The real golf tradition unlike any other is players complaining that the U.S. Open course is too hard. Notoriously, in 2015, it was Chambers Bay in Washington, where all the big names lined up to trash the greens. The great Gary Player, invited there to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his career Grand Slam, had the harshest words of all.
Player didn’t even need much to get started. The question that set off his rant was “How are you?”
“[T]he man who designed this golf course had to have had one leg shorter than the other,” Player said. Well, the man who designed that golf course, Robert Trent Jones Jr., still remembers. In last week’s Golf Digest, Jones was asked about Player’s comments, and while relatively unincendiary, he did have this to say:
“Gary Player wasn’t playing in the tournament,” Jones said. “I think Gary Player, as we all know him, is kind of a showboater. For whatever reason he chose to make those comments.”
Keep in mind that we’re dealing with an 81-year-old and a 77-year-old, neither the type to let a grudge go. So today on Twitter, Player put out a statement. Maybe an overreaction to what really weren’t particularly harsh comments from Jones? Sure. Entirely worth it just so we could witness the bitter burns that ooze from every paragraph? Oh my yes.
Remind me never to cross Gary Player, lest he use the time he met Nelson Mandela in order to call me a weenie.