One day, long before my ’49 James Dean Merc became a collectors item, I was on my way to play a golf match with some Whiz-Bang rich kid from some dusty oil town in Oklahoma.
I stopped for $3 bucks worth of gas … that’s 12 gallons @.24 cents per & checked the oil. Every time I stopped for gas I had to add a couple quarts of non-detergent oil … detergent oil went through the Gray Ghost like water down the creek.
I pulled up to Willis Case Golf Course (pictured above), in Denver, Colorado, in a cloud of smoke. I got more attention than an arrival by Ben Hogan. Dressed for the event in my Levi’s, white T-shirt and saddle shoes … I grabbed my old canvas golf bag, with a hole in it, that housed my, First Flight golf clubs and headed for the Starters Tent. This particular tournament was match play.
Just then a Shiny Black Cadillac pulled up and out stepped the Oklahoma State Jr. Golf Champion, Jimmy Jackson. Jimmy’s attire consisted of expensive looking yellow slacks and matching shirt, yellow Kangaroo golf shoes. His Negro caddie opened the trunk and fetched Jimmy’s beautifully matched golf clubs in …you guessed it … a yellow Kangaroo golf bag. Jimmy had some buddies with him and when we were introduced they made no effort to hide their laughter at Jimmy’s opponent. Jimmy could beat this bum like a drum, they snickered.
Jimmy was first to drive off the first tee. His shot was about 225 yds straight down the middle. His buddies and caddy cheered. I had some adrenalin pumping and hit my drive about 250 but in the right rough. Jimmy hit an iron straight as an arrow just short of the green. I managed to get my ball on the green. Jimmy chipped up about 10 feet away and 2 putted for a bogey. I two putt, for a par.. I’m ONE Up! Unbelievable!
On hole Two, a par three, I hit the green and two putt for a par, Jimmy hit to the right, chipped on and two putted for a bogey. I’m Two Up…Is this really happening?
Hole Three … I pared he bogeyed…I’m Three up.
Hole Four…I pared he bogeyed….I’m Four up. His buddies head for the clubhouse. His caddy has a worried look on his face and informs Jimmy that he is, after all, the Oklahoma State Jr. Champion and ‘This Kid” was whoopin his butt.
Hole Five, Par for me bogey for Jimmy, I’m Five up. Jimmy turns red in the face and starts swearing like a wildcatter.
Hole Six, par/bogey…6 up,
Hole Seven, par/bogey 7 up.
Hole 8, par/bogey 8 up.
Hole 9, par/bogey 9 up. His buddies came out of the clubhouse …”Hey Jimmy how’s it going?” “I’m 9 down,” the yellow clad super star grumbles, they weren’t laughing, they better not, but I was, internally!
Hole 10, par/Bogey, Match Over.
Jimmy yells at his chauffeur to pull the Caddy around, his caddy throws the clubs in the trunk, Jimmy doesn’t shake my hand, leaps in the “hearse” and at his command, they peal out.
I went in the clubhouse and treated myself to the best cheeseburger deluxe and thickest chocolate malt I ever drank. I sat and admired the view of the beautiful Rocky Mountains to the West and thought about how wonderful life was. Hope the “bomb” makes it home … I can’t wait to tell Dad and Mom about THE MATCH!
Jim McLellan/The Maverick
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