Ball High golfers had a few tricks in their golf bags as they treated themselves recently to a bewitching victory over the Stingaree golfers from Texas City to prevail in the annual Causeway Cup matches.
The Tors and Lady Tors outscored the Stings and Lady Stings 12.5 to 3.5 in the modified Ryder Cup format four-ball and individual matches. Individual Lady Tor point winners were Reagan Conner, Katie Scott, Taylor Brooks and Alyssa Hernandez. Tors singles winners were Colin Davidson, Drew Mefferd, Bailey and Ian Carroll.
The Lady Tors were back in action last week at the North Shore Girls Varsity Fall Classic at River Terrace Golf Club. Conner turned in another fine performance, finishing in fourth place among the 33 players. Brooks and Makenzy Kleinecke finished in the top half of all participants.
The Lady Tors will next compete in the Lady Stingarees Fall Classic at Bayou Golf Course on Nov. 7.
Golfers are generally a pretty honest lot, often calling penalties on themselves even when playing partners and competitors are unaware of a rules violation. Therefore, it is not surprising that no one stepped up to “honestly claim knowledge of the golf accomplishments of Fred Hooter.”
A couple of years ago, I ran into Roy Robinson (not a golfer), who told me that he knew this guy who was a good golfer and a long drive artist; he wondered whether I might be interested in meeting the man. I said yes, and we parted company.
A few weeks ago, I ran into Roy again, just as he was finishing up a healthy lunch at JCI, and I was going in for some healthy “Originals” of my own and to catch up on a variety of important topics over lunch with my older sister.
In a Groundhog Day moment, Roy asked whether I would like to meet Hooter, the long drive artist. He said Fred was in town but soon would leave for some golf thing over in Louisiana. I said I’d really liked to meet the man, and if possible interview him.
Roy gave me Fred’s private number and I called it that very afternoon, only to get a voice message telling me that Fred’s mailbox was full.
Hooter is a retired corporate pilot who made his name in golf by winning the 1999 World Long Drive championship (Senior Division) at age 56; he won the Super Seniors title in 2003 and 2004.
He lives in Auburn, Ala., where he routinely outdrives golfers half his age; as recently as 2013 he could often outdrive fellow Auburnite and PGA Tour pro Jason Dufner by as much as 50 yards.
In addition to that 1999 World Long Drive championship, Hooter also that year qualified for the U.S. Senior Open, where although not making the 36-hole cut, he impressed players and USGA officials in the opening round by launching a 383-yard drive.
Stay tuned. There is much more to be gleaned from the remarkable Fred Hooter.
In any order: Player, Palmer, Nicklaus. That was then and this is now. I cannot recall anyone of their era ever challenging that they were it: Nicklaus, Player, Palmer. To be sure, there were other truly talented and popular players on the scene.
Lee Trevino was the “jederman” model to be emulated by blue-collar golfers everywhere. Billy Casper was a noted dieter who was known to play the spoiler. Chi Chi Rodriguez was a showman and escape artist extraordinaire. Raymond Floyd was alter ego to Chi Chi, deadly serious with a glare as intense as a cobra set to strike.
Others jumped into and out of the spotlight from time to time, but none were ever touted as possible replacements for Palmer, Nicklaus or Player. They were The Big Three.
Tiger Woods, a skinny and bespectacled kid would burst onto the scene in 1999 and joined baby-faced Phil Mickelson, another wunderkind, as two undeniable and bright stars on the PGA Tour. Today, the former is not in the competitive arena and the latter
— while most impressive in the recent Presidents Cup matches — is getting long in the tooth.
So, who should be No. 3 if Mickelson and Woods are the Big Two? Better yet, who do you think should be considered today’s Big Three? Let me hear from you.
ON THE BAYOU
The Oct. 11 Senior Scramble at Bayou Golf Club was won by Rick Wegman, Doug Self, John Duree and Gilbert Trevino, whose blazing 59 was two shots clear of the field including the second-place team of badge buddy Randy Burrows, Balino Gomez, Phil Thompson and Bill Marshall.
Be safe, on and off the course.