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Tom Watson--Golf With Jay Delsing

Golf With Jay Delsing / Jay Delsing
The Truth Network Radio
May 9, 2022 12:00 am

Tom Watson--Golf With Jay Delsing

Golf With Jay Delsing / Jay Delsing

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This is golf with Jay Delsingh. A two-time college All-American at UCLA. A participant in nearly 700 PGA Tour events.

Seven professional wins to his credit. Over 30 years of professional golf experience. This is Golf with Jay Delsingh. Hey, good morning. Golf with Jay Delsingh here. I am your host Jay Earl. What's going on this morning? Just ready to go Jay.

Excited about this show. You've got another super superstar. Maybe one of the all-time greats. Definitely one of the all-time greats. Looking forward to talking about him. Tom Watson.

First of all, we've got to give you a couple of creds here. All-American at UCLA. Caddied over 100 PGA Tour events. Who can say that in the life? Successful businessman. Got several dollar bills in your pocket. Lover of the game.

Author. What else have you done, Pearl? You are a hell of a fisherman.

I will say that. There's only been a couple of times where I feel like I've ever out-fished you. Not that I'm competitive or keeping track at all. What makes you upset about that? You can obviously tell I'm not over it, am I?

Fairly not. Hey, I absolutely love to fish. And as you know, there's a lot of golfers that like to fish. I'm not sure what.

Maybe it's just a patience thing. Golf needs it and fishing needs it. Or a competitive thing or being outdoors thing or all of the above things. But there's plenty of us golfers that like to do a little fishing. We formatted a show like I Rather Golf. The first segment is called the On the Range segment and it's brought to you by TaylorMade Golf. Guys, you got to check out the Stealth Driver.

I've been hawking that for a couple months now. You've got to check out the Stealth Fairway Woods are awesome. I'm actually going to start messing around with a little 3-wood, which I never thought that was possible. Because I love, love, love my old faithful 3-wood.

We appreciate Jeff Thornhill. We appreciate TaylorMade Golf. The next level of TaylorMade for you is try the golf ball. Send me an email, We will send you, your name is drawn.

We will send you a dozen TP5 golf balls for free. I want to thank Bob and Kathy Donahue at Donahue Painting and Refinishing, 314-805-2132. If you need help on the inside of your home, the outside of your home, anywhere, these folks, they're terrific. Give them a call. First of all, you'll love them as people. Second of all, you won't believe the work they do.

314-805-2132. All right, Pearly, Tom Watson. Wow. I can remember getting to play. There was a time in the late 80s where I sought out all the best players in the world. And wanted to play with them. I played with Norm and I played with Watson. I played with all these guys that were leading the moneyless and practice rounds.

So that when I got to play with them in the competition, I wouldn't be so, I didn't want to be in awe of them. You know, because Pearly, it was, it was really weird when you're suddenly teeing it up with, say, one of your boyhood idols. I can remember the first time I played with Ben Crenshaw.

I was like, damn, man, you gotta be kidding me. I'm playing with gentle Ben and I end up watching him roll the putter and things like that. And then playing with Greg Norman, the way he drove the ball, it can completely whack you out of your comfort zone. Tell us about asking those guys to be able to play with them because they had groups they wanted to play with.

They're trying to play with somebody better than them. How did you go about asking some of that to get in the mix to play some of the practice rounds with those different guys? Are you trying to insinuate that I wasn't better than them? I was trying to speak quickly around that. So, but, but how did that go? And did anybody ever big time you and, uh, and, and not accept your invitation or turn you down at some time?

Well, for the most part, I went, you know, through friends and stuff like that. So we set up a game. Uh, I'll tell you a quick story about Greg Norman round of golf at the players championship.

I forget what year was in the early nineties. It was Steve Pate, myself, Brad Faxon and the shark and shark was world number one at the time we throw up ball. And I think it's Faxon and I against Peyton shark and we're playing a hundred dollar. No bogey. So whoever makes no bogey, haters hat, haters, top dog in the, in the world at that time too. So you in fact have your hands full on that match. Yeah. I was the redheaded stepchild of the group. No question about it. We got the best putter, maybe of all time.

We got world number one and we got the volcano. I didn't even have a nickname. I took care of my no bogey on like the third hole made a bogey and people started dropping off. I can tell you facts and I put it to them long story short after the front nine, we are two units up and shark quits. Oh boy. And do you think he paid? I'm going to guess. Let me think. Let me think.

Let me think. No, no, no. He was like crime. He's just like crime. He doesn't pay. And so I'm like, that sucks.

And I had another few things that I think I might've said to Bader who was laughing because you knew he wasn't going to pay. Oh my gosh. That's brutal.

Yeah. I didn't think that happened out there. I didn't think that was allowed to happen. I think facts and I might've, uh, uh, shame paid her into a few dollars and nobody ever got any money out of Norman for sure. But, um, I got to play with Tom Watson. Uh, the group that we had was Tom Watson, Lanny Watkins, Bobby Watkins and myself. And where did we play Pearl Riviera? What a, what a day that was.

I'll never forget. I was so fired up Bobby Watkins and I played the two hall of famers and we won. Wow.

Awesome. We won about 80 bucks. We won about 80 bucks in that.

And yes, they did pay Pearl. I was firing. I was in a very confident mode at that time and I was, you know, and I knew Riviera well from the, our college days. So it was a fun, a great place.

What a great place that is. What a great memory for you to look back on that type of a match because you would, because Bobby Watkins, that was a character. That was a different game right there for sure.

Actually, Pearl, I'm wrong. It was Lanny and I versus Bobby and, uh, in town, you know, Pearl, this is when I just finished. I think I finished 15th on tour the year before and putting in like 30th. I was extremely confident with my putts and I was hitting a lot of putts firm.

So I had a lot of four, three and four and five footers out there. And Lanny was like, dude, what are you doing? And I, and I just stand up there and knock him in.

He's like, Oh, okay. That's what you're doing. I can remember coming down 18. We had a couple of presses going on. I made a nice little 12 footer, you know, that 18th hole at Riviera is not easy. We plotted down there so many times at UCLA.

We, most of those breaks. So yeah, it was really a fun memory. That's awesome. That's absolutely awesome.

All right. I was in Arizona, Florida. I was putting a lot, practicing a lot. I was getting quite diligent about it and it's absolutely paid off for the first time in years. I'm actually seeing, seeing and sensing my line quite well. Uh, some of the drills that you've given me the, uh, have the, the line around the equator of the golf ball so that I can see if my role is true. I do a, a drill with a yardstick. We understand my path, my, the squareness of my blade. So I've been very diligent and I'm, I've, I'll be honest with you.

I might have too big a hopes on how I put this year because I think I'm off to a fantastic start, but you are in folks. So here's what we want you to do on the putting green. Start with the clock drill started two feet, three or four. Let's just go three balls, three balls around the hole. So you're going to have each one of these two feet away from the hole. You're going to probably have a little one. That's a little left to right one.

That's a little right to left and one that'll be straight. Knock those three in. If you miss, you have to start over. That's the key about this drill.

And I'll tell you why that's important. Then after you knock those first three, two footers in, go to three feet and knock those in. And then once you do that, you're going to wrap it up with four footers and it gets dicey.

It gets dicey. But the, the, the most crucial part of this drill is your focus. And you're going to stand over that last four footer, knowing that if I knock this in, I get to go do something else. And you're going to put pressure on yourself and your focus is going to be there. And you're going to need to figure out how to get yourself in this state of mind to knock that part in.

That's a big, big deal. The other thing that's really cool that I told Pearly to do is put a stripe around the equator of your ball. If you're playing a titleist, if you're playing a tailor made a TP five, you could put, take a little black or colored Sharpie and just put a line over that stamp.

All right. And then get off to the side of the green line, that thing up so that it's straight up and down on the ground and then put your blade behind it and put, do not put to a hole. Just put, just roll, just roll this ball. And let's see how well that ball stripes. We want that ball rolling end over end, and it will give you confidence to know that you're striking that ball correctly. Hey, Jay, that, that stripe around the equator is one of the aiming aids, if you will. But what do you think about the yardstick or some other aiming aids about your shoulders, your hips, your feet being squared up, the blade being squared up, understanding, being able to see what path you need to be swinging that putter head on.

Do you have any advice for just kind of the basic alignment issues for early, early in the year? Yeah, if you have, you can even use the shaft of a golf club because it's pretty, it's going to be very straight to kind of help you with your path. You can also, one of my favorite training aids is the putting arc and it's A-R-C and it is really a great little device because you can either use the toe or the heel of your putter, and it'll track you and help you take your stroke ever so slightly on the inside, but without too much face rotation. Folks, that's where people's trains fall off the track with their putting.

They get that face rotating open and close way too much. So we're going to keep it really, really square. And on this arc, on path, square to your path, which is going to be ever so slightly inside, not very much off that line.

That's what I would do. I would go next gen, then we want to go for 50 yards out. We want to go just off the green, hit some chips, and I'm going to call a chip about a five yard area, maybe 15 feet off the green with no rough. So we're going to take, you know, maybe an eight iron, maybe a nine iron, maybe a pitching wedge. Actually, you can take whatever club you're most confident with and basically use that same stroke, get the ball position correct. We want your hands on the front edge of the ball and we want the ball towards the middle of your stance.

Really, really basic. Guys, here's the other thing. And John, you just mentioned it with your putting, but throughout your bag, we want your feet, your knees, your hips, and your shoulders and forearms stacked on top of each other.

I'll mention the forearms separately, but we want hip, feet down first, knees straight above, hips on top of that, and your shoulders in a line so that you are stacked. And for the most part, folks, right-handed players address the golf ball with their shoulders too open or pointing to the left. Don't they, John?

Yes, they absolutely do. A big problem. It's one of those things. It's hard to give people absolutes when you're teaching golf, especially not seeing them.

But John, that is a universal problem. I would say nine out of ten golfers that are right-handed have. Well, the chipping is so important. Last week, we heard from Ted Scott talking about Scottie Scheffler and the immense amount of time and effort it takes to do his pitching and chipping. That's what you're discussing now, and then we're going to get to listen to an interview with Tom Watson, one of the all-time great pitchers and chippers, and again, that spent a boatload of time doing it. Just super important. I am going to leave it with chipping and putting today, and then we are going to catch up next week on pitching the golf ball and hitting some fuller shots and the driver. All right?

Because we can't gloss over those. If we have enough time later in the show, we'll cover it, but right now, we're just going to leave that for next week. Pearl, we got to do the tip of the cap segment.

Have you got any ideas on who we're tipping our cap to this week? Let's tip our cap to the sport of baseball that's also getting going in the spring and making spring sports, spring in general, ushering in the spring golf altogether. The sports are alive and well, and it's a great time of year.

Baseball is the first love of my life. I absolutely love it. The tip of the cap is brought to you by the team Volkswagen of Kirkwood and my friend Colin Burt.

314-966-0303. You can also see Brandy over there. You can see Bill Van Owen. He's another great guy, part of that team over there. If you need anything, Jay at Email me.

I will personally introduce you to those guys. Baseball, the crack of the bat, America's pastime. We're able to watch the games in person. It's a great time of year.

Lots of baseball to watch this year. And I want to thank the team Volkswagen of Kirkwood. 314-966-0303 and Colin, thanks for supporting the show. Pearl, we are going to be right back with our interview with the great Tom Watson. This is Golf with Jay Delson. On the Range with Jay Delsong is brought to you by TaylorMade. This is Golf with Jay Delsong.

The front nine is coming up. I want to tell you about my friends and longtime supporters of this show, Marcon. Yes, they are incredible community stewards.

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These dogs are retrained to meet the specific needs of their warrior and to help them successfully navigate everyday life. You can learn more on Facebook at Troops First 24-7 Battle Buddies or reach out to me at Jay at and I will fill you in on more of this program. How would you like access to 90 holes of golf? Well, that's what happens when you join at Whitmore Country Club. You get access to the Missouri Bluffs, the Links of Dardeen and the Golf Club of Wentzville.

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This is a family-friendly atmosphere and they have a wonderful staff. If you get out there, you've got to poke your head in the golf shop and say hello to my friend Bummer. He is a terrific guy and he will help you with your game and show you around. And don't forget, there are golf leagues, skins games, members tournaments and couples events available all year round. Visit That's You're listening to golf with Jay Delsing. For golf tips, news on the latest equipment and everything golf, log on to

The front nine is coming up. Hey, this is Jay Delsing for SSM Health Physical Therapy. Our golf program has the same screening techniques and technology as the pros on the PGA Tour use. SSM Health Physical Therapy has the Titleist Performance Institute-trained physical therapist that can perform the TPI screening on you, as well as use a KVEST 3D motion capture system. Proper posture, alignment, etc.

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Your therapy, our passion. This is golf with Jay Delsing. The front nine is presented by the Ascension Charity Classic, September 5th through the 11th at Norwood Hills Country Club.

For tickets, Golf with Jay Delsing. I'm your host, Jay.

I've got Perle with me. We are jumping onto the front nine, and it's brought to you by the Ascension Charity Classic, September 6th through 11th, Norwood Hills. Don't forget about the Advocate PGA Tour event at Glen Echo that same week. Lots of great golf up in North County. Guys, we're going to my interview with the great Tom Watson.

Seventy-seven worldwide wins, eight major championships, thirty-nine PGA Tour wins. Enjoy this interview. Tom Watson. Tom, good morning. Good morning, Jay. Thanks so much for joining me today, Tom. Gosh, one of the thrills of doing this show. I've had the privilege of interviewing a couple of Hall of Famers like yourself and looking over your career, Tom.

Seventy-eight worldwide wins, eight major championships, thirty-nine PGA Tour wins, Hall of Fame member, six-time player of the year. I could go on and on and on. What a phenomenal career you've had. Well, I'm playing a game for a living.

You know what it's like. I played golf with you on the tour, and we were out there just trying to be the best we could be out there. It was really fun, Tom, for me, especially I can remember the first time I got to play with you. We were playing in a practice round at Riviera with Lanny and Bobby Watkins, and I just couldn't stop looking at you all day watching your swing, watching your putting stroke, because I got to grow up watching you win the Masters, watching you with the duel in the sun, and then getting to walk down the fairways was a hell of a thrill for me. There was a lot of water under the bridge when you play the PGA Tour with lots of different players and personnels. When I first started out there, the players that I came out to try to emulate were Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Johnny Miller.

Those are the players that – Sam Snead, actually. Sam and Sam was still playing the Tour, Jay, when I started in 1971. I had a chance to play with Sam a few times. I remember one day we were paired in the last round at the L.A. Open, Riviera, and we came to the fourth hole there, and I hit a four-wood. I cut a four-wood into that right-to-left green, and I made a hole in one, and, oh, Sam's a nice shot, son. But I remember why it was so neat because it was on the fourth hole. It was in the fourth round. I was playing with a McGregor four to go four under, so it's all fours on that particular hole.

The stars were aligned. Tom, I've played that hole probably 300 times, and I don't know if I've hit the green half a dozen. That is one hell of a tough hole.

It is. Well, I always try to play a cut shot into that green because if you hit a hook and hit that right-to-left green, it would go right on over. Every single time, yeah, it really did.

I struggled with that Cucuia grass, too, being a Midwestern guy. But, Tom, so talk a little bit about growing up in Kansas City and how the game – one of the things that I've loved to talk to you great champions about is, do you remember back when the game bit you? And I know the way you are, and you're super competitive and kept in good shape, and I know you're still – it still has a hold of you to some degree now. Well, I started – my dad started me in the game, Jay, like most players on the tour. My dad, who was a very good amateur player, started me and taught me the fundamentals of the grip and stance and keeping my head still when I swung the golf club, and then finishing with my belly button facing the hole.

That was the key because that got your hips turning through the impact, it speeded up your arms, and it gave you an essence of acceleration and power. So that was the first lesson. But then we started playing golf out there, and we played winter rules in the fairway. So if you hit the ball in the fairway, and the fairways weren't very good, then you could move it to a good lie.

In the rough, you played it down. Remember, we played winter rules, and then when the fairways got better, we just played some rules. We played down all the time. I think that's a healthy way to start young people.

You don't force them to play the ball down all the time. Heck, you even put it on tees for players that are just starting, and I think that was part of me enjoying the game. Of course, I enjoyed the game because I was playing with my dad, but I also had some other kids I was playing with. But the most important thing is my older brother, Rich. He was three years older than I was. You know how brothers are, just slightly competitive, and three years older, three years stronger. I always wanted to beat my older brother, and that was always when I went out there.

He was always trying to beat my older brother. In a few years, I did it, but that inspired me. You play with players better than yourself, and you'll learn to be a better player.

I promise you. You won four state amateur titles in the state of Missouri. Then you went and got a scholarship to Stanford.

Tell us a little bit about that. No, I didn't get a scholarship. I did not get a scholarship to Stanford.

Wow. Golf helped me get in. It was one of the reasons I got in, but they didn't have much money. I was going to say, they must not have had them back then if you didn't get one. You know how much money they had in the golf budget back then, Jay? Eight thousand dollars was the total budget they had for the entire men's golf team. They didn't even have a women's golf team.

Wow, how things have changed. It was 1967, 68. Man, I can't believe if someone like you didn't get a scholarship.

They just didn't have scholarships, man. I mean, it doesn't make any sense, but did you play a lot of table tennis as well? No, that got on my resume, I guess, when I first came on the tour, and they said, What are your hobbies? Well, I just kind of got out of college. I played some table tennis and ping pong, but I'm not any good at it.

It's always stuck there, and I get that question all the time. I'm sorry that I brought that up. No, the kids can beat my butt in ping pong, I promise you.

Oh, man, those guys are something. I did play a lot of pool. I love to play pool and billiards.

Three cushion billiards is the game I played around town here. That was fun. Tom, you're a competitive guy. You're going to get into anything that somebody challenges you to, aren't you? Just like any kid, we like to play games. And as I've said many times, how lucky have I been in my life to be able to play a game for a living? It's not going to work.

It's going out to the golf course. That's not work. I mean, that's just a game.

It's a pleasure. Now, sometimes when you're not playing very well and you're hacking it around, you're trying to get better, and it's a frustrating game. You know the frustration, and we all know the frustration, that the game is tough on us. But it's not work, because you're always trying to improve. Sometimes you just fail.

You fail sometimes for a long period of time, like I did in the late 80s and early 90s, until I found a secret to my golf swing, and then everything flowed from there. It was wonderful. Tom, before we talk about that, in 1973 you met Bruce Edwards at Norwood Hills. Bruce was one of the greatest, nicest, cordial guys I'd ever met when I got on tour. Always treated me well.

Well, Bruce was liked by everybody. He was a wonderful guy, had a great sense of humor, and he loved the caddy. He had a passion for caddy, and he did it the right way. He helped other young caddies who came on the tour. He'd take them under his wing and say, all right, here are the ropes.

Here's what is expected of you out here. He did that with a number of caddies when they came on the tour. Yeah, and I know how involved you are in the ALS and raising money. We did a little thing together not too long ago here in St. Louis that raised some real valuable money for that tough disease. Yeah, ALS is commonly known, the Lou Gehrig's disease, is a muscle-wasting disease. It's a neuron disease that your neurons start to die, and then your muscles die, and then you basically die of attrition. There's no known cure, and there's no known substance that will even slow it down.

That's the problem. We continue to raise funds for research, and that's all we can do. I actually am a little bit frustrated right now and impatient with the fact that they haven't found anything in nearly 17 or 18 years when I've been actively involved with ALS.

I told Bruce before he died and said, Bruce, I will give my life to try to find a cure for ALS, and I continue to do that. Tom, talk a little bit about your relationship with Byron Nelson. I know that coming off the U.S. Open in 74 at Wing Foot, and what a tough test that is. Tell us a little bit about how the influence and how Byron helped you, and what a tremendous ambassador for the game of golf Mr. Nelson was, too.

Holy smokes. Byron goes back a long way. My dad, he was a golf historian. His favorite golfer on the tour was Sam Snead. He loved Sam's swing, his power, his rhythm. Over Hogan and over Nelson, he always said Nelson had that dip in his swing.

Well, little did Dad know that that dip in his swing kept the club head square through impact longer than either Snead or Hogan did. And Byron hit the ball straighter than anybody. But, you know, be that as it may, I got to know Byron by, first of all, he was on TV as a commentator, an analyst, and when I got on the tour, I remember him coming out at Doral.

He was doing commentary at Doral. During the Pro-Am, he walked out there, and he was walking the 17th hole, and that was my second year on tour or something like that, and he just said, he came up and walked up to me and said, Tom, I'd like to meet you. And I said, well, Byron, it's my honor to meet you. And we hit it off right off the bat. And then in 74, as you related to, I shot 79 in the final round of our national open at Wing Foot, and you're right about the golf course.

I still think it's day in and day out the toughest test of golf in the country, but there may be other courses that are tougher, but, boy, it's a tough golf course. But he came in after I shot 79 to the locker room. I was up after I finished commiserating with John Mahaffey, and I came into the upper locker room up there, and they had swinging doors, and he just looked over the swinging doors and said, Tom, could I speak with you for just five minutes?

And the place went silent, and I said, sure. So we went back in the corner of the locker room, and he just wanted to say that he was impressed about the way not only how I played but how I conducted myself and that if any time in the future I would like to work with him on my golf swing, he'd be open to that, to come down to Roanoke, Texas to his fairways ranch so I could stay there and we could work on the game and just be together. It took me a couple of years to take him up on the offer, and in the fall of 1976 I went down there and got a chance to work with him on my golf swing, and from then on it just blossomed.

Our relationship blossomed. His wife, Louise, had a terrible stroke. Byron did not leave her side for two years, and I went down countless times just to be with him as he was leaving the house there with Louise. He was a great friend, a mentor, and a great storyteller. What I loved most about Byron was his genuineness, his passion for the game, his passion for life, his passion for his religion. He had great passion for all.

Little did people know, he was a real hand. He loved to show off his golf skills. Even at an older age, every now and then we'd be doing an exhibition, and he'd be over there at the Byron Nelson Golf Classic at Preston Trail. I was doing an exhibition for these kids, and Byron was standing there and I said, Kids, I want you to meet one of the greatest players of all time right here, the namesake of the tournament, Mr. Byron Nelson.

I said, Byron, come on out here. You're going to hit drivers off the deck here. It didn't say driver off the deck. It said drivers off the deck. I said, kids, watch this. I don't think it impressed the kids much, but the parents around there, it impressed. They said, all right, Byron, I want you to do three things, three balls.

I want you to cut one, I want you to hook one, and I want you to hit one dead straight with the driver off the deck, no tee. And he did it perfectly all three of them. He just loved it. He'd get that grin on his face after he did that.

It was just wonderful. He loved to ham it up and do that. I was around him a bunch working with my golf swing with him, and he'd hit balls. I was always in amazement how straight and through impact how solid he hit the ball.

I just couldn't carry his shoes, not even close. Oh, my gosh, Tom, when I think about hitting those old wooden drivers with a sweet spot the size of an eraser head off the deck, I mean, come on. He was probably the best long iron player in the game. He just hit it so solid and so straight. He didn't take the deep divots like Hogan did or Snead did. He hit those dollar bill divots, just real skinny, square divots. It was just wonderful.

He did it all the way from the chipping all the way through the driver. It was wonderful to watch. I remember getting to talk to the great Jack Nicklaus, and Jack said about you, you were the best bad weather player he'd ever met. And then I also wanted to ask you, Tom, a little bit about Lynx golf. You're regarded as one of the top Lynx players of all time, five open championships, three on the senior circuit. Talk to us a little bit about the bad weather and a little bit about Lynx golf.

I know how dear it is to your heart. Bad weather player is pretty simple for me. I practiced in it here in Kansas City off season. I mean, in Kansas City and St. Louis, we get snow, we get frozen greens, we get frozen temperatures, and if you're going to practice, you got to do it. Snow was an issue, although I did practice in the snow, lost half my golf balls.

But it was something. We had a bunch of crazy idiots here at the club that I played golf, and they would play in any weather. And we'd play a game called Birdie Bogie, which was a Stableford type of game. And even if it was terrible weather, we'd have at least two groups out there playing in this game. And Stan Thirsk, who was the pro at the Kansas City Country Club, Stan always played.

He was just one of the finest gentlemen and one of the great players, unsung great players I have ever met in my life. And we'd go out and play in the cold weather. And I was a hunter, and I still am.

In fact, I was turkey hunting this morning. It wasn't very cold, but the weather, you learn to dress for it. You learn to dress for the cold weather.

And a lot of the kids in California and Florida, they didn't really like cold weather very much. It shortened up their swings, made them go faster. Heck, I practiced in it and played in it all the time. But then going on to Lynx golf, I think I get that question a lot, Jay, about why was I so successful at Lynx golf? Well, I actually got lucky to win two of my open championships. But one of the things that I did very well, and you saw it with Seve, and actually you saw it with Scottie Scheffler in the final round of the Masters this year, is my up and down skills. I was a great putter, but I also could get the ball up and down out of the bunkers, chipping the ball. And when you play Lynx golf courses, as you well know, you're going to miss more greens there because the greens are so hard and firm and the ball bounces so much.

You're going to miss the greens, and you better be able to get the ball up and down. And that was right in my wheelhouse, my forte. Tom, I can remember your close friend and my dear friend, Andy North, taking me kind of under his wing when I first got on tour because we were kind of built the same way. And he would always tell me about, you've got to go play with Tom. You won't believe how good he is around the greens with the wedges.

And he used to teach me and show me stuff, and he always talked about your ability. You were so underrated with that wedge. Everybody knew what a great putter you were, but you got the ball.

He said you could get the ball up and down from a trash can, and half the time you never had to take the lid off of it. Well, when I was a kid, I practiced around the greens all the time. And I make this suggestion to people who ask me, how much do you practice your short game and long game? I practice my short game more than my long game. As a kid, you've got direct results from your short game. When you're a kid, you don't hit it very far. Practicing hitting a driver or an iron doesn't get it. But hitting the ball from around the green and getting the ball close, you can do that as a kid.

You don't have to have strength. You just have to have technique and touch and feel. And I did that all the time. There was a practice green around the club there that it was elevated.

It had a deep pit to the right. It had a couple bunkers in it and a couple of flags in it, and I practiced in that all the time. The other thing I did, though, honestly, was even before I started doing that, I went to the putting clock, and I putted around the putting clock all the time.

That was easy for a kid to do. You didn't have to have your own balls. You'd go out and hit balls and do that.

In fact, I didn't have any balls. Dad had a practice bag that he would use, but he wouldn't let me use those. So I practiced around the greens, and I practiced on the putting clock. I played games on the putting clock. We had nine holes in the putting clock. I'd take three balls, and I'd go around starting from nine to one, and then go one all the way to nine with three balls. My goal was to put around that clock with three balls being nine under par. I had to make nine aces out of 27 attempts on that putting clock.

Then when I did that, I would reverse it because then you reverse the breaks, and I'd do that. It gets back to the essence of learning how to play the game or playing the game of golf is you play from the whole back. Your putting is first, first and foremost. You've got to learn how to putt and have the feel for distance and the understanding of break and slope. I remember the lesson that Harvey Penick gave Ben Crenshaw. His dad took him out for his first lesson. I don't know what age Ben was, but Mr. Penick said, Ben, I want you to take that seven iron and your putter. I want you to go over that green over there, and I want you to take one ball, and I want you to chip that ball to a hole in the green and then go putter down. He did that for two months before the next lesson from Mr. Penick.

Ben said, you know what he was doing? Very simply, he was teaching him how to play golf. What the essence of the game was is it's the hole.

Your essence is to get as close to the hole or in the hole as possible with every stroke in the bag. You start short. You start short with kids, and you get them around the green.

That's how I did it. Plus, I was somewhat competitive when we had a junior program there, and I had a bunch of older guys, five years old. They'd get on the putting green, and they'd putt for dimes. Well, they asked me, do you want to putt for dimes in there? I said, yeah, let me go and see. I didn't have the 30 cents in my pocket, I think, something like that. So we went around there, and I didn't lose the first time around.

I said, I like this. So I went on that putting clock all the time so I could beat these older guys putting, which I did. I got to be a good putter really early. I bet they didn't ask you all the time after that then, did they?

Well, I broke a lot of people's hearts. And on the tour with my putter, I could guarantee it. That's going to wrap up the front nine, but don't go anywhere. We're going to go to the back nine and the second half of our interview with the great Tom Watson.

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You can visit them at We are going to the second half of Tom Watson. Tom, you had some great duels with Jack Nicklaus in 1977 with the Masters in the Open Championship. I look back at how close you guys are. There's something so special about this game, the gentlemanly nature of it, where you want to beat each other's brains in, but then you guys have remained friends throughout all of these different scenarios.

Well, I think those two events kind of solidified the respect and the friendship between us. It just blossomed from then on in 77 when I won the Masters, particularly when I won the Open Championship at Turnberry that summer, the duel in the sun, as they call it, when we played the last 36 holes together. It was a shootout, basically. Jack got up by three after four holes in the final round at Turnberry, and then I tied him by eight and then I won it by two by 12. Then I made a no-brainer at 15 to tie.

You get back to a tie after birding 13. He missed a shortish putt on the 17th hole, and I took a one-shot lead. Then the last hole, he made that darn 30-footer, forced me to make my short putt for birdie to win by a shot. When he walked off the green with me, he grabbed me by around the neck.

He said to me, he said, Tom, I gave him my best shot, but it wasn't good enough. Congratulations, I'm really proud of it, and I'm happy for you. When it came from the best player that arguably ever played the game, it gave me the feeling that, you know what, if I can beat Jack Nicklaus, I can beat them all. My career really took off after that.

I really had a really, really great career for about four or five years, six years after that. Then you're topping it with a win at Pebble Beach and the phenomenal little pitch that you hold on 17, and then you wound up birdie in 18 right on top of it. And who's the first person we see behind the 18th green at Pebble Beach when you've just won the U.S. Open? It was Jack, but I tell you the conversation, and it goes related back to that long putt, that no-brainer at Turnberry in 77 that I made from off the 15th green to tie it.

I chipped the ball in at 17, birdie 18. He's waiting for me off the green. He's got this really gruff look on his face. He grabs me by the shoulders, and he said, you little son of a bee. You did it to me again. You did it to me again. And then he smiled and said, I'm really, really happy for you.

Congratulations. You needed to win the U.S. Open. Thought that was so big of him to wait for me and say that to me, even though I know I broke his heart, broke his heart by chipping the ball in. He was standing there with Jack Whitaker on the 18th hole after he finished. He finished before me, and they saw where I hit the ball at 17 and the left rough with a very, well, let's put it this way.

It wasn't impossible, but it was a very difficult chip shot off a downslope, out of heavy rough to a downslope green. Both Jack Whitaker and Jack looked at that, and Jack Whitaker kind of smiled and said, Jack, what's it going to feel like to win your fifth U.S. Open championship? And before Jack could answer, the roar went up when I chipped it in, and Jack kind of goes, turns around toward the 17th hole, and goes, what's that?

One of the things that's always impressed me about you is there is what I call a Watson character. You're undeniably scrupulously honest about penalties. You've called a penalty on yourself I don't know how many times. One event the ball was sitting in, I think it was either the U.S. Open or the British Open.

You're in weeds that are probably up to your waist. You call a penalty on yourself because the ball somehow moved. I also remember what you did for Ian Woosom in the 91 Masters, because he was catching a lot of heckle from the crowd, and you didn't stand for that at all.

It goes on and on. You called out Tiger Woods. You've done a lot of things like that, Tom. I so admire that. I think that the game is bigger than any one person. I think that people who play the game, there's a certain etiquette, and right now this world doesn't seem like it has a lot of etiquette anymore, sadly.

The disrespect that people have for each other. The game of golf, though, there's still a fundamental element of respect for the people with whom you're playing and the game itself. Play by the rules, take your hat off the 18th hole, and shake the hand of your fellow competitors, whether they beat you or you beat them, and do the right things when you're on the golf course. That's why I think the game is the best game there is, because you play with respect.

You play it honestly. That's really what I love most about the game of golf. A person that was just a little younger than you, I looked up to you guys and felt like this was the torch that was passed down to us, that maybe we didn't have the careers, but we could still honor those elements of the game. When I came on the tour, I always gravitated to the players, the older players that were out there. I became friends with Ken Venturi. Bob Murphy is a little bit more my era, but Bob and I became very close friends and got to know the players out there, the Dan Sykes, the Burt Yanceys, of course Jack and Arnie.

Not Arnie so much. I played with them just a few times, but Arnie and I, over the years, especially when we played the senior skins game together, got to know Arnie really well. I respected those guys.

I respected what they had to say to me. I remember I was in the colonial, playing the colonial. I played a second round. I played a good round.

Chichi Rodriguez was in the locker room. I played a morning round. Chichi was in there, and he was effusing over me about saying, Tom, you're playing great golf. You're really a great player in all this sort of stuff.

Julius Boros was sitting at the next table. He just got under his breath. He said, yeah, I'd like to have the money you pissed away, meaning that I had a lot of times I could win a tournament, and I blew it. It didn't hurt me by him saying it because it was the truth. I wish I had not pissed it away.

Finally, I learned how to win under pressure. I like that about the old guys out there. They're brutally honest. Sometimes it's hard to be brutally honest with kids today.

Yeah, it's a different world, isn't it? Tom, how about the honorary starter at the Masters? How was that this year with Gary and Jack? It was an honor, first and foremost, to be able to stand up and learn the tee with Jack and Gary. They had done it for many years. They do it because people wanted to see the greats of the past.

They wanted to see them in their element. Our memories of standing on that first tee when we had to lead the tournament or were trying to win the tournament, they come back to you. We're standing on that tee, and it's a great feeling to be on that tee, but knowing that you're not competing anymore or there to say to the golf world that thank you very much for being our fans and coming out and watching us and being in the company of Jack and Gary was just a tremendous honor. All right, Pearl, wow, that interview was just fantastic.

I just love the different types of people you're having on the show. You always kind of come to me and what was my first takeaway, and I was trying to figure out how to phrase this the right way, and I'm going to just say Tom Watson carries the torch forward for the game of golf. Just his class, the respect he has for the game, the players of the game, the history of the game, I think he carries the torch, and I think he's a good one to do that for the sport of golf, particularly for the PGA Tour. I totally agree. He's a high-character guy. He's very, very principled.

He's not afraid to speak up when it might be uncomfortable. I've had a lot of good tournaments, Pearl, in bad weather, and I always thought it was about attitude and about just embracing. Where is the weather worse in the entire country than St. Louis most of the time?

It's either oppressively hot, stupid cold, or some sort of combination of the two. And I sit there and look at Jack Nicklaus, called Tom the best bad weather player he had ever seen. I asked Tom about that, and Tom had some really fun takes on a bunch of other things, but every single time I talked to him about growing the game, and he always talks about the grip, John, and getting your hands on the club correctly.

It's interesting. Palmer was big on that whole thing, too. Obviously, the grip is important, but was that just more of their time that they talked so much about that, or what do you think about that? I think that's what was drilled down onto them when they were younger.

That's what I think, too. I think that was one of the things that was told to them that was crucially important. They've carried that forward, and you look at those guys, and whose hands held the golf club and looked more comfortable and looked more right, so to speak, than Mr. Arnold Palmer or Mr. Tom Watson? Yeah, and they were both quite different. I think Tom Watson's swing relative to the weather, I think the rhythm of his swing was a big deal. He had a fairly quick rhythm, and I think that was helpful to him.

Yeah, it absolutely was. All right, Pearl, that's going to wrap up the back nine, but don't go anywhere, folks. We are going to break this stuff down on the Michelob Ultra 19th hole.

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Hey, welcome back. This is Golf with Jay Delsing. I got John Perlis with me and we are headed to the 19th hole.

Pearl, go ahead and open one. So, John, I wanted to get back to the Tom Watson thing. How about the fact that Tom Watson, who had won four Missouri amateur championships, did not get a golf scholarship? We got in when golf started to matter in college. It had probably mattered for a few years before we got there. But when he's talking about an $8,000, I think he mentioned full budget, it's just changed absolutely remarkably since then. So, I think, and he mentioned it, I think just getting into Stanford, it was his entree into Stanford. He didn't necessarily note that he was a straight A student with high SATs and ACTs. So, apparently golf helped get him in there, which is a big deal. But, yeah, it's changed.

When you look at the budgets that these schools have now, I think in the millions, some of them, no comparison. Gosh, I really wanted to beat Tom Watson. I really wanted to beat him. So, the way that we got paired together on Sunday is that we both shot 71 on Saturday. So, I thought, oh, man, because Tom made a nice little 12-footer on Saturday to shoot 71.

So, I was kind of rooting for him because I thought, this will be cool. We'll get to play two days in a row. And then on Sunday, I had about an 8-footer on the last hole to clip him, and I missed. That's awesome.

That's just one of those takeaways. But how did you guys play? Did you have a good tournament or did you both have an off day? Oh, gosh, I think we both shot even par the second day.

I think we probably finished in the middle of the pack. I don't think it was anything. It was definitely not memorable for him. And, I mean, the fact that I made a cut on the PGA Tour was pretty cool.

But I don't think any of that was overly memorable. But I just, you know, John, to sit there and play 18 holes with a guy like that, you know, two days in a row is really something. It goes in my mind in the books of the three days in a row I got to play with Arnold Palmer.

You know, and I'm just thinking to myself, I'm waking up and I'm showering and getting ready to go out to the golf course because I get to play with Arnold Palmer again today and tomorrow. I mean, that is badass stuff. Yeah, all time. All time names. That's a lot of fun.

That's awesome. Well, John, that is going to wrap up another show. We've got another show in the books. And our golf ball giveaway this week is Jack Collins. Jack, you've got a dozen TP5 coming your way.

Look for them soon. Pearl, thanks for being with me. And we will be at it again next week. Hit them straight, St. Louis. Hey, do you like wine? Have you heard about the hottest new wine bar in St. Louis? It's called Wild Crush Wine Bar, and it's located in town and country on Clayton Road just behind the strops. Have you ever experienced self-dispensing wine machines?

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