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THE BEST OF THEM BURN AND BURN
Frank Beard
June 01, 1970
In his diary on the 1969 tour, leading money-winner Frank Beard included many insights into the attitudes and life-styles of his fellow professionals. Here is a collection of his observations—views that sometimes changed as the year progressed but add up to a sensitive commentary on golf's best players
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June 01, 1970

The Best Of Them Burn And Burn

In his diary on the 1969 tour, leading money-winner Frank Beard included many insights into the attitudes and life-styles of his fellow professionals. Here is a collection of his observations—views that sometimes changed as the year progressed but add up to a sensitive commentary on golf's best players

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"Harry the Horse" is a South African, a solid player and one of the eccentrics in the tour. Money means nothing to Henning. He loves to gamble, loves to spend. Most of the time his family tours with him, and he always takes two motel rooms, one for his wife and children, one for himself. He thinks that's essential for him to be able to play well. He calls his own room "The Bridge Room." He's probably the best bridge player on the tour.

On the course, Harold's a wild scrambler. He's got a less than classic golf swing, and he's not exactly perfect from tee to green. The other day he was paired with George Knudson. George is really an artist, a picture player. While George was playing his usual classic game, Harold was hitting little old toe hooks off the tee and yelling, "Run, you beauty, run! Stay away from that rough, you beauty!" Harold beat George easy.

MARTY FLECKMAN

The guys were teasing Marty Fleckman this morning with a new nickname. They're calling him the Easter Bunny because he's hitting the ball so wild that every time he drives he has to go on an Easter egg hunt to find it in the woods. Marty's a good boy, and he took the kidding pretty well, but I know his game must really be bothering him. He's got a world of potential. He led the 1967 U.S. Open after three rounds as an amateur, and he won the 1967 Cajun Classic, which was only his third or fourth professional tournament. But so far this year he's missed the cut seven times in nine tournaments. He wouldn't be human if he weren't worrying.

Marty is getting upset about his nickname. When he went to his locker this morning he picked up his box of golf balls, opened it and found, instead of balls, a dozen painted Easter eggs. Marty exploded. He didn't find the eggs amusing at all.

BRUCE DEVLIN

Devlin, an Australian, is one of the most likable people on the tour. I hate to go out of the United States, to England or the Far East or even to Canada—I just don't enjoy being in any other country—yet I find the foreign players, golfers like Devlin and Henning and Tony Jacklin, to be more interesting and pleasant than the Americans. They seem more intelligent, more polite and more aware of things that are going on.

Bruce is one of the very few golfers I've ever heard of who took the time—and heartbreak and nerve—to change his whole golf game in the middle of his career. From 1964 through 1966 he was always among the top 20 money-winners. He had a fine game, but he had one flaw that prevented him from moving up among the top stars: he had a very strong grip, which made him a definite hooker.

At the end of 1966, when he'd won about $50,000 for the year, he decided he was going to get rid of the flaw. He moved his left hand over on top of the club, weakening his grip to eliminate the hook. For a full year, while he tried to master a new style of play, Bruce gave up any chance of winning a tournament. This took an awful lot of intestinal fortitude. His earnings fell to around $12,000 in 1967, and he slipped right out of the top 60. But last year, using his new game, he bounced back. He finished second in the Crosby and fourth in the Masters and won about $40,000. And he's sure to keep winning.

BERT YANCEY

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