As many of our regular readers know, we at ChicagoDuffer.com like to provide a unique insight into the lives of some of golf's biggest personalities via a segment titled "5 Questions With...". Past guests for this segment include the PGA TOUR's John Daly and Mark Wilson, ESPN's Paul Azinger and The Golf Channel's Jason Sobel. This week we welcome the first World Golf Hall of Famer on the segment: Hale Irwin.
Hale Irwin's professional career is something that any golfer would love to have under his (or her) belt. He boasts 87 professional wins on his resume, including 20 on the PGA TOUR and an astounding 45 on the Champions Tour. Irwin has also played on 5 Ryder Cup teams in his career and three US Open Championships (1974, 1979, and 1990). Thanks to his impressive career and success in some of his generation's biggest tournaments, Irwin was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1992. Following his playing career, Irwin has established himself as a leading golf course architect having designed numerous courses around the globe.
I had the opportunity to correspond with Mr. Irwin recently, asking him our usual five questions pertaining to golf. Here are his responses:
ChicagoDuffer.com: Where did you receive your first set of golf clubs?
Irwin: My first "set" of clubs were cut-off shafts with taped grips of no particular brand (that I can remember) and were every other club, maybe. My first "half" set came to me at Christmas at about 12 years of age--Wilson Sam Snead Blue Ridges.
Who did you look up to in the golfing world when growing up?
My father as there were no pros where I lived.
What was the best golf tip you received when learning to play the game?
Never give up as golf can change quickly as long as you play within yourself.
If you could play a match against anyone in the world, who would it be and why?
Players of great success and fortitude of yesteryear-- e.g., Hogan, Snead, Jones, and Nelson
Players of my era--e.g., Nicklaus, Palmer, Player, Watson, Ballesteros, and Faldo
Players of today--e.g., (yet to be determined)
What is the most annoying golf term used on television today?
"Not a very good effort"--how do they know?
We'd like to thank Mr. Irwin for his time and willingness to participate in our segment this month and wish him the best of luck in his future golf endeavors!