A golf swing is like a fingerprint. Every player is trying to do the same thing with nearly identical equipment, but the way they go about it is so distinctive that you can identify a golfer long before you are close enough to see his or her face. Arnold Palmer’s short, powerful swing and follow through is unmistakable. He takes a mighty whack at the ball, makes a windmill finish, and tilts his head like he’s listening for the answer to a difficult question as he watches the ball fly toward the target.
Ray Floyd, one of the best chippers the game has ever known, takes his position over the ball and begins to shuffle. He takes tiny steps, carefully adjusting his aim until he’s comfortable, and then he nails that chip right next to the cup, if not into it. Among today’s golfers, Jason Dufner does a dance with his club rather than his feet, as he waggles the club back and forth until he’s ready to pull the trigger. You could see Floyd or Dufner’s shadows and you’d know who they were.
Tommy Gainey may be the most distinctive of all today’s pros. Not only does Gainey wear two gloves when he plays, those gloves are baseball batter’s gloves, not golf gloves. Gainey is the true workingman’s pro, coming to the tour from a job making water heaters and appearances on reality TV. His homemade swing slashes at the ground like he’s under attack from a nest of rattlesnakes.
Ted Brown is one of the most easily identifiable Good Old Boys. The Bandera resident swats the ball with a vigor approaching that of Palmer and Gainey. One look from 500 yards away will tell you that it’s Ted Brown on the tee. If you want to know how good the shot was, just wait for Brown to finish his swing. Good shots get a little nod, but when that ball dares to go astray Ted stands with a hand on his hip, glaring at the ball like a scolding parent.
Brown didn’t need to glare at the ball during last week’s Good Old Boys tournament. He toured the Flying L in a smooth 78 strokes, collecting 4 birdies and 7 points along the way. His birdies came in pairs, as he got hot on holes 4, 5, 13, and 14.
Van Tom “Coach” Whatley of Bandera took second place, earning 5 points with a nice 77. Two players tied for third with 4-point rounds. Boerne’s Richard Leeder shot 82 and San Antonio’s Jack Finger shot 87. Three players collected 2 points. Bandera Fire Chief Max Konz shot 90, Boerne’s Fritz Houston shot 91, and Gerald Persyn of Bandera shot 101.
Jack Finger added to his winnings with closest to the hole honors on number 2, as did Richard Leeder on number 7. Flying L Director of Golf Charlie Syphrett took the prize on number 12 as a part of his round of 77, and Van Whatley hit one close on number 17. Kerrville resident Joe Arredondo won medalist honors with a 75 and tournament director Charlie Thomas of Center Point shot 77. There were 33 players in the field and points were worth $5.