Bobby Jones: Portrait of a Championby O. B. Keeler
Like most boys, Bobby Jones thought he could have his cake and eat it too. When he got tired of fishing and playing baseball, he caught tadpoles and tried tennis. In the perfect
Boys dream of living the perfect life. Forget about all the hassles and hang-ups that grownups find themselves shackled with. When a boy has it made he has nothing on his mind but his cap.
Like most boys, Bobby Jones thought he could have his cake and eat it too. When he got tired of fishing and playing baseball, he caught tadpoles and tried tennis. In the perfect boy's life, you can do it all. So young Bobby got hooked on golf. He was never told that golf was a grownup sport that took forever to master. And he missed hearing that only those long in the tooth and grizzled in the beard could ever climb the peak of golf's Mt. Olympus, the Grand Slam. So, young Jones took the motto of a boy's life to its apogee -- "Only the sky is the limit."
You'll discover in these pages that it was too late to warn the Boy Wonder of Dixie after he had sharpened his uncommon skills on all his friends. Jones found that tournament golf was the biggest adventure a boy could have. He attacked championships with gusto and a special attitude. Surely, boys know more about the maxim "carpe diem" than we do. They live each moment fully, which is a helpful philosophy for a golfer. By focusing only on the shot at hand, there is no time for worry to ruin the proceedings. That's just how Bobby Jones played his game. Young Jones climbed the ladder of challenge with the same curiosity and zest as ever did Jack the beanstalk. Like Jack, Master Bobby also made it to the top. By doing so, he too became a legend.
A lover of the newspaper game for many years, O.B. Keeler said he would stay in it as long as he lived. He was well into his career when he first discerned "symptoms of greatness" in Bobby Jones. Keeler followed that young man's doings so closely that in England he became known as "the Boswell of Bobby Jones." He traveled 200,000 miles with Jones and was with him in twenty-seven major or national championships, watching him win all thirteen of his major titles.
Keeler was a popular golf magazine writer, and with Bobby Jones wrote Down the Fairway and Goodbye to Golf. In 1926 he wrote for the Associated Press the only set interview with Bobby Jones. For this Keeler was made an honorary member for life of the Associated Press General Staff -- an honor shared by only a select few! In 1930, he wrote the only interview on golf by the Prince of Wales. He also wrote an article for the Encyclopedia Britannica on "The Technique of the Golf Stroke."
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