I gather most people don't remember that when the U.S. Open first went to Pebble Beach in 1972, a big deal was made of the Open going to a public course for the first time.
The first thing they gave me at 'Sports Illustrated' was a first-class air card. 'And oh, by the way, there's the petty cash drawer,' they told me. 'Take a few thousand dollars for expenses.'
Though it was never a goal in life, it has occurred to me that I've met six presidents of the United States. OK, I met four of them before they became president, including Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, No. 43.
The Masters, while it has slowly gained equal importance as a major, isn't really the championship of anything.
I get 'USA Today,' the 'New York Times,' 'Wall Street Journal' and the 'Star-Telegram' at my doorstep. I can't do without them.
The golf ball has no sense at all, which is why it has to be given stern lectures constantly, especially during the act of putting.
First, I thought Twitter was some kind of hybrid car being developed by Government Motors. Then I thought it was a new bite-size snack combining what's best of the Frito and the Cheeto. Then I found out it was me. On a laptop. At the U.S. Open. Having fun.
The greatly anticipated 2009 Masters was like going to a Broadway hit and finding out that the star, Sir Tiger Woods, was off that night, and his replacement was the cab driver who dropped you off at the theater.
I like to be entertained, not smothered with 'literary' riddles.
I quickly discovered that trying to go play golf while living in Manhattan was about as easy as trying to grab a taxi while standing out in front of Saks Fifth Avenue in the freezing rain on the last shopping day before Christmas.
My favorite sport, frankly, is college football. I'm a college football junkie, even though I'm associated with golf and like golf and have played it all my life.
There's usually one piece in 'Vanity Fair' every month that grabs me, but when it presents hatchet jobs without substantiation to impress its liberal friends, I laugh first, then toss.
Something mystical happens to every writer who goes to the Masters for the first time, some sort of emotional experience that results in a search party having to be sent out to recover his typewriter from a clump of azaleas.
All I've ever done is try to get at the truth of the matter.
The Masters is a sell-out annually, and even the scalpers mind their manners.
Just think about it: what in the name of God would Alabama be without the University of Alabama? What would Oklahoma be without the University of Oklahoma? Nothing.
The U.S. won the majors 29-11 in the 1980s. That's when Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus were carrying the ball, and when Seve Ballesteros was becoming a Brit in the minds of English and Scottish journalists.
Title IX came along and changed a lot of things for the better, but nevertheless, it meant that money became more important.
It must be the PGA Championship if it's August and you can sit down and talk to the heat or reach inside your shirt, where it's 110 degrees, and grab handfuls of humidity.
Prescott Bush was himself a president of the U. S. Golf Association at one time - 1935 - before he became a U.S. senator from the state of Connecticut.
High school golf, college golf and the decade that followed all come back to me now as one big raucous, goofy gangsome.
I don't suppose anybody's ever enjoyed being who they are more than Arnold's enjoyed being Arnold Palmer.
Historians tell us that a gentleman named John Ball once captured eight British Amateur titles.
Of course, Dwight D. Eisenhower gets credit for doing more for golf than any other White House resident, a mid- to high-handicapper though he was.
Even as a little kid, I was fascinated by newspapers and magazines. They were my TV. I'd be the first one up to grab the morning paper, mainly to look at the sports pictures, the war pictures.
Anybody can make jokes. But unless they come from conviction, and there's truth in them, you haven't nailed it. They aren't as funny as they could be, and they don't make a point.
I can only tell you that eggs, country ham, biscuits, a pot of coffee, a morning paper, a table by the window overlooking the veranda and putting green, listening to the idle chitchat of competitors, authors, wits and philosophers, hasn't exactly been a torturous way to begin each day at the Masters all these years.
The recreational golfer who gives it careful thought will conclude that the favorite golf hole in his life played downhill, gradually or severely, and normally was downwind as well.
I don't know how television or radio is going to survive without newspapers because that's where they get all their news. It's going to be hopeless.
Kids flew B-17s in daylight bombing raids over Germany in World War II. Kids fought in Korea and Vietnam.
Fort Worth is friendly; it's still a Texas town. It's the most Texas city in Texas.
I actually don't have a single regret, professionally or domestically. I planned it that way.
The key to any good sports story is identifying the defining moment. In football games or a boxing match, it's usually pretty obvious. But in golf, sometimes it happens on Thursday. Usually it's Sunday, but guys who don't know the game, they can miss it.
The devoted golfer is an anguished soul who has learned a lot about putting just as an avalanche victim has learned a lot about snow.
You can't have a U.S. Open anymore without an extra course to store all the hospitality tents. I used to be able to drive up to the clubhouse and park like the players. Now, there are seven corporate hospitality guys who have my spot, and I'm on a bus.
In a story, you have to have a theme and an angle, you have to have a beginning, middle and an end. You have to have a defining moment and kick it to death. You gotta be able to recognize that, by the way. It probably takes experience.
The reason I wrote about women's golf is because I've helped out some with the Kathy Whitworth Cup, a tournament they have in Fort Worth every year where they invite 60 of the best junior golfers in the country and even some foreign players.
I just come from a school where you have to win something to be accepted.
When I was a lad in my 20s, as carefree and debonair as any other underpaid newspaperman, I happened to be a golfer who could flirt with par fairly often, and I was adventurous enough in those days to play any known or unknown thief who showed up at Goat Hills for whatever amount he fancied.
Everybody in the Olympics is paid. Lindsay Vonn is going to make a million dollars whether she skis or not.
Putting is not an art, it's a dreaded evil. No wise man ever said that.
The ocean-bordered southern part of California has always been a place of Hollywood make-believe, casual opulence, suntans and jewelry.