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November 10, 2008
ST. AUGUSTINE, FLORIDA
TONY JACKLIN: It's a privilege for me to be here for Sir Bob tonight. We go back a long way together. Bob was married to Verity in 1962, December of 1962, and decided to come and play the PGA TOUR here in America full-time in 1963.
We met at my first British Open in 1963, and of course, where he was victorious against Phil Rodgers.
It seemed that our paths were to cross so many times during the years, he was my adversary when I won the championship at the same course at Lytham & St. Anne's in 1969. We played together the final round. And our children basically grew up together on the TOUR.
We've had a wonderful time of it all together I must say. I look back on some times, British Open at Turnberry for one, where we took the kids out fishing near the Ailsa Craig there and the mackerel were jumping on the hooks, and we went into the restaurant that is no more I don't believe but had all the fish cooked up for the kids, and we had a whale of a time.
They were special times. There have been many of them around the world with Bob. I'm so delighted that he's getting this honor.
It seemed like he was the only left-hander on the planet for so many years, you know. He did it all and carried it all himself.
I have one abiding memory I have to tell you. It was in Memphis, Tennessee, in the late '60s. We were playing that little course in Memphis, and I had played my round, and I was by the swimming pool, and he came about an hour later. I said, "How did you go, Bob?" He said, "I putted pretty well today." I said, "Bob, what does that mean?" He said, "I never missed anything under 30 feet."
I still dream of that. That was an awesome statement that I'll never, ever forget. It added up to 63 on that occasion, and he's done many more of those. Of course he was a magic man with that putter. It's a privilege and a pleasure to present to you Sir Bob Charles tonight.
BOB CHARLES: Thank you, Tony, for your kind words. I've known Tony for 40 years and our families have spent many pleasant and enjoyable times together.
Honored guests, fellow inductees, Hall of Fame Induction Committee, ladies and gentlemen, thank you all for coming this evening. This is a great honor for me, and I'm very happy that my family and friends can be here tonight on this great occasion. We're here tonight because of our love of the game of golf. My love of golf started at a very early age, and I've been hitting golf balls for almost 70 years.
During this period, I've been fortunate to enjoy considerable success, and I now wish to mention some names, all Hall of Fame members, who made a contribution to my life as a professional golfer.
In 1954 I started a subscription to Golf World, founded and edited by Bob Harlow. Golf World, together with a book by Henry Cotton, gave me an insight into the world of golf outside of New Zealand.
Ben Hogan's book, "Power Golf," became part of my library, and I spent many an hour in front of a mirror trying to emulate that perfect swing.
Later in 1954, my career received a jump start when I won the New Zealand Open as an amateur, beating the reining Open Champion, Peter Thomson.
In 1955 I met and played with Bobby Locke and Kel Nagle.
In 1956 during my first trip outside New Zealand, I met and watched Gary Player win the Ampol Tournament in Melbourne, Australia.
In 1958 I arrived in the United States for the first time, clutching a letter from Clifford Roberts inviting me to play in the Masters.
Later that year, I was present when Bobby Jones received the Freedom of the City of St. Andrews in Scotland.
In 1960 I first saw Jack Nicklaus play the game at Merion during the second Eisenhower World Team Championship.
All of these Hall of Fame members contributed to my decision to turn professional in October 1960. For that I own them a debt of gratitude and thank them profusely. Those still living are amongst my closest friends.
In 1962 Mark McCormack became my agent with just a handshake, no signed legal documents. A special thank you to Mark for all the many years of my association with IMG, and I appreciate having Nancy with us here tonight.
In 1969, Tony Jacklin and I had our first major encounter at Royal Lytham & St. Anne's in the Open Championship, where I can say I made him famous (laughter).
Obviously my career was overshadowed by the big three, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player. But I did take great pleasure on the odd occasions when I beat them.
The highlight of my career was the 1963 Open Championship at Royal Lytham and St. Anne's. The first two rounds were Wednesday and Thursday with 36 holes on Friday, followed by a 36-hole playoff on Saturday. 72 holes in two days, and 108 holes of competition in four days to secure the Claret Jug.
My life has been touched by many great people, and memories of them are something that I will treasure always. This is a humbling experience for me to be joining my peers in the World Golf Hall of Fame. I wish to offer my congratulations to my fellow recipients tonight and thank the Hall of Fame for my selection and for this wonderful evening and its contributions to the game of golf.
I wish to share this honor with Verity, my wife of 46 years (choking up), and my children Beverly and David, for all their support and patience throughout my career. With the addition to our family of Hamish and Christine and four children, Jackie, Robert, James and Caroline, we are a very close family.
Unfortunately my parents are no longer with us, but they would certainly have taken grade pride in this occasion. My father gave me 1,000 pounds, which together with my around-the-world air ticket was all I had to start my professional career. Fortunately early success enabled me to continue on my journey.
I would like to thank my caddies, Frank, Smitty and Russ. Between them they've been with me for most of my career.
New Zealanders have honored me well and I wish to dedicate this award to all New Zealanders who have given me support and encouragement throughout my career.
Finally, I wish to thank the United States of America for giving me this opportunity to play the game I love and for ultimately enabling me to be with you all here tonight. Thank you.
COMMISSIONER FINCHEM: Good evening, everyone. I'm delighted to see Greg Norman here tonight, our Presidents Cup captain, and I think it's great that he's with Pete Dye. I've always wanted to be part of the first time they faced each other after Greg absolutely crushed the Stadium Course with 24-under par. I know Pete was not happy watching that performance, one of the great performances that I've ever seen.
I must say just a word about professional golf. As we look back on 2009 and reflect for just a second on what's happened on all the Tours this year, whether it was Tiger's phenomenal victory at Torrey Pines at the U.S. Open or the terrific competition at the Ryder Cup at Valhalla, and what a great Ryder Cup it was, watching Lorena Ochoa of the LPGA, such a great treat to watch her play, Vijay Singh, the great run he had in the late summer to come out and win the FedExCup, it has been a great year indeed.
The media was after me today to talk about our schedule, which we announced, and I'm delighted to say that the demise of the PGA TOUR has been overstated considerably (laughter). Next year we have much to look forward to, the Road to Dubai in Europe, Greg and Fred in San Francisco at the Presidents Cup, and so professional golf moves on.
Today we're here to recognize these great accomplishments from the past, and let me say that I am here on behalf of the World Golf Foundation board of directors. That board is comprised of David Fay, who is with us, who is the chairman of the board this year, and has instructed me to do the speaking, the executive director of the United States Golf Association; Joe Steranka, chief executive officer of the PGA of America, George O'Grady, the chief executive of the European Tour; Peter Dawson, the chief executive of the Royal & Ancient; Carolyn Bivens, the commissioner of the LPGA; and Jim Armstrong, the executive director of Augusta National.
On behalf of the board, let me first congratulate the inductees tonight. What a great class of inductees it is, Bob Charles, Carol Semple Thompson, Pete Dye, of course, and I also congratulate the families of Craig Wood, Denny Shute and Herbert Warren Wind. This class really does exemplify the special qualities which sets golf apart from other sports and makes it very special indeed, and our congratulations to all of the inductees.
And secondly, on behalf of the board, let me thank those of you who are here and those of you who may be watching tonight who may have participated in the various activities of the World Golf Foundation, whether it be tonight's activity, Jack Peter and his team running the Hall of Fame, which pays homage to the great performances and personalities of our sport; or the First Tee program run by Joe Louis Barrow, a program that has reached now over 2 million kids through 500 facilities around the United States and increasingly around the globe, to teach those kids the core values that golf represents; or those of you who are here to participate tomorrow in the 20/20 meetings to bring the industry together and attack the problems that challenge us in growing the game, not just in the United States but around the world; or the other activities of the Foundation, which include preserving the traditions and integrity of the game through our anti-doping programs on all the Tours, to the presentation of the message and the facts about the growth of the game around the world that's so important to convey and also to our efforts to secure golf in the Olympics, which is so important to assisting golf grow around the world, as well.
We have a number of trustees with us tonight, whose financial support is so important to the activity of the Foundation, but also to the individuals and organizations who support these initiatives and who make them work, thank you very much indeed.
Again, on behalf of the Foundation, congratulations to our inductees, and to all of rest of you, I look forward to seeing you at the reception here shortly. Thank you very much.
JUDY BELL: Good evening. Years ago, long before Carol Semple Thompson became a great champion, many of us knew she had the goods. With her background, her family, her golf bloodlines, she couldn't have been anything else except a ballerina or a champion golfer. It was all there. Both parents were scratch players. Her mother, Phyllis, was and is a great player, capturing a number of state and national titles, many before Carol came along; that was BC, before Carol.
Not only was Phyllis one of the great competitors of our time and certainly the top of the list in the Semple family, if we were to borrow that recent phrase that "lipstick is the only difference a champion and a pit bull," it must have been written about Phyllis Semple (laughter).
On the other side of the gene pool was hard-nosed Bud Semple. His long service with the United States Golf Association included many years on the executive committee and a term as USGA president in '74 and '75. Later on he was chairman of the nominating committee that nominated the first woman to the executive committee, pretty brash after 92 years.
So when Carol came along, it was only natural that she would follow in these rather large footprints. Carol played in more than 100 national championships, but it is what she did that sets her apart. She won seven times. Perhaps her most treasured was in 1973 in the United States Women's Amateur. Her dad was vice president of the USGA and was given the opportunity to present the trophy to Carol.
It just gets better, as the following spring, Carol, being persuaded by Bill Campbell, went to the British Women's Amateur and won it, to become one of very few women to hold both national titles at the same time.
She was then named to the 1974 Curtis Cup team, the first in her record of 12 experiences on the team. She also holds the record for most points won with 18.
I captained Carol twice with one win and one loss. She always played in the bucket for me, for when the match goes to the wire, you want a player who is calm under fire and perhaps hypnotized. Seriously, Carol's incredible balance is felt by all of her teammates.
The golf gods got it right earlier this year when they named Carol captain of the victorious American team when the match was played over at the Old Course at St. Andrews. Bandon Dunes, the Old Course, 2 for 2, Carol as captain.
Her seven victories in the USGA championships puts her at fifth on the list of all-time winners, a list led by Bob Jones and Tiger Woods. She is only one of five players to have won three different championships. The others were Jones, Woods, Arnold Palmer and Joanne Carter.
Since her first great victory in 1973, she ran the table. She won the U.S. Women's Mid Amateur in 1990 and 1997, and she won the Senior Women's Championship a remarkable four times in a row, starting in 1999.
If you look beyond her competitive achievements, Carol is the past president of the Pennsylvania State Women's Golf Association and was a member of the USGA's executive committee from 1994 to 2000, where she served as chairman of the handicap committee and the museum committee.
Carol was the only chairman of the Bob Jones Committee to push the honorary and the president off the stage. In 2003 Carol was named recipient of the Bob Jones Award, the USGA's highest honor for a lifetime of distinguished sportsmanship.
Her induction into the World Golf Hall of Fame is a fitting tribute to Carol's skill, sportsmanship, and love of the game. I am honored to present to you Carol Semple Thompson.
CAROL SEMPLE THOMPSON: Thank you, Judy. And thank you to the Hall of Fame. This is an incredible honor to be joining the elite of the golf community, 120 amazing people -- 126 at the end of this evening. It's incredible.
I certainly want to add my congratulations to the wonderful class of 2008, Pete Dye and Alice. I think of them as a true team, great friends; Sir Bob Charles, the right-handed lefty with the great record - he tells us he's definitely very right-sided; Herbert Warren Wind, a fabulous writer and real genius in my mind; and of course, Denny Shute and Craig Wood, two gentlemen I wish I had known, but they certainly paved the way for those of us who came later.
I was given some advice for a commencement speaker a couple years ago, which I think is very appropriate for Hall of Fame speaker, and that is to think of yourself as the body at an Irish wake. They need you in order to have a party, but no one expects you to say much (laughter).
I'm blessed to be involved in this greatest game, although I must say, the acronym that I've heard applied to it is G-O-L-F, game of lifelong frustration, and I certainly can feel that at times.
Just in my life I've seen great changes. I've seen the youth invasion, huge international growth at the highest level, certainly great changes in technology. There have been great changes in my game, as well. I take a lot of Advil, some glucosamine chondroitin, I stretch a lot, I worry about the second putt before I've hit the first. But there's no change -- and this is why we love the game, there's been no change in the honor, the civility, the fact that you play against yourself, that you get to play on diverse venues. It's just quite a game.
It's an individual game, but no one accomplishes without backup. I was blessed to grow up in western Pennsylvania. My second home, Allegheny Country Club, was always so supportive, the membership, the staff. I can't say enough about all of them.
And then there have been the members of my family. I can't say enough about my husband Dick Thompson, the love of my life. He's been enjoying my celebrity status. He's created a graph that shows increased cocktail invitations (laughter). He expects to get a lot more Christmas cards this year (laughter). He really would prefer to get fruitcake, but we'll probably have to settle for the Christmas cards.
And of course, my mother has been on the golf course every step of the way with me. She's not pushy exactly, she's just competitive. After I won my fourth consecutive senior championship, we were driving home from Mid Pines back to Pittsburgh, and in the car she said, "I didn't like the way you hit a couple of shots today. I think you'd better get to job for your next lesson immediately."
So that's sort of been her attitude through the years. They have slightly different approaches, my husband and my mother. When I lose, if they're not there, I call home -- I always call Dick first because he said, "Darling, it's all right, don't worry, I love you, just come home." And then I call my mother, and she said, "Yeah, I know, you lost the first three holes again, didn't you?" I think the last time I called her, she said, "Don't tell me, I know you lost the first six holes" that time.
And certainly my father has been with me in spirit. He would never have imagined this, that one of his progeny could possibly get to this point. I know he's very proud.
Aside from my family, there are teachers and friends who have been great. Two of my professionals are here in the audience, John Aber and Roy Vicinic. I'd really like for my family and friends to stand. Is that possible? Can you just stand? I thank you all for coming. It's wonderful to have you here, and it means a great deal to me.
When I was growing up in the '60s and the '70s, it was still very cool to be an amateur, and my idols, of course, were talented women with triple names. There was Joanne Gunderson Carter, Helen Siegel Wilson, Dot Germain Porter, Peggy Kirk Bell, Marlene Stewart Streit. I mean, I was desperate to meet Dick Thompson (laughter). Finally it was a miracle when he came along and I got to be Carol Semple Thompson.
I was blessed to be a USGA brat. My mother and my father were both involved. They were on committees, they were both competitors. We children had no choice but to play. All five children had to learn to break 90 and then we were allowed to quit. The other four did quit (laughter). I got hooked. Then they came back to it, which was the point of it. They learned to play as children and they came back to it with their children. But this game has given me such a wonderful life of friends and travel. I would never have thought this evening was possible.
When my father was president of the United States Golf Association, he gave a lot of speeches, but he often had a little trouble -- he was a little tongue-tied once in a while. He was often very proud or very privileged to present something, and he ended up saying he was proud-ivileged. That's my word for the evening. I'm certainly proud-ivileged to be here, to be gaining entrance into the Hall of Fame, and I thank you very much.
GREG NORMAN: Ladies and gentlemen, before we get into talking about Pete, I need to talk about a young lady who's sitting down here in the audience, and that young lady's name is Alice Dye. Last week I was in a meeting on Thursday at about 10:00 o'clock in the morning, and my secretary kept coming in to me and saying, there's a lady on the phone who would like to speak to you. I said, take a message and I'll call her back. About 40 minutes later my secretary comes back into the meeting and said, excuse me, this lady is still on the phone and she'd like to speak to you now. I said, who is that? She said, it's Alice Dye. I said, tell her I'll call her back in a few minutes.
About 40 minutes later I go back and I call up Alice. Alice said, "Greg, we'd like you to come and introduce Pete for his induction into the Hall of Fame," and she said, "You're our No. 2 choice." I said, "Boy, Alice, you really know how to make me feel good." So she explained about Deane Beman, and Deane I know unfortunately couldn't be here tonight, and we wish you all the best for your recovery from your surgery.
But Alice in her wonderful style and her directness and very poignant approach towards "get your ass here" was there.
And this is what I love about Alice and Pete Dye. They've been a team beyond all teams, and if the World Golf Hall of Fame could induct two people at the same time, Alice should be up here with Pete at the same time. But that's no slight on Pete.
We all know Pete Dye. For some of us have played his golf courses and some of us haven't played his golf courses, he's been a player who's really tested us. He's been a designer who's really tested us even more. For those of you who have played with Pete Dye, I don't know how he can be such a brilliant architect because he is the worst golfer God ever put on this planet. All he does is hit low, flat, snap-hooks, and for him to build these golf courses with such small greens, such penal bunkers is beyond my imagination, but it's a true testament to the individual that he really is.
I got my love for golf course design from Pete, and I got my love for golf course design by the attitude and the approach he took me down. He taught me, Greg, you know what, everybody looks at the green grass, they look at how fast the greens are, how good the tees are, put a flag on the green, put the tee markers on the tee and then go play. They never really look at what happens underneath that grass.
Pete taught me an invaluable lesson about sub-surface structure of golf course construction, and Pete is a genius. Pete is a genius with the environment, he's a genius the way he protects the environment, and he's a genius the way he creates the irrigation and creates drainage. And beyond all that, Pete has the wisdom to be able to picture golf shots in his mind that are going to test the best players in the world.
And in 1993, I was down there collaborating with Pete at the Medalist Golf Club, and just before I left the Medalist Golf Club, I said, I think I'm going to go up there to Jacksonville to the TPC Sawgrass. I said, I'm going to shoot an extremely low number up there; I can't remember whether I said 24-under. He looked at me and said, "Hah, sure you will." I couldn't wait to get back to Pete. I said, "Okay, Pete, is that all you've got?"
But at the end of the day, our relationship has gone on and on and on, and it's an honor for me to be standing up here to introduce Pete. He's a spritely, as he puts it, half of 166. He's been around the game of golf longer than many of us down here have played, and as I said, and I read in a book one time where Pete said, "Golfers love to be punished," and how true is that? How many of us out here really love to play the game of golf but get very bored when you're playing a very boring golf course?
Pete has the ability to make you remember every shot you've played for the 18 holes you've played that day, and that's a very, very rare talent indeed. He designs golf courses that challenge the best players in the world. He designs golf courses that everybody loves to play. And I don't know what's going to happen over here in Pete Dye's locker up there in the World Golf Hall of Fame because I don't know whether they're going to put fescue, bahia, bentgrass, cooch, railway ties or maybe even the pothole bunkers at the 14th hole at Harbour Town, which is one of my favorite golf courses and the first Pete Dye golf course I ever played.
Before I bring Pete out here, I want to read off the awards and accolades that Pete Dye has got. I'm not like Ron where I can run off great memories like that, and Ron, that was a beautiful speech. But this will be Pete's 12th award. Pete has got the Donald Ross Award from the American Society of golf course architects; the Old Tom Morris Award from the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America; the Golf World Magazine Architect of the Year Award; the Sagamore Wabash, the State of Indiana; the Red Coat Award from the Anthonys of Fort Wayne; Ohio Hall of Fame; Indiana Hall of Fame; Family of the Year Award from the NGF; Indiana Pathfinder Award; Doctor of Landscape Architecture from the Purdue University; and honorary member of the Indiana PGA.
Pete, welcome to the World Golf Hall of Fame. You are truly an inspiration to me. You've been an inspiration as a professional and also as a friend, and Pete, welcome.
PETE DYE: There's a bookie brought here tonight, and Rich and Greg said enough about me, and it's cold enough, maybe we should all just go home (laughter).
But really, I surely wouldn't be here if it wasn't for my mom and dad, so I've got to thank them. They're the ones that got me here, some way or another. I don't know what they did, but something happened.
But really, you know, two of our inductees tonight, Denny Shute and Herbert Wind, I'm the only one been around long enough that I know them both, but Denny Shute used to make exhibitions during World War II, and when I was a kid we used to go watch him play. He was really great.
And then when I was working in the Dominican Republic, Herbert Warren Wind showed up down there to do an article in Golf Digest, and boy, was I elated. This man was pretty well known and was going to write about me. I thought it was wonderful.
So he was down there and he asked me all these different questions and went around and around and around, and finally he left, and about the second sentence in there, and he said, "Pete Dye is totally illiterate in two languages, Spanish and English."
Last night was really a great night. There were 67 young men that have been pushing dirt with me for the last few years came in to St. Augustine and had a little dinner, a meeting. Some of them came all the way from Greece, another one all the way from Seattle. So they're great people, and they're the guys that have really pushed me to this point.
And also I want to thank my bride. She's been with me 58, almost 59 years now, so hanging pretty good, and two boys, P.B. and Perry Dye, both members of the American Society of Architects. They've been digging up other people's property just like me.
But we've had a great time. And Greg, I still don't know how you ever shot that score up here, and I never will get over it (laughter). But I really have come back to the TPC five times now to rebuild it, and maybe if I hang around a little longer Mr. Finchem will let me do it one more time and I might get it right the next time. It's been really fun.
And my dad, I have to get back to him. In 1923, he had never played golf, and his car broke down going through Pennsylvania, and he had to stop there and there was a little nine-hole golf course, and he had to wait on his car to be fixed, so he hit these golf balls and he got hooked.
He didn't have much experience, but the following year he went back to our little town of Urbana, Ohio, and I had always hear my dad say I'm from Urbana, Ohio, and he built a little nine-hole golf course on some land that my mother's family owned. They had a group together there, and P.B. came back and he built his second nine-hole in '93. Urbana is a very conservative little town. We don't move too fast there.
But my dad, he had a group of men, and it's a little private club and it was doing quite well. When I arrived in the world, I first remember just going out there with him. He gave me a job, and I got a hose and you watered the greens with just a garden hose. So I stayed there and I worked on that golf course every summer until the start of the war.
And at that time the superintendent or greenskeeper at that time had to go to defense plans, so at 16 I'm now the greenskeeper of Urbana Country Club, and I surely know everything about it. Somehow or another, I was able to kill all the greens (laughter). My father wasn't too pleased about that, so he shipped me off to the Army in 1944.
I ended up in the parachute infantry. I want to tell everybody how I won the war, but really all I did was jump out over Georgia and North Carolina, and somehow or another, when we got to North Carolina, I ended up at Fort Bragg, and Mr. Truman did a little something to stop the war, and I had six months to stay in.
So they didn't want to jump anymore, so I'm now the greenskeeper at the Fort Bragg golf course. I didn't really have any trouble there because they had sand greens, and I couldn't kill them (laughter). So I had a great time, went over to see -- over to Pinehurst every day and played the golf course at Pinehurst No. 2 for six solid months, and I got to know Mr. Ross.
He had built the Fort Bragg golf course, and he said, don't do much damage to those greens over there, and I said, no, we'll hang in there. But I got to know him quite well, and he would come over and watch us play golf, and most of the -- the captain and colonel hauled me over there. They didn't know who Mr. Ross was, but the other fellow walking with him was JC Penney, and they all new him (laughter).
So after the war, really this is a great thing tonight, I'm really pleased, but the greatest thing that ever happened to me in 1950 I married Alice O'Neill, and we're off again, there we go, and I start peddling and I leave Urbana because I couldn't stand Urbana; I had to go to her town. She got me into the Country Club of Indianapolis, and I decided somehow to another to kill all the grass there, too.
Somehow or another, a farmer south of Indianapolis wanted to build a golf course, and he called us and talked to us and he didn't have any money, so he said why don't you kids come down and build it for us.
We went down and built the El Dorado nine holes, and we thought we had the second coming of Oakmont, we really did. Alice made little cards and sent it out to all our friends, and she sent one to Mr. Tufts, who owned Pinehurst and the past president of the United States Golf Association.
Mr. Tufts wrote a real nice letter back to her saying, it's wonderful of you kids to build this nine-hole golf course, but don't you think crossing the creek 13 times in nine holes is a little too much? So the real reason we're standing here tonight is from the University of Michigan, Dr. Harland Hatcher, and not very many people know University of Michigan, Harland Hatcher graduated from Ohio State, but he was a Scotsman, and he would drive down from Ann Arbor to Indianapolis, and being a Scotsman he saw a little sign, this nine holes, and he was about at the best a 20-handicap player, Dr. Hatcher. I will assure you that Ben Hogan and Bob Jones and Tiger, and Greg, you've had a couple good rounds, too, but the greatest round of golf probably ever played was by Dr. Harland Hatcher when he got around those 13 creeks.
Somehow or another he had been talking to Trent Jones and Dick Wilson into building a second course for the University of Michigan, and he called me and I went up there, and somehow or another I ended up building the Michigan golf course. That was the first one.
At that time all I knew was Trent Jones, so I made big long tees and big old greens and big high flashy bunkers, and so I'd run into Mr. Jones later on, and he would say, well, Pete, you've done some pretty good work, but really, I think that course you built for the University of Michigan is your best (laughter).
At the same time I was in Michigan, there was the old course there right next to the stadium. I didn't know who this guy was, but his name was Dr. McKenzie. I later found out that he had built a few good golf courses, Augusta and a couple others. So I went over and looked at his greens, and they were unusable looking greens I had ever seen. I said, why am I copying Mr. Jones? This guy over here, he's got a different style.
So I got a chance to build back in Indianapolis. Nobody else would hire me, so Alice optioned some ground and raised some money, and we started Crooked Stick. So I brought the two greens from the University of Michigan out there to Crooked Stick, that's the 14th and 15th, that belonged to Mr. McKenzie.
So I built Crooked Stick, and it's been a great club, and we've lived there, and that's kind of where we got started. The members there, they've been wonderful. They've had every USGA tournament that you can imagine. They had the Solheim Cup and they're going to have the USGA Senior next year and they're going to have FedExCup down the line, Mr. Finchem, I hope. But Crooked Stick, the members there have been wonderful, and I understand out here tonight, I can't believe you came all the way to Jacksonville. You don't talk to me when I'm home (laughter).
But really, what happened in Crooked Stick years ago when I got going, a young boy that used to caddie for me, his name was Mickey Powell, and he became president of the PGA, and we were talking and somehow or another Mickey got the PGA to go to Crooked Stick. You were there, Greg.
You know, I had that course set up for you, and then this guy John Daly came along and he could carry everything just a little bit, and John won the tournament at Crooked Stick in 1991.
And the same year, I got the chance to go to the Ocean Course at Kiawah. I remember when I got to Kiawah and went down in I think it was 1988, and they came to me and said, well, we're going to have the Ryder Cup at Kiawah, and I'm looking at a piece of ground that didn't even have -- there was just nothing there. Hugo was coming, too. I didn't know that, either (laughter).
We finally got the Ryder Cup there, and Hale Irwin sneaked through the last day and it was a great tournament. And the Ryder Cup was -- so I had Crooked Stick and Ryder Cup at the same time. Well, that was a real thrill.
But what happened after all this, Harbour Town came along and Jack Nicklaus called me, and Jack said, you know, they want to build a golf course in Harbour Town. I said, well, we went down and talked to them, and the routing at Harbour Town was made by Mr. Cobb. They had already routed the golf course.
So Charles Frazier finally said we can build it, and Jack had an airplane so that made it easy getting back and forth, and Alice and I moved there. So we were doing all right, and Charles Price, the golf writer, came out and said, you know they're going to have a PGA Championship. We started building the golf course in November, and Charles came out, and I said, well, fine, they must be having one on the Ocean Course, and we kept going along, and all of a sudden they came back and said, no, they're going to have it on your course. I said, well, we haven't even got it cleared, and they're going to have it in November.
Anyhow, we tried to accelerate the thing. Jack would come back and want to change something. He said the 15th hole, we'll build that kind of a green. I said, Jack, that's only 2,500 square feet. He said, that's big enough. I can get over that green and I'm going to put it there so nobody else can get there. I said, fine.
Going behind all this, I was getting a little back, and my bride was there, Alice was there, and I said, Ally, we're getting behind in this tournament is coming down the line. I said, there's a good bulldozer operator named T.P., can you take him over to the 13th hole and can't you do something. So she disappears and goes over there, and I came back three or four days later and here the tees are built and the bunkers are built. And she was smarter than I was, she didn't use those railroad ties, she put cypress boards outside of the bunker.
So I was there the day the tournament started, and I was putting the sand in the bunker that day, and I kept looking down the fairway, and finally here comes the first golf professional. So we got out of the bunker and tamped it down and I went to the back of the green to kind of watch these two fellows play, and I had cover always on, and it looked about like this, a little better than tonight.
Two guys were standing back there and talking, and one said to the other, isn't this a lovely golf hole that Jack Nicklaus built? Well, I said -- look at him, I said, "Jack Nicklaus didn't have anything to do with that hole. A lovely young lady built that hole." They kind of stared at me, and I walked away, and I heard one guy say to the other, "There goes an early morning drunk for you (laughter)."
I don't know how this all happened. Deane called me, Mr. Beman called me and told me they're trying to build a golf course in Jacksonville. So we came up and we looked at all this nice, sandy ground around Jacksonville and came around, and all of a sudden, he said, I think I've got a good deal over here for some land. I want you to meet this fellow by the name of Vern Kelly. Mr. Kelly came out, and eventually he became a pretty good friend.
But the first time I met Mr. Kelly, Vernon Kelly, kind of took me to this property, and he had a special way to go around to get into the middle of this property, and he found the only dry spot on 400 acres, and he said, look at this tree coverage. I says, "You can't even see." So Deane got a great deal and he bought the land for a dollar. I don't know why he ever paid him that (laughter).
But anyhow, we started out and brought a young superintendent, and Dave came there. We started digging, and six months later I was about ready to call Deane and say, Deane, I don't think we're ever going to get out of here alive, I don't think. But finally we got her done, and the TPC -- Dave Postwick was a great building superintendent, he ran a bulldozer and track hoe, he could do everything. He was really a marvelous person.
Then somehow or another, the greenskeeper, he's never cut a blade of grass in his life. But the first year we got out alive. Jerry Pate won the tournament and of course puts Deane in the pond, and I never thought he was going to push me, but he did (laughter).
We got by the first year okay. But the second year they cut the greens down -- got a new superintendent, cut the greens a little shorter and had an evolution there. They were ready to kill me down there. The second year was really bad.
But I really appreciate Deane let me come back, and we went over the greens and Bobby Weed softened them, and Mr. Finchem let me come back again this year, a couple years ago, and he went over the Tournament Players Club one more time, and we're doing, I think, a little better. People are not quite so mad, and it's draining a little better and so forth. I really appreciate coming back.
But the only thing I get to think, been back here five times doing it. We should have 90 holes but we've still just got 18. But so far.
And then after the evolution at the tournament players club I sneaked off to the Dominican Republic, and I went down there to build a golf course, and they wanted -- convinced them to go out in the country. They had a big sugar place out there, but they didn't have a paved road within 35 miles, and I kept saying, well, look, building a golf course, people will finally get here somehow or another. So they let me start building a golf course out there.
One of the vice presidents came up after I had been there about three or four months, and he kind of stuttered, he said Pete, today I can't speak Spanish or English. We've gone over almost 500,000 acres down here, and you're not even building on our property (laughter).
Well, the owners have been putting up with me since 1970. I don't know why they haven't shot me, but they haven't. And if I hold on long enough, I'll build nine more holes. I've got nine holes under construction down there, and if I do, Mr. Finchem, they will have 90 holes. They will have 90 holes down there.
Anyhow, after we got back of all this, I know that there are three people out here that are trustees of your organization, and I've been building a golf course for all of them, and Mr. Evans now has Oak Tree. I had my first major championship at Oak Tree. It's kind of fallen apart. We may have to go back and do a little pushing out there. And Mr. Kohler is out there. I've been pushing his stuff around for so long. We're still speaking, though. Just barely, but we're still speaking. He's going to have the PGA Championship in '10 and '15 and hopefully -- I hope I get to see somebody set this up and tell us what happened in the Ryder Cup in 2020. And then Mr. Govern is here and he's got the Ocean Course where we had the Ryder Cup and we're going to have the PGA Championship in 2012. So I hope you people -- how many people have I forgotten?
Well, right now, I've got a new member, Mr. Cook, and Mr. Ferguson. They have bought the old French Lick resort in southern Indiana. That's where Larry Bird was from, and they've done a great job, restored the whole area down there, and they've given me the highest point in Indiana to build a golf course.
And I know they think I should be done by now, but we're just a little late and just a little over budget. But I hope to have -- the PGA has come by and they said they're going to have their club professional championship there in the year 2010, and they have the old Donald Ross golf course that was built there in 1917, which Walter Hagen won the PGA in 1924 and Mickey Wright won the LPGA down there in 1960.
Well, a good friend of mine, Lee Smit, came in and rebuilt the old Ross course and left the greens just like they were in 1917 and the mounds and this. So now here's a golf course that has the contour from back to front and the greens roll five and six feet, and the Bermudagrass in the fairways, and I have this other one up on top of the hill hopefully that they'll have a Stimpmeter reading of 12, and then they'll go down and play the one that Mr. Ross built at six on the Stimpmeter, and on Bermudagrass, they'll go to bent. And once the club professionals get wind of that, there will probably be another rebellion.
Thanks a lot. Great to be here.
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