Michael Bamberger’s 7 best things in golf this week, ranked

October 16, 2018
bernhard langer golf

The week in golf has passed, but not without intrigue. Each week (starting this week) Michael Bamberger will rank the best things that happened in the golf world in his eyes, starting with the German Machine. 


Is Bernhard Langer playing this week? Let me take a look. Yep, at the fabulous old-timey Country Club of Virginia in Richmond, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, in a senior event called the Dominion Energy Charity Classic. Langer is 61, and last week he won by six. Sixty-one! Six-shot win! He is absolutely one of the most remarkable golfers of all-time. Catch him while you can. He may only be around for another decade or so.


Now is a perfect time to get yourself acquainted with the extraordinary swing of Dennis Walters, who was recently announced as a member of the class of ’19 in the World Golf Hall of Fame. Dennis, a trick-shot artist paralyzed from the waist down, plays out of a golf cart. He sits in a swiveling chair, takes the club back right on plane and returns it on the exact same plane. You know the Hogan image of rod that goes through your head and spine and into the ground, and how he wants you to spin on that rod? That’s the Walters move. You know how Hogan wants you to turn in a barrel? That’s the Walters move. It’s perfect. He hits two-yard draws all day long.


The oddest and maybe most interesting golf website you do not know could be this one: pasturegolf.com. It is odd. It has stuff you will not find elsewhere, about places you will never get to. It gets updated every few years, from what I can see, but now’s as good a time as any to get into it.


There are too many coffee-table books with golf themes, but not enough by my friend and colleague John Garrity. His impossible-to-find Dunesbury, a photo collection of the great links in the kingdom, is a book I treasure. Now he has published another: Dunesbury Revisited. They said the first could not be improved upon. Hah! Good luck finding this one. But if you type “John Garrity” into your search box along with this one — “golf” — you will find yourself in the same exact place, two hours later. In every other way, you will be transported. He’s the best.


Like John, the late, great Dave Anderson was a prince of a person. If you’re a New Yorker of a certain age, you know the name as a fact-based sports columnist on the New York Times for decades. Jerry Tarde, in a fine tribute, wrote this about the man: “Maybe the most beloved typist in the press tent for the latter half of the 20th century was the great Dave Anderson. He died on Oct. 4, at age 89, still with the title: nicest guy in sports.” At his wake, there were hockey, baseball, football, boxing and golf people — and more friends and family members than you could count. If you want to do something to honor Dave this week, I suggest you pick up a newspaper — the actual paper — and read it. There’s nothing wrong with reading online. It’s become the way of the world. But reading dried ink off a piece of paper is another experience completely. Jack Nicklaus once watched Dave play a first-tee drive at Muirfield Village and it was a beauty, 225 and down the sprinkler line.  Regarding the praise from Big Jack, I once said to Dave, “That’s one you can take to the bank.” Dave said, “That’s one you can take to the grave.” RIP.


You might like the movie “First Man.” It’s slow and methodical, like the science behind space travel, but it’s excellent. No spoiler alert here: it’s about Neil Armstrong, among other things, the first man to walk on the moon, in 1969. (“That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” Poetry, from on high.) I kept waiting to see if they would show Armstrong’s sidekick, Buzz Aldrin, playing his famous golf shot on the moon. They didn’t, reason being it was Alan Shepard who played those, in 1971. The head of the club was a red-dot Wilson Staff 6-iron. You can see it at the USGA museum in Far Hills, N.J.


On the chance you didn’t know, here’s the PGA Tour schedule in its first six weeks: the Safeway Open in Napa, won by Kevin Tway on Oct. 7; the CIMB Classic, played in Kuala Lumpur and won by Marc Leishman on Oct. 14; the CJ Cup @ Nine Bridges, played in Jeju Island, Korea, and concluding on Sunday. After that, there are events in consecutive weeks in Jackson, Miss.; Shanghai, China; Las Vegas; and Playa del Carmen, Mexico. There’s nothing wrong with any of that, but let’s remember how the PGA Tour got its name. It was a tour. You drove it. You got “out” and you stayed out. This is around-the-world in 60 days, except nobody would possibly play all these events. Global golf, right here, right now. It’s all good.