Ron Sirak in Conversation with Dan Jenkins: Part 2

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
(drum thumps loudly, orchestra crescendos dramatically)
00:13
[Voiceover] You know, when you were talking
00:15
about coming in here, and hanging out
00:17
with the celebrities that were in here,
00:19
there would also be players, right?
00:21
Yeah. Oh yeah.
00:22
I mean there was a much different atmosphere then,
00:23
where, did you feel you had a greater opportunity
00:26
to get to know who they are?
00:27
Well sure. I mean, you wouldn't see too many
00:30
Jack Nicklauses in here.
00:32
But you'd get all the Dave Marrs,
00:33
and Ed Sneeds, and Dave Eichelberger and guys like that,
00:36
the second tier people.
00:39
You would get an Arnold occasionally,
00:41
you know, for a minute or two.
00:43
But there were guys who would hang out with you
00:45
for a long time.
00:46
And it was fun. You know what, you talked about,
00:50
you didn't talk much golf.
00:52
You talked about other sports.
00:54
The guys that I got along with the best on the tour,
00:58
Well I had to get along with nearly all of 'em
01:00
for all those years, but the ones
01:02
I enjoyed the conversations with
01:05
were the ones we didn't talk much about golf.
01:07
We talked about other sports.
01:08
And how did it help you as a writer, to get to know
01:10
these other aspects of these guys.
01:12
Well I think it helped me get to know them better.
01:14
There's no point in them getting to know me.
01:17
They see me sitting here with my cocktail,
01:20
they know me already. (laughs)
01:24
But, just the exchange of ideas,
01:26
and the exchange of humor.
01:28
I mean so many funny things were said
01:30
at this particular bar.
01:32
I can't even remember 'em all now.
01:34
Or hardly any of it.
01:36
It just all kinda went by in one great big ...
01:41
you know, film of some kind.
01:43
You wonder why you were even in it.
01:46
You know, you have to be somewhere every night.
01:49
I mean, Lord knows I was always staying in The Lodge
01:52
in those days.
01:53
I had entrees.
01:55
It was just very convenient for me,
01:57
not to have to come in from Monterey,
02:00
or a hotel somewhere else.
02:01
And I was here, and all the athletes,
02:05
or the players who came in here,
02:07
they were staying in The Lodge.
02:09
Now they weren't going to commute over here.
02:12
So it was easy, we were all going to the same tent.
02:15
That's something that's very different now.
02:17
Much different.
02:18
Because we're in a situation where people travel
02:20
in private planes, staying in private homes.
02:21
And they don't have that interaction.
02:25
Well, they were kind of divided into two groups
02:28
in the old days, the old day's being the 60's and 70's,
02:32
which seem like yesterday, in a way.
02:35
You had the guys who didn't travel with their wives,
02:38
the guys who traveled with their wives and kids.
02:42
I once, I used to make 'em mad.
02:44
I wrote a line about Johnny Miller one day,
02:46
I said What good is it to be Johnny Miller,
02:50
to be a golf star, when the most exciting thing
02:53
that happens to you is you watch your kids
02:55
turn over a glass of milk.
02:56
But that's the way it was, you know.
02:59
He was never going to be at the bar with me.
03:02
Did you have a lot of exchange
03:03
with players that you wrote about then,
03:05
when you would write about something like that?
03:07
Would you get challenged or confronted
03:09
if somebody didn't like something?
03:12
Only a couple of times.
03:13
Normally they appreciated the humor,
03:16
they understood what I was doing.
03:17
Sometimes I would tip 'em off, and say, you know,
03:20
I'm gonna have to have a little fun with you,
03:22
for those four bogeys in a row, if you don't mind.
03:25
You know, that kind of thing, but
03:27
yeah, most of 'em, the intelligent ones, (chuckles)
03:29
were okay with it.
03:31
That was a small list, by the way.
03:33
Do you think it was that
03:34
that was an easier dynamic to get going.
03:36
Because you did have moments like this with them,
03:38
Where they saw you ...
03:39
Sure. But also, the great thing about a lot of them,
03:42
that I knew well,
03:44
whether it was Tom Weiskopf, or Dave Marr or somebody,
03:47
they were guys I could go to before the tournament started.
03:50
And Jack, especially,
03:52
and find out everything I needed to know
03:55
about the golf course.
03:57
How it was gonna play. Where the tough spots were.
04:00
What to look out for. What not to look out for.
04:02
Who should play well here. Who shouldn't play well here.
04:05
Whose game wasn't,
04:06
Trevino was a terrific type of guy
04:09
to get to tell you everything.
04:11
So you were prepared.
04:13
You did know what to look out for then.
04:16
Now, I don't know, you know?
04:17
What should I look out for?
04:19
Well, look out for my agent,
04:20
and then look out for my swing coach.
04:23
Oh, I'll keep an eye on that.
04:25
You saw Hogan in '53,
04:27
Yeah.
04:28
You saw Tiger in 2000.
04:30
Yeah.
04:31
Was what Tiger did here, in 2000,
04:34
winning by 15 strokes,
04:35
one of the more remarkable performances?
04:38
Well it has to be.
04:39
I mean, the fact that he did it at Pebble,
04:41
I don't, I still don't understand how he did it.
04:43
Except I guess it wasn't too windy.
04:45
I don't know.
04:46
Maybe the greens were a little softer.
04:47
I have no idea.
04:48
And that was when Tiger was at his best.
04:52
He'll never be any better than he was in the year 2000.
04:56
Whole different ball game.
04:58
Different equipment, different setup.
05:02
The old Open courses, I will always believe,
05:06
were tougher, I think the rough was higher,
05:08
and the fairways were narrower.
05:11
And in some cases, usually,
05:13
the greens were awful tricky and uneven.
05:20
You know, it used to be, greens were smaller, for one thing.
05:25
If you missed a green, you were in serious cabbage.
05:30
It was almost like am automatic bogey.
05:33
That's why Hogan was so good in The Open.
05:34
Because he was always in the fairway,
05:36
and, (chuckles) almost always on the green.
05:39
(drum thumps suddenly, orchestra plays dramatically)
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