 1879. I happened to be a junior at the university at the time, but was a newcomer, having taken my freshman and sophomore work at Edinburgh, and the great seriousness with which the whole event was regarded in the community was a sensation that quite impressed me.
The three rounds were played in the afternoon, and young and old turned out to be spectators. To regulate the crowd a rope was stretched across the green, and it moved with the players; a common device in places like St. Andrews... Every stroke was watched intently by the spectators, as if the honor of the country was at stake.
Molesworth played a good game, but he fell before the local champion...
The other club-maker, with his shop on the links, was a worthy citizen named Robert Forgan, whose sons have since come into prominence in this country. All who are familiar with Chicago banking know that the brothers Forgan have held a leading place there for many years...
If a golf player did not belong to the Royal and Ancient Golf Club at St. Andrews, he usually kept his clubs either at Morris's or at Forgan's golf shop. 'Round the door clustered boys anxious for the job of caddie; or else willing to "clean your airns for tuppence"--the equivalent of four cents.
The caddie was supposed to give you instruction as well as carry your bag; he was a professional in embryo. He had a language of his own, while his tones in the oddly querulous vernacular of Fife. To him any expression of impatience on the part of a player, when the "baw" was "foozled" or something else spoilt the shot, was "damning."
Two noted divines in the old city were Principal Tulloch, tall and dignified, and Dr. Boyd, minister of teh town kirk, and widely known as an essayist--"A. K. H. B."; of a slighter and more quizzical type...
The favorite club to use with the gutta-percha ball, which kept its vogue for forty years, was the cleek. The great scientist, Peter Guthrie Taft, for so many years professor in Edinburgh University--a tall and burly figure--preferred the cleek to any other club, and used to make the St. Andrews course several times in the day armed only with this weapon. His son, Freddy, who fell in the South African War, became one of the best amateur players in the country.
A subject which greatly interested Professor Tait was the flight of the golf ball. So far from going off smoothly, it needed a corrugated surface to give it a "spin"; smooth spheres are worthless for driving purposes...
It was in the year 1885 that Arthur Balfour, statesman and philosopher, began to play golf, and then he became an enthusiast. How many courses he has opened south of the Tweed is not an easy question to answer...
With the close of the century came the disuse of the solid gutta-percha ball, and its substitution by one of a more buoyant type, with a rubber center. The new ball carries much farther than the old. Its inventor, a Mr. Haskell, brought it out in the early nineties, and by 1903 it had definitely replaced the other.
By this time the game had become popular in this country. Before the close of the century, clubs in the Middle West were laying out their links, and in a few years the golf habit became universal. The British colonies have not lingered behind, and Australian players are making good records. Golf is now an international sport.