I’m not sure if he was ever in the PGA of America, but the late Larry Trader managed Willie’s golf course for years, doing all the stuff that golf pros do. I ran across this shot of him I got back in 2004, a few years before he died, and it remains my favorite portrait. Probably because I knew Larry, and we’d spent a couple of hours together on this day talking about Willie and Evel Knievel and Ray Benson and Ear Campbell and Coach Royal and all the things that happened out there at Pedernales and on the road. And because I know that he bummed that very cigarette there off my friend Mopar, who today will give a few golf lessons at Ascarate Park in El Paso. I never asked Larry what happened to that finger.
I just saw an infomercial for a putter making ridiculous claims about keeping the ball online. You see, it has little “domes” on the face, which are supposed to fit in the dimples of a golf ball, making the ball roll straighter. In other words, “give us your money, and we’ll feed you some horseshit.” But, the infomercial’s host is John Mahaffey, a guy who played the PGA Tour when I was a kid. I caught him here taking a pull from a Marlboro Light in the Champions’ Tour’s 2005 FedEx Kinko’s Classic, while doing on-course commentary for The Golf Channel. I always liked John. (Wow, I endorsed three corporate giants in one sentence.) The Tour could use some guys like him today.