Golf Magazine Interview: Tommy Armour III

Golf Magazine Interview: Tommy Armour III

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You’re turning 50 this month.
How would you describe your
career as a professional golfer?

I would say that I’ve underachieved in
certain ways and achieved in other ways.
Nothing you can do about it now, because
it’s behind you. I think I could have won
more. I wish I would have worked harder
on my short game when I was younger.
Tom Kite told me a long time ago that
pros don’t like to practice what they’re not
good at. I was like that. The last 10 years
I’ve practiced what I’m not good at.

Would you have had more success if
you didn’t live a lavish lifestyle and
spend your time with rock stars like
Kid Rock and beautiful women?

I don’t know. I know I wouldn’t have met
the great friends I have and the people I
enjoy being with.

The party you host at the Byron Nelson
tournament in Dallas is legendary — you
even serve sushi on naked models. Do
you think you would have made a good
Roman emperor?

[Laughs] I’ve always thrown parties. I
was the social chairman at my fraternity.
I don’t have a theme for the Dallas party,
it’s more a feeling when you walk in. One
year, the house looked like it was on fire.
This year was all LED lighting — more of
a groovy party. The fire one was more of
a raging party. It’s a fun thing. There’s no
guest list. Whoever shows up is on the
guest list. Next year we might have to
have one, though, because it’s starting to
get over the top.

Are you ready to join the
Champions Tour?

Before I had back surgery (in
June), I didn’t plan on playing
the senior tour next year because
with the groove change you’ll
have to control your ball more,
and I’m pretty good at that. I
still love the PGA Tour. When I
watch the senior tour, it doesn’t
look like there are a lot of fans.
That’s not to say you’d go out
there and win every time. It’s
competitive. Anywhere they play
for money — the senior tour, the
LPGA, the Nationwide Tour —
it’s competitive. I need to see after
this injury how it’s going to be.
Whatever happens, I’ll continue
to play golf because I love it.

How does watching Tom
Watson at Turnberry this year
make you feel about your
chances to compete at age 50?

It should inspire anybody who’s
over 50. How can it not? Lee
Trevino told me 10 years ago,
“Golf clubs don’t know how old
you are.” Last year I said Tom
Watson would be a great Ryder
Cup pick and people looked at
me like I was out of my f—ing
mind. Literally. Other than Tiger
Woods, tell me who’s better than
Tom Watson on the PGA Tour.

Why do you think you’re such a
fan favorite?

I hope I am. Having people with
me when I play is nice. Sure, some

of them respond to the “party
guy” stuff. They’ll say, “Where
you drinking beer tonight?” I
don’t even drink at tournaments.
Stories about me have become
a lot more grandiose than they
really were. I was even asked to
do a reality TV show. I said no. I
mean, c’mon.

A lot of fans find many young
golfers today to be robotic,
lacking in personality.

It’s a fair assessment, but to
defend the young guys, it takes
robotic repetition day after day
to be really good at golf. That
said, I get it, why people think
that way.

Are you and Tiger friends?
I would say that I’m friends
with Tiger. I don’t call him, but
I always chitchat when I see
him. Are we close friends? No.
Friends? Sure, absolutely.

Tiger appears drawn to older
guys on Tour. Is it because he’s
more mature than his peers?

That’s just him learning. Younger
guys need to find older guys to
learn from. That’s what I did
when I started on Tour. I would
try to play practice rounds with
Tom Watson and Ray Floyd and
learn from them. It might still
happen and I’m oblivious to it,
but I really don’t see it. I know
Vijay will help some young guys,
play golf with them.

What’s Tiger like in private,
when the cameras are off?

He yucks it up like everybody
else. But when you’re No. 1 in
anything, you don’t have time
for the world. It comes with the
position. You have to be selfish.

Would you sacrifice your
lifestyle to be No. 1?

Well obviously, no, I wouldn’t —
because I didn’t.


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