Oscar night has come and gone, and I hope all your choices were winners. One thing is certain: those who walked the red carpet signed lots of autographs and posed for many “selfies.” This is a golf column, so I won’t discuss the awards; but I do want to talk about autographs and selfies.

I have never taken a selfie. My lone attempt at one was a few years back when defending Houston Open Champion D.A. Points was in town for a pre-tournament news conference. At the last second, tournament director Steve Timms stepped in, volunteering to take the photo.

Taking a “selfie” with one’s favorite celebrity makes a lot more sense than obtaining their autograph. Phew! I said it; I advocated for selfies, which I never thought would happen — and I feel uplifted. Thing is, nobody likely will want to buy the selfie with your favorite singer, actor, quarterback, pitcher or even Tiger Woods. But wait, I’m getting ahead of myself.

Autographs can be valuable if being sold, and expensive if being purchased. I have golf balls bearing the signatures of Ben Hogan, Sam Snead, Byron Nelson and Ernie Els. The first three I bought, and the Els ball I acquired by happenstance, which is a story for another day. I also have numerous photographs in which I appear with celebs from several different sports.

Neither the golf balls nor the photos have any value, since I plan never to sell them. But, if I were to offer them all for sale, I am confident that the signed golf balls would sell and the photos would not. That said, I am equally certain that prospective buyers, as well as others with whom I might share both, will pause for a much longer look at the photos than the autographs.

Writing on a golf ball is not an easy task. Writer Steve Eubanks recently postulated that signing a “pockmarked sphere only 1.68 inches in diameter with a felt-tipped Sharpie” is more difficult than “scratching your name on asphalt with a rock.”

Eubanks and other Global Golf writers conducted a survey of pro golfers and found that some, like Adam Scott, won’t even try, politely declining. Billy Horschel signs, but says it cannot be done while walking. Their takeaway was that it is impossible to sign a golf ball without it looking like a kindergartener learning cursive. Remember cursive?

They also concluded that Ben Hogan likely never signed a golf ball in his heyday, mainly because the Sharpie was not invented until 1964. I sure hope he signed some at some time; otherwise, I wasted some serious cash! Also, while Els was deliberate in his effort, the Eubanks description is wholly accurate.


One never knows who among our talented group of high school golfers might someday have an autograph (or selfie) worth pursuing, so I suggest you get those right now. The kids will love it if you ask, and the worst that can happen is that you won’t be able to locate the signature or photo once they become famous.

Perhaps Baily Premirelli, who recently led the Ball High Tors to a seventh-place finish in the Galveston Ball Boys Varsity Winter Classic at Moody Gardens Golf Course, will be among those you should seek out. Perhaps it will be some member of the Santa Fe Indians team, who won the event. They were Camden Greenough (76), Eric Grady (77), Bailey Link (77), Michael Moore and Jared Brown.

Lady Tor Gia Viggiano’s penmanship will need to be perfected if she continues her rapid improvement. Viggiano won the Texas City Girls Varsity Winter Classic at Bayou Golf Course.

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