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I've forgotten what tournament it was, but Dad was working the scoreboard as usual. And this little guy was bugging him. The little guy was trying to prove how much he knew about the history and lore of golf. Dad would edge away from him, take some scorecards, post them and move as far away as he could. But the little guy would move, too, and would come up with some bit of golf lore like "Hey, Frank, did you ever hear about Sarazen's double eagle?"
"Yeah. I was there. I saw it." Dad shrugged and moved away again. I knew he hadn't really been there and seen it, though from the time I was a little kid, he'd told me about it. Gene Sarazen was one of Dad's heroes—and one of his good friends, too.
"Hey, Frank, did you hear about the time Hagen...?"
Finally, Dad blew his cool. He turned on his tormentor and demanded, "You think you know so much about golf, I bet you don't even know who invented the head cover!"
The little guy looked blank and eager at the same time. He was about to learn a fascinating bit of trivia he could impress his friends with in the locker room next Sunday.
"No, Frank, who did?"
Dad raised himself to his full 6'2", pointed his big cigar at the little guy and thundered, "I did!"
I ducked behind the scoreboard and rolled over, laughing until I ached. It was one of the greatest put-downs I'd ever seen.
That night at dinner I was still laughing about it. I asked Dad, "Who really did invent head covers?"
He stared at me in disbelief that his own son should ask such a question, "i did. Of course."