Slice of Life
Last fall, it hit me that I had completed 18 years as Editor of Michigan Golfer. Due to the support of faithful readers like you, I'm proud of how this modest magazine has made its mark in this huge golf state. But 18 years is a long time at the inkwell and it struck me that maybe one round of my career had been carded and attested. In the words of Coach Charley Clichˇ, "It's been a nice run but it's time to move on." So although I'll continue to write columns and articles for Michigan Golfer, I'll no longer have to fret about marshalling the myriad details -- involving stories, photos, and yes, selling ads -- that went with the title of Editor. Instead, I'm now heeding the words of that master golf psychologist, Henry David Thoreau: "Simplify, Simplify, Simplify." For sure, I have plenty of endeavors and interests to keep me very busy in the golf circles. I'll continue to write about golf, to spend more time on the West Michigan Golf Show, to do some consulting work, and even try to lower my handicap. Not necessarily in that order, of course.
Someone recently asked me what my highlights have been as Editor. That's a toughie but it sure gave me a nice idea for my first column in 2001. So permit me this one last trip down memory lane:
August, 1982 -- no one ever forgets the birth of one's child. The debut issue of Michigan Golfer had a stunning cover shot of Dan Pohl's powerful swing nearing impact. When it came to distance, the Mt. Pleasant native was the Tiger Woods of his day. He was an easy choice to grace our first cover.
March, 1983 -- receive hand-written letter from former President Gerald R. Ford congratulating me on the debut issue. In it, he also writes: "Sometime this summer I will be glad to talk with you about golf which is a wonderful game." Which in turn led me to...
August, 1983 -- conduct one-on-one interview with Ford at his home in Beaver Creek, CO. President Ford was gracious, conversant, and did his best to calm the nerves of this cub editor. Best Ford quote: "My game's getting better and the best evidence is I'm hitting fewer spectators."
June, 1985 -- cover my first U.S. Open at Oakland Hills CC. Remember watching Seve Ballesteros in a practice round show playing partner Tom Seickman how to hit a fairway wood out of the deep-faced fairway bunker onto the 18th green. Not once, not twice but three consecutive times!
July, 1986 -- as he plays the front nine in Roger Penske's Pro-Am at the CC of Jackson, the newly crowned British Open champion Greg Norman allows me to interview him. He's only a month away from the first of several heartbreaking losses in major championships, Bob Tway's last hole bunker shot at Inverness. But at Jackson, he sums up the game and himself in an ominous, dual-edged quote: "There's a lot of luck, too. But when it comes right down to it, that's all this game is about is: self-confidence."
September, 1987 -- attend and cover my first Ryder Cup at Muirfield Village, Ohio. In the final day singles matches, I watch Ben Crenshaw claw back from a three-hole deficit to Ireland's Eamonn Darcy (who had been 0-10 in matches). Crenshaw must putt with his one-iron after breaking his trusty Wilson 8802 putter on the sixth green. Gamely, Ben manages to take the match to the 18th hole where Darcy wins his first Ryder Cup point with a four-foot par putt. Afterwards, I chuckle as Darcy says he didn't realize Crenshaw had broken his putter: "I figured he was using the irons because he wanted to slow the ball down on the greens."
June, 1991 -- am moved by the acceptance speech of Steve Brady after he finally wins his first Michigan Open title. He pays a special tribute to his cousin whom, though battling cancer, had come to watch him play. He says: "Patience is easy when you think about what she is having to face. Heck, playing golf is nothing compared to that."
July, 1992 -- witness the best finish in Michigan golf history as Dan Olsen goes birdie-ace-birdie (or area code 3-1-3) to sensationally close out and win the Boyne Tournament of Champions.
August, 1994 -- in fine Forrest Gump fashion, I'm behind the 10th tee at Warwick Hills on Thursday to watch Paul Azinger make his first tournament start after months of chemotherapy. I'll never forget the emotion and the resounding ovation as Buick Open tee announcer Randy Hutton introduces the burr-headed Azinger: "From Bradenton, Florida, let's welcome back to the game, Paul Azinger!" After his round, Zinger thanks Johnny Miller for some key advice during his cancer battle: "He told me it isn't necessarily what you accomplish in life that matters, it's what you overcome."
April, 1995 -- after serving earlier in the week as a pallbearer at the funeral of his long-time friend and teacher Harvey Penick, Ben Crenshaw wins his second Masters jacket. In the pressroom afterwards, Ben gives every reporter present the perfect lead: "This week, Harvey Penick was the 15th club in my bag." To top off this memorable week, my name is selected in the annual media lottery to play Augusta National on Monday morning.
October, 1997 -- in an overseas trip arranged by my good friend and colleague Jack Berry, I find myself incredulously playing in the Estonian Air Open in Estonia, one of the Baltic States. Paired with the captain of the national amateur team, I'm awestruck to be playing this crazy game halfway across the world in a rejuvenated country and in the middle of a heavy hailstorm. Indeed, golf has sent me to some strange and marvelous locales!
September, 1999 -- joined by my two daughters who are living in Boston, I'm caught up in the highly charged atmosphere of the Ryder Cup at The Country Club. "With chants of USA, USA" ringing across the course, we witness the most amazing final day comeback in the history of this Olympian event. And to this day, I insist the charges of American poor sportsmanship and fan rowdyism were exaggerated and overblown by the British press to serve as a cynical cover for Captain Mark James and his embarrassed team.
August, 2000 -- cover the Buick Open and the absolutely astounding ascendancy of Tiger Woods. Watch in amazement as Tiger pulls off this incredible trouble shot out of the trees on the par-5 13th hole. This low screaming cut iron shot somehow soars over the pond and finds the back edge of the green. Naturally, Tiger two-putts for birdie when most mortals would've carded a train-wreck on the hole.
Well, that about does it. President Ford took the words right out of my keyboard: Golf is a wonderful game. Thanks for letting me write about it.
Now Editor Emeritus, Terry Moore was Editor of Michigan Golfer from its inception in 1982 to 2000.
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