Foot played a bounce shot, lofting a high wedge, letting it plop in front of the porch on some gravel, then hop up over the curb and skid against the wall. He was only 10 feet from the hole. Hell of a shot.
We quickly got a broom and began sweeping dirt particles off the porch and took off our cleats because they are very bad for a stance on concrete and put Wells and Lola at ease by convincing them that this would look good in our memoirs one day after we had all won the young National Open and got famous.
A couple of rent-club players strolled out of the golf shop, and Foot asked them not to walk in his line. My putt offered one distinct danger, tapping it too firmly and having it roll past the hole and into a row of golf carts lined up at the far end—which is precisely what happened. I tried to argue that the carts were an unnatural hazard and that I deserved a free lift; but Wells, the pro, no doubt believing the game was my idea, ruled I had to play it. On in five, I 18-putted for a 23. Against anyone else I might still have had a chance. But Foot was one of the great putters in history. He calmly tapped his putt and it dribbled slowly, slowly, over the concrete, wavering, wobbling—and in.
Foot's 6 was about the best hole I ever saw played, and I have seen several Odessa Pro-Ams. The only thing I ever heard of that came close to equaling it happened in Austin a year or so later. A friend of mine named Thor, a Hills man off and on, made a 517 from the Lake Austin Inn to a brown-leather loafer in the closet of an apartment near the University of Texas campus.
I am sure that the longest hole we ever played was from the first tee at Goat Hills to the third green at Colonial Country Club. It was about 10 blocks, regardless of whether you went down Stadium Drive, past the TCU football field, left on Park Hill and over the houses, or down Alton Road and Simondale.
The first time we played it, Tiny wore his bright-red, elastic-waisted slacks—he was 6 feet 3 and weighed close to 300 pounds—and Rush's dad, a retired oilman, caddied for him, driving his big black Lincoln, and Cecil got bit by a cocker spaniel.
Playing through neighborhoods requires an unusual shot. The trick is to stay in the streets as much as possible to get the distance, so a good club to have is a blade putter. You can swat the ball low on the street and guide it pretty easily. We all kept one around. I happened to have sliced a putter shot into a bed of iris on Alton Road and was hunting for it when I saw Cecil the Parachute down the driveway considering an iron shot that would have to rise quickly to clear a towering oak. A dog in the backyard was barking at him.
Cecil leaped at the ball and drove it straight into a Cyclone fence—he seldom hit the ball higher than the tops of his rolled-down socks—and his follow-through sailed him forward onto his elbows, like a man who had been dragged behind a team of horses. It also brought him within range of the spaniel, which bit him on the leg.
Cecil scrambled up and came tiptoeing back toward me down the driveway, saying, "Hurried the shot. That sucker was agrowlin' at me, and just when I started to swing I seen a lady cussin' at me through the kitchen window."
We picked up—"I.P.'d," as one said at the time, meaning in-pocketed—and began searching for the others in backyards along the way to Colonial. Tiny had quit at a fishpond, and Easy Reid had met a friend and paused to sell him some insurance. The only two left in contention were Foot and Magoo, whom we found hitting seven-irons out of Bermuda-grass lawns over the fence and onto Colonial's first fairway. They had to hole out pretty fast because some Colonial members sent a caddie back to the clubhouse to get the manager, Vergal Bourland. Foot and Magoo each wound up with a 19 and hustled back over the fence before Vergal could get their names.