Monday, May 18, 2009

"He's Got No Shot, Absolutely No Shot"

That was the inevitable answer from legendary golfer and ABC roving course announcer Bob Rosburg whenever somebody from the tower threw it down to him with the question: "Let's go down to the course. Rossie, what does he got?"

Naturally, Rossie was usually wrong. The player in question WOULD somehow find a way to make a "shot" of sorts, sometimes even putting the ball on the green.

That however didn't make Bob Rosburg a bad golf reporter. No, he was almost certainly describing what any mortal would say when faced with a tough play out of the woods. It was just that players on the PGA Tour kept getting better and better.

So Rossie's "no shot" wasn't so much inaccurate, it was just that yes, "these guys are good."

I didn't know Bob Rosburg, but I did enjoy having him around for telecasts on ABC through the years. If for no other reason, than to see him wearing the comically over-engineered rabbit-ear headgear that would beam his voice back to the broadcast truck from all over the course.

I also liked the fact that "Rossie" was the subject of any on course banter I would have with my golf buddies on the links. We would and still do, constantly "send it down to Rossie" to see what our buddy's situation was.

ME: "Rossie, what's he looking at here..."
ME (AGAIN)(Hushed announcer voice): "Well Jim, he's just topped his third drive in a row, and I think the frustration level is starting to boil. It's gonna be a fight between how drunk he can get from here on out, versus how many balls he's actually got left in that bag. Back to you in the tower...."

Or when a guy's tee shot is laughable crooked and sailing into the deep woods: "That's an aggressive line he's chosen, Rossie...."

And the possibilities are endless.

ABC ran a brief little gem about Rossie during the LPGA coverage on Sunday, which I snarked here for your enjoyment. First of all, note how uncanny his feel for the club, and the swing is at age 3. Look at the finger re-grip just before he swings. Listen to how cleanly he "thumps" that ball out of the (un-raked) bunker. Look at how his dad yanks him up by the arms and he's so small his feet dangle in the air.

Now, here's the kicker.

Did you know that Bob Rosburg won the Olympic Club club championship - at age 12!

Who did he beat?

Ty Cobb.

Yeah, HIM!

Reportedly, Cobb was so furious, that he never played at Olympic after that. I believe it. Rossie was lucky Cobb didn't beat him with his own 12 year old shoes.

Rossie, rest in peace. Your legacy lives on in my golf foursome.

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