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Now you can look it up
Dan Jenkins
January 21, 1980
While Craig Stadler got the season under way with a win in the Hope, the scorers strived semi-mightily to get the numbers for Commissioner of Stats Beman
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January 21, 1980

Now You Can Look It Up

While Craig Stadler got the season under way with a win in the Hope, the scorers strived semi-mightily to get the numbers for Commissioner of Stats Beman

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Meanwhile, it developed that gathering all the information Beman was demanding on the driving and putting and GIRs (greens in regulation), and so forth, was not that simple. All the lady scorers were carefully briefed by PGA staff members on what to do with their charts. Write down the player's name. Write down the color of the player's shirt and pants. Fill in the blanks on each hole: hit fairway, missed fairway, trap, putts, etc. But, alas, after the first round of the Hope several of the charts did not get turned in, and many of those that were showed up with all the stats, but without the name of the player. Some contained a sartorial description and nothing more. One lady kept statistics on the three amateurs but not the professional in her foursome. And one lady calmly announced beforehand that she was not going to bother with it. After a PGA official concluded his briefing with the assurance that the score-keeping was going to be very easy to manage, the lady went up to him and said, "I'm not going to do this."

Realizing the lady was a volunteer and could not be forced to keep the statistics, the official asked, "Are you going to score in the tournament?"

"Yes," the woman answered. "Every round."

"It would be most helpful to us if you would keep the chart," said the official.

"Well, I'm not going to do it," she said and walked away.

And she didn't.

One could only speculate whether this lady's decision might eventually cost someone a precious GIR somewhere down the line.

The most readily available statistics at the Hope were the scores the golfers shot. At the conclusion of the two-day opening round the lead was shared at 68, four under par, by three men who each played a different course. Jerry Pate was at Indian Wells, Keith Fergus at Eldorado, and Bob Proben at La Quinta.

Bob Proben? Yes. Proben was so new he had never even been to California. "I'm just having a great time," said the rookie from Michigan. "I've never seen a mountain before." That got him a tie. Nobody had ever seen a Bob Proben before. And no one saw him again after he shot a 77 on the second day.

The latter half of that first round was highlighted by a roll of thunder that came from the vicinity of the 6th hole at Indian Wells. It came when a 50-year-old golfer named Arnold Palmer made a hole in one with his trusty eight-iron. "Life begins at 50," Arnold said in a free moment, when he wasn't talking to an amateur named Gerald Ford.

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