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Golf Australia Express : May 2013
GOLF HAS LONG BEEN CONSIDERED A SPORT MADE BY THE RICH, FOR THE RICH. FAIR ENOUGH, TOO, CONSIDERING IT BEGAN AS A WAY FOR ROYALS TO WHITTLE AWAY TIME ON ANCIENT LAND. But while its not-so -humble ancestry has made hard work for those trying to market the game to a broad and modern audience, there’s a fair case to suggest we have moved on. As the game spread around the world, a whole industry grew to service the needs of golfers. Beyond administrators and rule makers there was a constant need for greenkeepers and caddies, and many people saw an opportunity to spin a wage. Often, they found more than a weekly paycheque. Through a process of association they picked up lessons from experienced players and a few holes at the end of the day. On top of this, there was the opportunity to drop a cheeky bet––after all, having a skin or two is a part of the game. For those who were good enough, that alone could cover the rent as long as they could find someone to take them on. In fact, some of golf’s great characters would have struggled to get a loan from the local pawn shop when they started out, but their style and their game soon changed all that. Lee Trevino, the ‘Merry Mex’ grew up in post World War II Dallas. He was raised by his mother and gravedigger grandfather in a house with no plumbing or electricity. Trevino started out as a caddie to earn cash for his family and taught himself how to play. And to hustle. He developed a reputation in the area for being very good at winning. To entice people to take him on, he would ask for half a shot a hole while he played the entire par 3 course with an empty Dr Pepper bottle taped up and stuck to a stick. In 1968 he recalled he’d “never lost a bet with that bottle”. You can bet your bottom dollar (as he often did) that he also made a lot of friends there, too. More recently, Angel Cabrera came to golf through caddying as a 10-year- old. Perhaps during the Masters playoff at Augusta he took a moment to think back to the bets laid and cash raised during those early years. Like Trevino, he did not come from a moneyed background, but he will certainly leave one for his children. In 1968 Trevino recalled he’d “never lost a bet with that bottle”. You can bet your bottom dollar (as he often did) that he also made a lot of friends there, too. In 1968 Trevino recalled he’d “never lost a bet with that bottle”. You can bet your bottom dollar (as he often did) that he also made a lot of friends there, too. COVER
April 2013-The Masters
June 2013-US OPEN