Ron Sirak in Conversation with Dan Jenkins: Part 1

Ron Sirak sits down with Writer-at-Large Dan Jenkins at Pebble Beach's legendary Club XIX to look back on the 57 U.S. Open Championships that Jenkins covered.

Released on 6/20/2010

Credits

Starring: Ron Sirak and Dan Jenkins

Transcript

00:00
(triumphant music)
00:14
Over here at the Pebble Beach Lodge,
00:15
with the two legends,
00:17
Club XIX, one of the watering holes
00:19
with a whole lot of history,
00:20
and Dan Jenkins, the dean of golf writers.
00:23
Dan, 57 U.S. opens,
00:26
including all five at Pebble Beach,
00:28
but you go back before opens were played
00:31
at Pebble Beach and the old Crosby tournament here.
00:34
You've had a lot of cheeseburgers in that chair.
00:36
Ah, what did I count?
00:38
64, 70, 74,
00:40
something like that? I think you were
00:40
in the mid '70s with the cheeseburgers, yeah.
00:42
I tended to rely on character and conditioning
00:45
to see me through it all. (laughing)
00:48
You know, Dan,
00:50
it's so different now than it was
00:52
when you first started coming here.
00:54
Everything's gotten bigger.
00:55
It was a whole lot more of an
00:57
intimate atmosphere back then, wasn't it?
01:00
That's why I live in the past.
01:01
(chuckling) Always.
01:03
Yeah, it was much, much easier.
01:06
There were still a lot of people out on the golf course,
01:08
but access was everything
01:11
and it was easier to park,
01:13
easier to you know, give credentials,
01:15
easier to do everything and certainly easier to
01:18
talk to the players and hang out with them.
01:20
Well, if you were the mayor of Club XIX
01:22
and spent a lot of time in that chair,
01:24
when you are sitting there, who'd you run into here?
01:27
My good friend Dave Moore would drop by
01:29
and stay four, five hours,
01:32
and every celebrity at Crosby.
01:35
I was here in this chair for 16 Crosbys
01:37
and I had a lot of James Garners and a lot of
01:40
Jack Lemmons and a lot of George C. Scotts
01:42
wandering through the room.
01:44
It was kind of fun, you know, it was dazzling.
01:48
It was glitzy.
01:50
It was Hollywood.
01:52
One of my favorite moments was when
01:55
Garner had been upstairs to dinner or something
01:58
and he'd come back in here and he'd always say to me,
02:00
Why am I not surprised to see you're
02:02
still sitting here?
02:04
And I'd say, Well, I'm waiting for Lana Turner.
02:07
That's what we used to call it.
02:09
I'm going to go to Club XIX and wait for Lana Turner.
02:11
When I said that, he said, That's mine, now.
02:13
That's going to be my line.
02:16
Lemmon was great.
02:17
Lemmon was terrific.
02:18
Everybody loved him, he was fun on the golf course.
02:21
I think really,
02:23
this room and this chair,
02:25
and being here at the Crosby is where it was,
02:29
which we called it The Crosby in those days,
02:32
I think it was where it was invented
02:34
that there is nothing more boring
02:35
than a golf tournament in the daytime. (laughing)
02:40
And so, these great moments would happen at night time.
02:42
Now, these people were people
02:44
who had achieved an enormous amount
02:46
in the area that they were in,
02:48
celebrities, actors,
02:50
what was their connection to golf and how did they feel,
02:53
what do you think drew them to the game?
02:56
I don't know, I think it was just the fun,
02:59
the camaraderie of it all.
03:00
They didn't mind, since they were performers,
03:03
they didn't mind going out there
03:04
and making a fool of themselves.
03:06
I did mind it because I used to fancy myself
03:09
as a decent player when I was younger
03:11
and I was invited to
03:14
play in the Crosby numerous times.
03:15
I'm the only guy that ever turned it down.
03:17
You know, I have all my badge of honors.
03:19
Dave Maher used to want me to play,
03:21
Ben Crenshaw asked me three times to play with him.
03:24
Even Kathryn Crosby asked me to
03:25
come and play one year
03:27
and I said no, I don't like ice plant that much,
03:30
I don't like being in the rough that much.
03:32
I don't want to get up at six a.m.,
03:34
put on eight sweaters and two rain suits
03:36
and make a fool of myself.
03:37
I would rather be in Club XIX and you know,
03:41
I'll see you there.
03:43
Let's talk about this as a golf course.
03:46
It's had so many great events here,
03:50
which ones stand out for you?
03:53
I think the one that stands out the most
03:55
is 1972, the open.
03:58
It's the first time Yelverton played here.
04:01
The right guy won it, Jack Nicklaus.
04:03
It was a great leader board
04:04
most of the way.
04:05
Arnold was up there, Trevino was up there.
04:09
It took 290 to win it.
04:11
The wind blew like crazy.
04:15
It introduced Pebble
04:17
as a place that should hold opens as often as possible.
04:22
And like I said,
04:23
it meant so much for Jack to win it.
04:28
'82, you had Watson and Nicklaus coming down the stretch.
04:30
That wasn't bad.
04:33
'92, you had Tom Kite,
04:35
who was a good grinding player
04:37
who got everything out of himself.
04:40
You could have some funny winners.
04:42
There was a very funny leader board
04:43
for three days that year,
04:45
Gil Boyans, and Tom Montgomery.
04:48
That kind of thing.
04:50
But a good guy won it and then you had Tiger
04:51
lapping the field in 2000.
04:54
So it has held up.
04:56
It's the one open course so far
05:00
that you have to have an embarrassment.
05:03
You have to have an inconvenience, let's say.
05:06
It hasn't had,
05:09
the press hasn't had the inconvenience of a Jack Black
05:12
or Sam Parks Jr., or you know,
05:15
Steve Jones or something like that.
05:17
They've all been quality winners here.
05:19
Is that luck or is that the golf course?
05:22
I don't know,
05:23
I think it's got something to do with the golf course.
05:25
I really do, I hope it does.
05:27
I don't know why in the world
05:29
a great course like Oakmont or Oakland Hills
05:32
would produce a funny winner, but it has.
05:34
They have.
05:36
I suppose that's just the charm of the game, I suppose.
05:39
It's okay if it happens every fifty years.
05:41
I'm happy with that.
05:42
But when it happens too often,
05:44
(chuckling)
05:44
it's inconvenient for the people on deadline.
05:47
(triumphant music)
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