Legendary Cypress Point head professional Jim Langley retired January 1st and first assistant Casey Reamer has been named his replacement. For a club that has had only two head professionals in its 77 years of existence, this is big news. Langley, the 2005 Northern California PGA professional of the year, has been at the club since 1971 and followed another mainstay, Henry Puget, who served from 1931-1971.
“It’s going to be a big change but I’m looking forward to it,” said the member of the national champion 1959 Cal basketball team regarding his retirement. After growing up in Salinas and living in the Monterey Peninsula area most of his life, the father of four has no plans to move: “This is home.”
Reamer has been at the club for five years after a five-year stint at Pebble Beach Golf Links. The Cal-Poly grad earned his Class A PGA status under then head professional Chris Pryor. “I’ve been pretty blessed ¾ this is a dream come true,” Reamer said “The reason I came here was to assist Mr. Langley. I would rather assist him than be a head pro anywhere else. He is the greatest mentor in the world.” The process of following such large footsteps is clear to Reamer: “I’m going to strive to build on Mr. Langley’s legacy.”
Reamer began his career at the club as the caddymaster. He is the same age, 34, that Langley was when he took over. “Casey is young enough ¾ he’s going to be around a while. It’s great to promote from within,” Langley said, “and this will be a great transition for both the members and Casey.”
Two New Great Reads
The iconic photograph of the late Payne Stewart’s follow-through greets the reader of “Pebble Caddie – Golf and the Forgotten Men” by Monterey Herald writer Jerry Stewart. Stewart’s book pays homage to the rich lore surrounding the caddie at Pebble Beach. As might be expected, the book has numerous AT&T National Pro-Am anecdotes, U.S. Open history, as well as the story behind some of the better caddie nicknames at Pebble Beach (i.e. Foot, The Phantom). This book will be a rich addition to the library of any golfer interested in Pebble Beach’s history. Published by Ann Arbor Media Group, the books is available through the Pebble Beach shops.
Another Monterey Peninsula writer, Michael Gordon, has just published “Finding True Center,” his second novel. Based in part on an actual bet and the ensuing real-life golf experiences, the novel details the lifelong friendship of two men who love golf and a serious wager. The friends’ shared passion for golf results in a scheme to compete head-to-head in every state across America as the ultimate measure to determine the better golfer. The book is published by iUniverse and is available at amazon.com or barnesandnoble.com. Gordon, a part-time marshal at Spyglass Hill, will have his first novel, “The Three Apples,” reprinted in the spring. Both books revolve around the author’s belief that golf’s greatest gift is in the shared friendships formed through the game.
Keeping Up with the Joneses
An exclusive tournament where having the right name is the only entry criterion is coming to California. The right name comprises Bob and Jones and all of their derivatives (Robert, Roberta, Bobbie, Rob, etc.). Each Bob Jones may bring a guest but all others need not apply.
The tournament began in Michigan in 1979 when four Bob Joneses gathered for a round of golf. From that inception grew the Bobby Jones Open organization whose purpose is for Bob Joneses to come together each July for a golf tournament to honor the legend of the original Bob Jones. The event also raises funds for Syringomyelia research (Syringomyelia being the disease that felled Jones) and to assist those who have contracted the disease. To date, the tournament has raised more than $193,000 for Syringomyelia research, recovery, scholarships and support.
To control confusion at the tournament, each player adopts a nickname that might reflect that player’s background. Thus, tournament participants have included “Tire Town,” “Casino,” “Body Shop,” “Meat Peddler” and “Barrister.” Famous Bobby Joneses who have also participated including Robert “Grandson” Tyre Jones, Jr. and golf architect Robert Trent Jones, Jr.
The first Bobby Jones Open to be held west of the Mississippi will occur in Southern California at Talega GC in San Clemente, July 17-19. More information can be found at www.bobbyjonesopen.com.
In Memoriam, Ed Haber
Quail Lodge Resort founder and president Ed Haber died in September of last year. Haber was 93. The former San Francisco City amateur champion arrived in Carmel Valley in 1946 and with a group of investors built Quail Lodge, Carmel Valley’s first golf course, in 1964. Even after selling the resort in 1997, he continued to oversee its day-to-day operations until his death. Haber attributed everything he accomplished to his involvement with golf.
Haber was known as one of Monterey Peninsula’s most generous philanthropists, donating millions of dollars to the Community Foundation for Monterey County, the Salvation Army, the Boys and Girls Club of Monterey County, Hospice of the Central Coast, Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula, Natividad Medical Center, Planned Parenthood, the Family Service Agency, the SPCA and Operation Christmas Cheer. Haber is survived by his wife Terry and his daughters Anne Isaacson and Marilyn Haber, sons Warren Haber, John Splittorf and many grandchildren.
Celebrities and Golf
Golf Digest has provided a ranking of the top 100 celebrity golfers by handicap index. The list follows in the tradition of other Golf Digest groupings, such as the best politician or best CEO golfers.
The best celebrity golfers? Dennis Quaid at 1.1 and Tea Leoni at 12.0. The worst? Well, that would be difficult to determine as the USGA caps handicap indexes at 36.4 for men and 40.4 for women. Some might take comfort in the fact that Tom Cruise, Pierce Brosnan, Heather Locklear and Sharon Stone are all maxed out.
For actors who play golfers in the movies, it might be interesting to note that while Kevin Costner (10.8) and Bill Murray (7.5) have respectable games, Matt Damon of Legend of Bagger Vance fame does not (36.4). And while AT&T National Pro-Am regulars Clint Eastwood (13.5), NCGA Golf summer magazine Q&A feature George Lopez (14.2), Bill Murray, Samuel L. Jackson (4.9) and Andy Garcia (9.1) would make good four-ball partners, playing with Bill Crystal, Ben Stiller, David Spade or Bruce Willis might be frustrating as all four actors only play occasionally and have handicaps that reflect that fact.
Truth be told, celebrities are just like the rest of us¾scared to death on the first tee.