Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on June 20, 1976 · Page 43
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Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 43

Charleston, West Virginia
Issue Date:
Sunday, June 20, 1976
Page 43
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Page 43 article text (OCR)

-- Slafl Pholoby Lew Raines George Herscher Shoots His Age at 82 He's Belonged to Kanawha Country Club for 47 Years Herscher Used to Shooting His Age If you were a golfer and could have one wish come true, what would it be? To win the U.S. Open or to make a hole-in-one or to play a round with a star like Arnold Palmer? Well, I'll tell you my secret ambition: to shoot my age someday. That's my dream because it would mean that I will still be around at an advanced age and still able to play golf and to play it somewhat decently. Although if my game doesn't improve, I may have to live to 100 to do it. That's one reason why I admire a golfer like George S. Herscher, Sr., of Charleston. He first shot his age at 72 (with a 68 round) and he is still doing it at the age of 82. Herscher has carded a pair of 81s and a pair of 83s so far this year at Kanawha Country Club. Herscher has shot his age so often in the past 10 years that it's become old hat to him. "It's no big deal," he said. "I never think about it when I start a round of golf. I'm just happy to shoot in the mid 80s,"added Herscher, who has a 17 handicap at Kanawha. Herscher usually plays golf twice a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays. He shot an 87 last Wednesday while playing with 74-year-old Emory Young, who had an 88 round. "We played a couple of men in t h e i r 60s and it was a close match,"Herscher said. Cooling off after his round with a glass of beer, Herscher told about his 47 years on the links. "I didn't start playing golf until I was 35. That was in 1929," he said. "I joined Kanawha that year and I've got the oldest membership in the club." Although he never took any golf lessons, Herscher was the Kanawha club champion in 1931, 1933, 1934, 1937, 1943 and 1944. "I remember playing a match with Ed Tutwiler in 1933 when he was the champion of the White Oak club in Oak Hill at the age of 14,"Herscher said. All of his old playing companions at Kanawha are gone. "They are either dead or not playing golf any more. I'm the only one left," Herscher said sadly.'Bill Lively, Harry Stansbury, Wherle Geary, Dick Richardson, Bill Scott, L. E. Huffman, Clarence Dunn, Andy Gallagher and many others have gone." Herscher doesn't enjoy golf as much as he used to, he admitted. "I don't get as much thrill out of it now," he commented. "When you can't play anything well, you don't enjoy it as much. Why, I'm 75 to 80 yards shorter off the tee than I used to be. I could drive the first green when I was younger but now I can't even get up the hill. My puttingjs still about the same. My problem is getting there." Herscher is in good health and plans to keep on playing golf as long as possible. 'I'm fortunate that I inherited long life. My father lived to be almost 98 and my brother Charley is 94." he said. Herscher retired from the McJunkin Corp. in 1950. Herscher has played in the Virginias Seniors matches at White Sulphur Springs for 29 years and has won medals in 22 of the years. Three Groups Trying to Buy Sandy Brae There apparently are at least three different local parties interested in buying the Sandy Brae golf course property near Clendenin from the Farmers Home Administration. One group is the Kanawha County Parks and Recreation Commission, which voted last Tuesday to pursue the possibility of buying-Sandy Brae on terms of nothing down and $37,000 a year. The approximately $600,000 purchase price could be paid over 40 years at 5 per cent interest, said commission director Austin Palmer. Another group Is the Charleston Elks Lodge No. 202, which appointed a committee two weeks ago to negotiate the purchase of the property. David Cannon, the lodge's exalted ruler, said the Elks would consider opening the course for public use in that area If they bought it. The third party seeking to buy Sandy Brae Is a private group of three area men. Bill;Boggs, one of the men, said their intentions are to make It a public course. "We! want to make it attractive for the middle class person with reasonable rates, like $9 for combined cart rental and green fees,'· Boggs said. If they bought the prop- ertyj Boggs said they would like to build campsites, chalets and a steakhouse-dinner club on the 427-acre site. J.iKenton Lambert of Morgantown, the state-director of the Farmers Home Administration, said Friday that he feels the FHA will consummate a deal for sale of the property. 'We will try to be fair and secure the best deal we can for the taxpayer,":Lambert remarked. Of the groups trying to buy Sandy Brae, only the Kanawha County Parks and Re- creation Commission is eligible for terms of no down payment and a 40-year mortgage, Lambert said. "We could only do that with a tax supportive instituion. But that does not mean to say that we will do that," Lambert stated. Since the Sandy Brae property is presently In the government Inventory category, Lambert said the FHA can sell it for the highest price and can reject bids. "If we can't reach an agreement, we could declare It surplus property and sell it at auction. But I doubt if we will have to do that," Lambert said. The course is not being kept open for play while awaiting sale 'because we do not have the professional help to open it," Lambert said. Kanawna County recreation director Palmer feels the county should receive priority in buying Sandy Brae. 'A lot of federal tax money was put into it to provide recreation In a rural area, and we would keep it for that use," Palmer said. "We are working now to establish our eligibility as a buyer, and we are hoping to put together a package that won't evolve any significant outlay of county funds. I think a lot of the people who play golf at Shawnee should support the purchase of Sandy Brae because it would reduce some of the load on Shawnee." Palmer also said the recreation commission "Is receptive to working something out to help senior citizens" in their e f f o r t s to h a v e r e d u c e d golf rates.'However, the commission is anxious to treat all senior citizens equal, be they golfers, swimmers, tennis players or in other activities," Palmer added. State Parks Tourney Slated at Cacapon CHIP SHOTS: The West Virginia state parks golf operations are going to have a bicentennial golf tournament Aug. 6-8 at Cacapon State Park, said golf manager E. Paul Lemon, Entry fee for the 54-hole tournament is $40 with an entry deadline of July 19. Golfers should make their checks payable to Cacapon Golf Club and send them to golf pro Charles Fields, Cacapon State Park Golf Course, Berkeley Springs, W.Va. 25411. A field of 25 players will compete next Sunday, June 27, at the Sugarwood course nearHuntington for two berths in the U.S. Publics Links Tournament at Coon Rapids, Mich., July 12-17. Marshall University golfer Harold Payne came within two shots of qualifying for .a--trip to Japan, said coach Joe Feaganes. The top eight golfers in the NCAA tournament will make up a U.S. team that will'piay in Japan. Payne tied for 19th in the NCAA with a 293 total for 72 holes. The Marshall team'will have everybody back next sefen but the Herd ma trouble getti|? another NCAA bil reason? Because Marshall is now a Southern Conference member, the Herd has been moved from midwest District 4 to southern District 3 which includes all the southern golf powers like Wake Forest and Florida. "The Southern Conference champion doesn't get an automatic NCAA golf bid," said coach Feaganes. "We'll just play more of our matches farther south and try to impress some people." The Tri-State PGA Tournament will be held June 28-29 at Parkersburg Country Club. Leading pros from the Pittsburgh area will compete along with state pros. "This is the first time in 15 years that the Tri-State PGA has been held in West Virginia," said Parkersburg pro Jerry Walker. The third annual Lane Craig Memorial golf and tennis tournament is scheduled for the Roane County Field Club near Spencer next Saturday and Sunday. The event is held in memory of Lane Craig, a cancer victim. All proceeds will go A the American Cancer Society. Jones and Nicklaus Similar In Character, But Not in Style By Dave Anderson (C) New York Timei Service DULUTH, Ga.-In the gleaming elegance of the Bob Jones Trophy Room, a voice drawled reverentially, as if in church, "Look at those clubs, every one's got a wooden shaft." The pklgrims here visiting the shrine that the Atlanta Athletic Club has erected to honor its most famous golfer. Bob Jones never played the holes where the United Slates Open is being conducted. He was crippled by a spinal disease before they were constructed. But he was a member of the AAC when it owned the East Lake course several miles away before moving into the suburbs. And now, in a Bicentennial tribute to a four-time winner, the U.S. Open is here. But the aura of Bob Jones is challenged by the presence of Jack Nicklaus--the successor to the throne. Jones, his idol as a youngster. When he was asked what famous golfer he would most like to oppose in the Great Challenge Match in the Sky, he mentioned Jones immediately. Jones Nicklaus "What course?" "St. Andrew's," he said. "We both won the British Open there and it's the home of golf." ' 'Medal play or match play?" "It wouldn't make much difference." "Who would win?" "I would hope that he would think he would win," Nicklaus said, "and I would hope that I would think I would win." That's the only appropriate answer. Nearly half a century separated their eras. No Scores in 50s, Architect Predicts DULUTH, Ga. (AP) - Golfers keep getting better and better but scores will not dip into the 50s, the world's most famous golf course architect predicted Saturday. "There is an adversary relationship between the tournament player and the architect," said Robert Trent Jones of New York, who has designed scores of famous courses throughout the world. "As equipment improves and as players become stronger and more skilled, the architects keep conceiving ways to keep the players from completely overpowering the courses. "It's a continuing war. The players are the attackers, the course and its architects are the defenders." Jones made his comments during a raging controversy over the toughened playing conditions of the Atlanta Athletic Club course, site of the 76th U.S. Open. After the first two rounds, only two players, John Mahaffey and Al Geiberger, were under par. Officials of the U.S. Golf Association and the club have been sharply criticized by leading players for what they say in "hoking up the course." Main complaints have been against the length of fairway grass, the narrowness of the hitting areas and the hardness of the greens. "Some of the criticisms may be justified," said Jones, who redesigned the last nine holes of this Atlanta course, "but the traditional theme of Open courses is that a player be penalized for an errant shot. "It is the only defense against diminishing scores, it is necessary to tighten the fairways, reduce the targets and apply subtlety to the greens to make scoring more difficult. "Otherwise, golf would be a travesty. Players would completely crush a course and there would be no contest." Mahaffey's Big Lead Cut to Two Strokes Continued From Page ID Jack Nicklaus finally made a birdie, but had his worst round of the tournament he was favored to win, a 75. The holder of a record 14 major professional championships, he appeared out of title contention in this one at 219, 12 shots back. Nicklaus hit a nine iron only three feet from the flag on the 13th hole and made the putt for his first birdie in this championship. Almost incredibly, the man generally considered to be the finest player in the world had gone 56 holes--going back to his last previous start--without making a birdie. Mahaffey, using the putter he'd given to his mother as a present then retrieved last winter on a visit to Kerrville, Tex., one- putted six times over the first nine holes, played that side in 32 and had a six stroke lead when the national television cameras ended their coverage for the day. At that point it appeared he was on the way to a rout. He was the only man under par at that point. He had a shot at a score in the mid-60s. He needed only to par in from that point to match the Open scoring record. But it changed swiftly as the summer lightning that threatened to wipe out the whole day's activity arrived. Suffers Double Bogey Mahaffey dropped an eightfoot putt to save par on the 10th. Then, on the troublesome, controversial llth, a par four that's 480 yards in length and 10 more than the standard for par fours, he drove into the rough. He had no chance of reaching the green on his second shot. He pitched on in three and then three-putted for a double bogey. At the same time, the 22- year-old Pate, a former national amateur champion, was playing the par-five 12th. Pate, one of six men tied for second, blasted a three wood second shot on the green, then holed a 35-40-foot eagle putt. It was a four stroke swing. From six shots back, Pate suddenly trailed by only two. Pate parred in from there, but Mahaffey still had some dramatic struggles in the gathering gloom. He bounced right back from the double bogey with a 25-foot birdie putt on the next hole, his third of that length for the day. He flew a five iron to within three feet and made the putt for birdie on the 14th hole. But he missed the green on the 16th and 17th and bogeyed both, dropping back to only two strokes in front. Pate Starts Poorly Pate started poorly. He threeputted for bogey on the first hole, then made double bogey five from the water on the fourth. "I hit the wrong club on No. 4," he said. "So I just told myself, "I'm gonna make all my mistakes on the first four holes. I'm not gonna make any more'." He scored a duece from 10 feet on the seventh hole, ran in a curling 30-footer on the wet, slow green on the eighth, bagged the dramatic eagle on the 12th and then parred home in darkness so severe, he said, "I could barely see." Mahaffey, who has finished second a half-dozen times in the last 1% seasons without winning, holed a 10-foot putt on the eighth to sav par and then cast a relieved, thankful glan e at the leaden skies. He had dropped a pair of birdie putts in the 20-25 foot range and on the fourth, a par three, stuck his tee shot only eight feet from the flag. ' The Program of the Year isn't on If sin the Air Force ROTC. Look into the Air Force ROTC. And there are 4-year, 3-year, or 2-year programs to choose from. Whichever you select, you'll leave college with a commission as an Air Force officer. With opportunities for a position with responsibility...challenge...and, of course, financial rewards and security. The courses themselves prepare you for leadership positions ahead. Positions as a member of an aircrew... or as a missile launch officer...positions using Look out for yourself. Look into the Air Force ROTC programs on campus. Professor of Aerospace Studies Room 4, Stansbury Hall West Virginia University Morgantown, W.Va. 26506 (304)293-5421/5422 Put it all togther in Air Force ROTC. "THE MOST IMPORTANT factor in comparing athletes of different eras is the competitive nature of the athletes themselves," says Harold Sargent, the club pro here. "Whether it's Muhammad All and Joe Louis, or Pete Rose and Ty Cobb, or Jack Nicklaus and Bob Jones, they're such strong competitiors, each would be capable of finding a way to win." Sargent remembers playing friendly rounds of golf with Jones at East Lake long after he retired following his 1930 Grand Slam. "We always based his game on 68 over 18 holes. He always played hard, he was a competigor. But he had one standing joke. At the club one day he asked the locker- room man how things were going and the locker-room man told him h£had so many shoes to shine, it seemed like everybody just came to the club to get their shoes shined. When Jones wasn't playing well, he would say, 'I just came out to get my shoes shined today.' "Jack Nicklaus and Bob Jones are very similar in some ways and completely opposite in others. Each has high character, each had tremendous courage on the golf course, each had strong concentration. But in style, Jack is power personified while Bob Jones had a graceful, flowing rhtyhm. Bob's swing was different too. Pros today don't make ths big hip turn he did with the loop at the top. His concentration kept bis swing together." Byron Nelson remembers Jones and he has observed Nicklaus in his role as an ABC television analyst. "They both got themselves up from a big tournament, and Bob Jones only played in big tournaments," the 1939 U.S. Open Champion says. "Both loved to win but both were pleasant to the people they played with. But to me, Jack is a little tougher concentrator than Bob Jones was. I don't think Jack ever lets anything upset him. Both were great clutch putters but I think Jack's the best clutch putter I ever saw if his life depended on it." *** FRED CORCORAN, the golf promoter who has spanned the half a century, recalls asking Walter Hagan what golfer he would select to oppose any two other golfers with $10,000 of his own money at stake. "Walter said, 'That's easy, Bob Jones, he's the best competitor I've ever seen," Corcoran says. "That was in 1964 before Jack really came on strong but Bob Jones retired at 28, he had won those 13 major tournaments at that age. Jones also beat a difficult temperament, which Jack never had. Jones has a club-thrower as a kid, but' Jones beat Jones and learned to control himself. He also practiced with woods more than any golfer I've ever seen. He'd take a red stocking full of balls and his 3-wood and go up on a hill and hit balls for two hours." Toney Penna, a club designer who was a contemporary of Jones and is an admirer of Nicklaus, testifies to Jones's skill with woods. "Jack's not a swinger, he's a hitter," Venna says. "Jones was a swinger but he was long when he had to be. On par four holes, he seldom let out but on par five holes, all of a sudden he was 20 yards ahead of you. The big difference to me in trying to compare them is that Jack has had an advantage that Jones never had in being able to use TV and movies to see himself swing. Jones never saw himself swing until he made those movies in Hollywood after he retired. Another thing, Jack conducts himself better than anybody I've ever seen in golf. Jones broke clubs as a kid." Watts Gunn also knew Jones as a contemporary. In ths 1925 U.S. Amateur, they opposed each other in the final--the only time two members of the same club played for the title. "In our matches at East Lake," says Gunn, "he always gave me four strokes. So when we were about to tee off for the U.S. Amateur title, I asked him if he was going to give me my usual four strokes. You couldn't print what he said." Tom Barnes, another successful amateur from East Lake, played with Jones in his last full 18-hole round. "That was June 18,1948," Barnes says, "and he was playing well until he suddenly duck-hooked his drive on the 17th tee. He kind of shuffled off the tee and the next day he went into the hospital. That's when they discovered his spinal disease. I'm still looking for the scorecard from that round." If it's ever found, it belongs in the Bob Jones Trophy Room. Tirestone^) f^ %F CAR SERVICE Very Important Protection at Very Inexpensive Prices! BRAKE OVERHAUL Install factory prc-arced linings and rebuild cylinders on all 4 wheels; turn drums; install NEW return springs and NEW front grease seals; repack front bearings; add required fluid; and inspect system. $ ONLY 66 68 Includes ALL parts listed. If you prefer NEW wheel cylinders, add $7 each. Drum type All American cars (except luxury) WHEN WE SERVICE YOUR CAR YOU RECEIVE: · Written warranties on all · Dependable car service, guaranteed products and services.. p ree car inspection. · Only the services you authorized · Worn parts in a hag.. performed at prices you OKed. for your inspection PICKUPS! VANS! CAMPERS! FRONT END ALIGNMENT ·w / "· ]/'.'. and *t/4 Ion pickup* with regular su^pcnMon. · ·^h Parts evlra · . · -f needed 2995 Twin "I" beam FRONT DISC BRAKE OVERHAUL Any American car except luxury cars SINGLE PISTON SYSTEM fircstonc DELUXE CHAMPION 4-PLY POLYESTER CORD TIRES 17 95 A78-13 Blackwall Plus $1.74 F.E.T. and old tire. A size S-rib design. Four tough polyester body plies and a wide, 7-rib'tread provide full rubber-to-road contact. OPEN AN ACCOUNT WE ALSO HONOR · BankAmericard · Master Charge · Diners Club-American Express · Carte Blanche. FJESTOHSTOSE 34185

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