Olin Browne is one of golf’s great late-bloomers. The Occidental College grad didn’t break through on the PGA Tour until he was 39, when he won the Greater Hartford Open. Two more victories followed, including the Deutsche Bank Championship at the ripe age of 46. Six years later he took the U.S. Senior Open, torching Inverness. At 58, he continues to dig the secrets out of the dirt on the Champions tour.
But there are now two Olin Brownes haunting the golf landscape, as Junior is a young touring pro cutting his teeth on the Canadian tour. In this freewheeling conversation, taped last month at the Pure Insurance Championship at Pebble Beach, the old man talked about the exquisite torture of watching his son compete, his vice captaincy at the 2008 Ryder Cup, the best fishermen among the Seniors and plenty more. That vice captaincy, as he noted, was one of the greatest moments of his career.
“There are a couple things I’ve done in my professional career that exceeded my expectations,” Browne said. “One of them was the first time I played at the Masters … the other one was being a part of that Ryder Cup team. It’s almost impossible to explain how intense the whole thing is. We got there Sunday morning. The first tee time was at 11:30 a.m. We got there three hours ahead of time at 8:30 and the stands were chock-a-block packed. The Euros on one side, the Americans on the other, needling, singing songs. It was already full-tilt boogie three hours before the first tee time.”