Questions and answers:
I asked Arnold Palmer how’s his golf game nowadays.
He said, “Not very good. It’s not much fun anymore. It’s work. I’m 80 years old, you know.”
I asked former British star and now CBS golf commentator Peter Oosterhuis, who won 20 times worldwide and was twice runner-up in the British Open, what he shoots nowadays. (He’s a Charlotte resident and Quail Hollow member.)
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He smiled, shrugged and said with some resignation, perhaps a nod to the years, “High 70’s.”
I asked how much golf he watches on TV. He said very little, which figures since he’s working tournaments more than half of the year.
I asked famed golf course architect Tom Fazio how he felt about Phil Mickelson’s criticism of the Quail Hollow greens (“worst designed greens on the Tour”).
Fazio said a course designer can’t let criticism bother him because there’s always going to be somebody who doesn’t like something, but he added that Mickelson could have been more discreet, taking his complaint to club officials rather than air it publicly.
I asked former Masters champion Ben Crenshaw, a collector, which of his golf books he would recommend.
He said, " 'Bobby Jones On Golf.' It’s the best on how a golfer feels, his sensations when he hits the ball. It’s unbelievable how good it is. Also, 'Scotland’s Gift: Golf,' by Charles Blair McDonald, who was instrumental in the formation of the United States Golf Association and the formation of golf here."
I asked Dave Stockton, two-time PGA Championship winner and a putting guru who has worked with several tour players, including Phil Mickelson, if he could cure putting yips, one of golf’s most dreaded afflictions.
He said, “Its curable, absolutely. Everybody can be cured. I could work with someone for 20 minutes and cure them. Maybe 25.
“You have to practice putting with your left hand. That’s the directional hand. And you have to pick a spot about an inch in front of the ball and see the ball roll over that spot.
That will stop you from raising up and help you keep your stroke moving.”