Game Plans

There are many great golfing stories. But I’ve never heard one quite like that told by our magazine’s creative director, Jenifer Kresge. She recalled that as a child she used to tag along with her golfer grandmother on her seemingly endless rounds. Boring stuff, for the most part, until the day one of Grandma’s drives met up with a sandwich bag that happened to be blowing across the fairway. The ball entered the bag, and the combination kept going.

And you thought you’d faced some tricky second shots.

The most memorable moment of my golfing career? The time in college when I hit a shot deep into the woods and proceeded to find 75 other balls. Oh, I guess I should talk about the highlight on the course: the day I broke 90 for only the second time in my life—but nobody else was there to see it.

Obviously, I haven’t been wildly successful at golf, and the main reason (besides having never taken a lesson) is that I swing too hard, raising my head. Of course, that results in topping the ball, ripping out a foot-long furrow behind it, or missing it altogether. “I’m trying to kill it,’’ I used to mutter to myself. “You’re trying to kill it,’’ my brother would say when I returned to the cart. Okay, I get it: Killing the ball never pays.

Unless you’re Arnold Palmer.

As Palmer recounts in our cover story this month (page 42), his dad, Deacon, once gave him this bit of sage advice about striking the ball: “Hit it hard, boy. Hit it hard. Then go find it, and hit it hard again.’’ And he did. The boy swung so hard he sometimes would leave his feet. But Palmer had the skill and discipline to turn that oversized swing into something magical: 62 PGA tour victories and a permanent place in the hearts of golf fans everywhere. Much of that success was because of his dad, and as Father’s Day approaches, Palmer talks movingly with writer Peter Kerasotis about the influence of his father on his game—but even more on his entire life.

“It wasn’t just everything I know about golf that my father taught me,’’ the 83-year-old Palmer says. “It was simply everything. How to eat, how to drink, how to act, how to sit, how to talk … he gave it all to me.”
What better tribute to a dad could there be?

We’ve settled on the 15 finalists for our annual Cover Pet Contest, so now it’s your turn to help choose the winner. Starting June 8, you can go to and vote for the most adorable animal friend—they’re counting on you. Voting continues until June 29. Watch for the winner on the front of our annual September Pet Issue.




Categories: Column