GOLF’S SUPER-TEACHER WHO HELP CHANGE GOLF HISTORY
Working in the golf business almost all my life, PGA TOUR pros, Champions’ Tour players, and LPGA women pro-golfers have shared many intimate stories with me, most of which they have allowed me to include in magazine articles and books I have written.
When selling pre-publication first-serial rights to a magazine, including GOLF Magazine, the publication I worked for as an editor from 1982-1999, the publisher of a book I’d written would almost always ask me what story would trigger the most publicity if it were excerpted in a magazine, as a first serial article.
When it came to recommending a segment from the book, 101 Super-Shots, I wrote with the great shot-maker, Chi Chi Rodriguez, I picked out a few favorite shots, yet said they were all good, and suggested that when the editor of the magazine officially purchases first serial rights he or she could choose what excerpt to run.
Out of respect for Chi Chi, his wife Iwalani, and daughter Donnette, and the very private life his family preferred to live when Chi Chi was home from playing tour golf, I did not want Chi Chi to be bombarded with phone calls from amateur and pros looking for lessons on how to hit creative pitch and chip shots, Chi Chi’s real forte. This was an even bigger concern of mine, after I read the Foreword that was submitted by an iconic golf figure. Once the Press got hold of this they would hound Chi Chi and the golfer who had written the Foreword.
In the Foreword, this was written:
In the game of golf, Chi Chi has separated himself from the rest of the world, with his uncanny knack for shot-making.
“Chi Chi is a genius at Super-shots.”
The man, a world-class golfer, believed so much in Chi Chi’s shot-making talent that when his son Jackie came to him asking for help with the short game, he recommended Chi Chi.
“Chi Chi worked tirelessly with Jackie. When he returned home, Jackie learned such an impressive collection of shots, I asked him to show them to me,” said our mystery man.
Jackie did that. The man’s reaction: “The use of Chi Chi’s super-shots actually helped me in my 1986 Masters victory.”
Now that thirty years have gone by since 101 Super-Shots was published, I can now reveal the man’s name who wrote the Foreword and credited Chi Chi for one of his major championships wins – – his historic 18th major, at age 46: