Magazine article Newsweek

Play It as It Lies, A Babe on the Fairway

Magazine article Newsweek

Play It as It Lies, A Babe on the Fairway

Article excerpt

Babe was very egotistical, but she could back it up. She once asked me to be her partner in the International Four Ball Tournament. She said, "Well, I have to have a partner, and you might as well win a tournament." Babe was also really great at playing up to the press. Once, at an awards dinner in New York, she was asked, "Babe, what are you going to do next?" She said, "I believe I'll play in the men's U.S. Open this year." The press believed it: the headlines all said babe to play in tournament. So the PGA called a meeting to bar women. Babe hadn't really meant to play; she'd just said it. But afterwards she said, "Well, I got a lot of ink," and we laughed about it.

She could play any sport: baseball, diving, tennis. She didn't even learn to play golf until she was 25. Once we stayed at a home in Ft. Worth, where we were playing the Texas Open. The house had a pool table. Babe told the owner, "I'll bet I'll beat you at this before I leave here this week." All week long, the minute she came back from the golf course she'd be shooting pool. By the time we left at the end of the week she was a very good pool player. She said, "You know, it's good for my putting, learning all those angles."

Play It As It Lies THE AMATEUR: In 1930, at 28, Bobby Jones won all four of golf's major tournaments. Then he retired. Jones remains one of the game's legendary figures, winning 13 major championships in just eight years--and doing it all as an amateur. Charlie Yates, 86, is an old friend.

Early in his life, in about 1910, Bob moved out to East Lake, Ga., for health reasons. He was a very sickly child, and his father thought that if he got out in the fresh air, out from Atlanta about five or six miles, it'd be good for him. And it was. He started playing golf when he was 6 or 7 years old. He grew up on the East Lake Golf Course, and I did, too. …

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