- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
11 Gallery ropes at this year's Open will be five to 10 yards farther into the rough than in 2002—not to aid the players but to mess them up. The idea is to keep players "from getting a good lie in gallery-trampled areas," says Bethpage superintendent Craig Currier.
12 Currier named his dog Tillie in honor of Black course architect A.W. Tillinghast.
13 The more than 70,000 registered users of Bethpage Black's weekly telephone lottery are expert speed dialers. Week after week they swamp the system's 16 phone lines and snap up every tee time in less than 90 seconds.
14 Rather than landing at Kennedy Airport 23 miles away, pros fly private planes into East Farmingdale's Republic Airport, 6,200 yards from the course.
15 Fat cats avoid the lottery and the parking-lot slumber party by using an outfit called NY Golf Shuttle, which provides tee times and transport to the course for $850 for a single.
16 The Black course's "flat" greens are so tricky that Woods took 123 putts during the '02 Open (1.71 per green), the most by a winner since Jack Nicklaus's 124 at Baltusrol in 1980.
17 Colorful course builder Tillinghast, who fought efforts to ban profanity on the links ("If you may not cuss on a golf course, where in hell can you?"), once showed up for a match drunk and wearing a tuxedo. To prove he was fit to play, he bet he could hit his first drive using a friend's heirloom watch as a tee. He destroyed the watch.
18 Tillinghast was the only one of golf's Golden Age immortals who could suck a lit cigarette into his mouth, hit his drive and then push the cigarette back out—still lit!