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Bob Stoops takes on Augusta National Though bitten late by the golf bug, Oklahoma football coach Bob Stoops now has serious golf fever just like the rest of us. He made his third trip this spring to Augusta National, where he and his brother Mike were guests of Tulsa businessmen Bret Chandler, president of Rib Crib Corp., and oilman Bob Berry. When in town, he plays whenever possible at the Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club, at Oklahoma City Golf & Country Club or Gaillardia Country Club, and manages to get in a round at Southern Hills Country Club every summer. His brother Mike Stoops may be the best golfer in the family and this year posted a 79 at Augusta, including an eagle on the second hole. But Bob Stoops had his own highlights, including a 30-foot birdie putt on the 10th hole and a chip-in birdie on the third hole on his way to scores of 86 and 87. Stoops discussed his trip with the hosts of the Mastercraft Collision Golf Oklahoma Hour (Saturdays 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. on The Sports Animal) and again later with Golf Oklahoma. Some excerpts: What is it that draws you to the game? You can’t ever master it. I’ve given up the aggravation, because I realized I don’t have the time it takes to work on it and prepare and really get yourself ready to play, and I respect it enough to know that if you don’t, you’re not going to go out there and play real well. There’s so many moving parts. You start to get it figured out and then you don’t play for a few weeks and all of a sudden, you’re back to square one. How did you get your start? I started my senior year in college and then as a graduate assistant. My brother Mike is a really good player. He used to walk around 40 ••••••

mate at TU. He would often try to draw you into discussions about the swing. How the neighborhood and take one of my dad’s much interest did you have in those chats? clubs, which would make him mad. But he Not much about the swing. We were would be flopping shots from yard to yard. roomates for three years and good friends. We have all these postage stamp yards with My focus on golf was competing, and I had single lane driveways and he would flop already done a lot of that before I ever got from one yard to the next or over two yards. to college. You cannot teach what’s in your We would be shaking our heads, going heart and head, but you can certainly screw ‘what’s he doing walking around with that it up by blaming it on a swing. golf club.’ But now it’s paid off for him. He’s the only one from You helped launch the metal-driver era on our neighborhood the PGA Tour. What was the funniest or that can play. strangest reaction you received to the new clubs and technology? You’ve played Jack Nicklaus on the driving range at the Oakmont and 1979 Memorial Tournament. I purposely some other great got right behind him on the range. The courses in addi- first three shots I hit with it, he kept turntion to Augusta ing around, but saying nothing. The fourth National. How do he turned around and said, “What the hell you rank them? is that, Strecker?” I said, “It’s a metal wood, I’d have to put would you like to hit it?” He said, “It looks Augusta National like a driving-range club; I would never use up there at the top. something like that” I laughed then, and a All those other few years later I was playing with him at courses, you could Inverary, Jackie Gleason Tournament. I was say they’re your using it and so were many others. I rememfavorite because ber after hitting a couple of shots during the you get a different round, he came over to me and asked if that experience at all of was the same club as on his range at Methem. I found Oak- morial. “It sure is,” I said. After the round mont incredibly he came up to me on the practice tee and difficult. The high tried it. He did not get one right then, but grass everywhere I know he was playing one a few months and the different later. Never say never. places you can lose a ball. Augusta Na- You were the first golfer to complete the tional, tee to green is very challenging but cycle by winning on the PGA Tour, Nationvery manageable, it’s the greens that give you wide Tour and Champions Tour. What has trouble. Oakmont, from seeing it and experi- been your most memorable or satisfying encing it, I found it really, really rough. career win and why? The Texas Open in 1978. My mom and dad Did you get home in two on 13 or 15? were there cheering me on. I shot a tour reNo. I was left in the water both days on cord for 36 holes the last two rounds, 63 – 62, 13. I hit driver the first day. The caddie told and won the tournament by one shot over Lee me to hit the 3-metal. Second day I asked Trevino, Ben Crenshaw and Hubert Green. him for the 3-metal, which I love that club. I pulled it left into the water again. You were a great all-around athlete growing up and particularly loved basketball. What is the most striking thing about see- If you could have turned pro in any sport, ing the course in person? what would it have been. It’s breathtaking. All the fairways that Probably basketball. I knew I was too merge. The thing that struck me about it is short for a pro career. When I played there there is no rough. You can hit your ball un- was no 3-point shot, I could dunk it, but you der a pine tree, which I’ve been known to could not do that either. Being 5-11 was not do, and still find it and have a good lie. The an ideal size in those days for guards. After hills are higher than they appear on televi- I knew I wanted to play golf for a living, I sion. I got tired walking around there two never really thought about it, and that was days. my senior year in high school.

Golf Oklahoma June - July (Vol. 1, Issue 2)  

In the second issue of Golf Oklahoma we get in depth with Gil Morgan, visit Wolf Dancer golf course near Austin, and review some great golf...