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Joseph Jones a.k.a. joe jones
Now that Joseph Jones is a regular guest columnist and all, it's only fitting that we get to know him a little better. As you'll see in his GoW profile, he's a seasoned golfer who has been fortunate enough to play alongside some of golf's biggest names. He's also accomplished one of my career golfing goals - he's shot his age, multiple times. Enjoy!
How old are you and what's your occupation?
I am 78 years old and I am a retired manufacturer's rep. I currently write sports column in the Phoenix area. The title of the column is "Sports Talk with Joe Jones". I also do some public speaking. I have appeared on local talk radio and TV shows to give senior perspectives on sports.
When did you start playing golf and what's your handicap?
I started playing golf at 16 years old. My current handicap index is 13 but it was as low as 5 years ago.
How often do you play?
I get to play twice a week. After I turned 70, I shot my age or better 16 times. The last time was in 2010 when I equaled my age of 76. I have missed by a single stroke 4 times in the last 2 years but I keep trying!
Tell me about a great shot you've made.
The best shot I ever made was my 190 yard hole in one, over water and into 20mph headwind. The best part was it was witnessed by 3 baptist ministers!
What is your best golf memory?
I got to play in an LPGA Pro Am with Julie Inkster in 1996 at Old Desert Inn, Las Vegas and we won! I contributed to the winning score with 4 natural birdies and 2 net eagles. Julie Inkster is a wonderful person. She made the day a great experience.
What is your "home" course?
I have four "home" courses in Sun City West, Arizona - Deer Valley, Trail Ridge, Grandview and Pebblebrook.
What ball do you play?
Driver: TaylorMade Burner
Fairway Woods: TaylorMade Burner
Irons: Tour Edge Bazooka JMax QL
Wedge: Wilson Sandy Andy
My putter is a bit unconventional. It's called the "Big Ugly" and it's a homemade long (48") putter. Its head is made from a brass lamp bottom and the shaft is a ski pole with split grips and it conforms to the USGA and PGA. I wrote a column about it you can read here.
Lee Trevino. I met him at the Western Open years ago and he became a family friend for a while. I loved his swagger and shot making ability.
Favorite course you've played?
I'll list them in order - Pinehurst No. 2, St Andrews and Pebble Beach.
I played Pinehurst No. 2 four times in two separate visits. I am a big fan of Donald Ross and if I could only play one course for the rest of my life this would be it. My best score at No. 2 was a 79.
I played the Old Course at St Andrews four times on two separate occasions. I also played Royal Troon, the New Course at St Andrews, Jubilee and Carnoustie. I love the "bump and run" stlye of golf but Carnoustie was too much for me. I played when it was 40 degrees with 20 mph winds and rain. One of the old Scottish gentlemen said "No wind, no rain, no golf".
I was stationed at Pt. Mugu, Ca. in 1954. We used to drive up to Pebble Beach on weekends and play 72 holes on a Saturday and Sunday. The course was not in the great condition it is today back then. The day rate was $7 a round. Not a special rate for service men but the day rate for everyone. It's an unbelievably beautiful property.
Dream course you've yet to play?
August National...enough said!
Best round ever- and what course?
I shot a 68 once at Highland Falls in Las Vegas.
What is one aspect of your golf game you would like to improve on in the next year?
I would like to increase my driving distance but it's probably not likely. I would also like to shoot my age again - I keep missing by one or two strokes!
Tell me a story.
I have been lucky enough to play with some of the greatest pro's in the world including Jo Anne Carner, Micky Wright, Julie Inkster, Sam Snead, Paul Harney and Ben Crane. I found most of them to be very nice to amateur partners. It makes you realize how unbelievably talented the pro's are.
Interested in being next weeks featured golfer? email us here
[ comments ]
Honestly, I'd like to shoot your age just once.
Congratulations on your well-deserved elevation to the lofty position of GOW! I hope to get to Scotland one of these days, also.
You are living the dream. Congratulations on GOW honors.
great GOW!...you should have had Big Ugly with you in that picture...
can you post a pic somewhere of the putter?...it would be interesting to see...
Ditto dartboss I want to see this creation. Oh yea congrats on GOW
joe jones says:
Thank you for the fine comments. I'll try to get a picture of Big Ugly as soon as I can. If any of you have an opportunity to play my favorite courses please do it. Scotland was a wonderful experience. The caddie experience would fill a book. Age and too many artificial body parts require me to use a cart now a days. I limit my golf to courses that are about 6100-6200 yards. I am a strong proponent of Playing It Forward. Too many golfers try to play from the tips and don't enjoy the high scores they shoot.
oh wow, Mickey Wright! a swing even Ben Hogan was jealous of.
Matt F says:
Congratulations on GOW Joe.
joe jones says:
The amazing thing about Mickey was that she suffered from fallen arches and played in spike less tennis shoes. Her timing was flawless and she could crush a ball. We played at Tuckaway C.C.in Milwaukee. She got home on a 520 yard par 5 with a drive and a 6 iron and that was with a persimmon Wilson Staff driver and a Wilson ball. She honored her sponsors by playing their equipment. Best swing I have ever seen and I have seen some great ones.
Awesome that we have folks like Joe on this site, who have been around and seen and done cool things in the game. Awesome that he has played with legends. Slammin Sam is criminally underrated in this game, it's a shame. When it comes to great golfers people only know to talk about Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Ben Hogan, Bobby Jones. What about the guy who won more PGA tournaments than anybody???
joe jones says:
legitimatebeef..Thanks Brooklyn. I grew up 10 blocks from Dyker Beach. Lives at 92st and 4th ave. Ft. Hamilton area.
If you walked around my neighborhood in those days with a golf club you were probably going to use it as a weapon.
Stickball was the big game for kids. My wife and I went back to the hood about 10 tears ago and I was pleased to see that the area had been re-gentrified but had not changed all that much. Just a lot more traffic and a lot fewer parking spaces.
Slamming Sam is one of the main reasons i want to wear a fedora on the course.
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