SI Vault
July 07, 1997
A New King of The Lefties
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July 07, 1997

News And Notes

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Through the years Toski has gained widespread recognition as one of golf's top teachers. Earlier this year his own stroke began to meet his exacting standards, and on a lark he entered the Senior Open qualifier near his home in Boca Raton, Fla. To his surprise, he shot 71 and was the medalist.

Though Toski didn't duplicate that success at Olympia Fields ("It was a question of nerves," he says), he did make an impression with his ball striking. For the week he averaged 254.8 yards per drive, including a 275-yard bomb on Friday. How does he do it? "I have to leap off my feet," says Toski. " Sam Snead said I ought to get a two-stroke penalty for high jumping every time I hit it."

Business as Usual at Hong Kong Golf Club

While Hong Kong prepared to make the transition from British to Chinese rule on Tuesday, Iain Roberts got ready for another routine day at fabled Hong Kong Golf Club, where he is the head professional. Roberts says the club has needed to make only two modest alterations to prepare for the takeover. "A year ago we deleted Royal from our name and got a new logo without the royal seal," he says. "Otherwise, there have been no changes—nothing. The membership has stayed consistent, and everybody is still playing golf."

Founded in 1889 by a small band of British colonists, the club featured Hong Kong's first golf course. (Currently there are three other clubs.) Today there are 63 holes on two sites and 6,000 members—mostly wealthy businessmen. The club has been gradually integrating since 1900, and more than 90% of the members are Chinese.

Roberts, a native of London, has worked at the club since 1994 and has no plans to leave. "The game has exploded over here," he says. "There has never been a better time to be a golfer in Hong Kong."

Wally Joyner's the New Ace of the Padres

"Do me a favor, just keep this quiet," San Diego Padres manager Bruce Bochy told his first baseman, Wally Joyner, last Friday after granting Joyner permission to play the North Course at Los Angeles Country Club. The Padres were opening a three-game series against the Dodgers that night, and Bochy didn't want his other players to know that he was waiving a team rule prohibiting golf on game days.

Joyner, however, couldn't stay mum about his round. At the 228-yard par-3 11th hole, Joyner, a seven handicapper, sank his three-iron tee shot for the first hole in one of his life. He didn't see his ball go in and found out that he'd made the ace only after his playing partner, Padres catcher John Flaherty, looked in the hole. Flaherty hadn't asked Bochy for a special dispensation, but he wasn't about to let the fear of a fine keep him from spreading the news about Joyner's feat.

After the Padres' 7-5 win that night—Joyner had a double and an RBI, Flaherty went 2 for 5—word of Joyner's ace was the talk of the locker room. "My only punishment was a warning," says Bochy. "I told Wally, 'If we do this again, please, no more holes in one.' "

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