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Golf Australia Express : GA Express 293 Peter Thomson tribute
PETER THOMSON 1929-2018 PETER THOMSON WAS AUSTRALIA’S FIRST WORLD-CLASS GOLFER. HE WASN’T DRIVEN BY TROPHIES OR MONEY, HE SIMPLY PLAYED FOR THE FUN OF THE GAME. WORDS BY MATT CLEARY I t was 1945 when Peter Thomson was invited by Norman von Nida to his room at Sydney’s Aaron’s Hotel. Thomson was a prodigious talent from the Victoria Golf Club on the Melbourne Sandbelt, Von Nida was the greatest Australian player of his time. The Von wanted to pass on some tips. He wanted to show off his clothes. “The wardrobe was so full of trousers you couldn’t see past them,” wrote Thomson in A Life in Golf in 2013. “He had more sets of slacks than any department store.” Von Nida’s lesson was that a golfer should look the part, should ‘dress for success’ as they say, and thus make one’s opponent believe, even sub-consciously, that he was the lesser player. Sam Snead dressed well. Ben Hogan dressed well. Walter Hagen was as dapper as Dapper Dan. They looked cool. And played accordingly. Belief was half the battle. The Von also took Thomson to a barber’s shop, told him to look after his lustrous head of hair. “A head of hair like yours,” said von Nida, “will be priceless where you’re going.” Where was he going? Everywhere. In thirty years of tournament golf between 1947 and 1977, Peter Thomson won tournaments in India, Hong Kong, the US, Canada, New Zealand (he won the NZ Open nine times), England, Scotland, The Philippines and Japan. Peter William Thomson was born in Melbourne in 1930, the son of Arthur, a sign-writer and cricketer for Brunswick City XI, and Grace, who
GA Express 292 US Open wrap
GA Express 294