One of the reasons that smiling golfer, Tony Lema, is on SPORTS ILLUSTRATED'S cover this week goes back to a night in June 1962 when Lema—during a short respite from the tournament circuit—got talking with his friend (and SI writer) Gwilym Brown, in a Manhattan nightclub. "Tour life is crazy," said Lema. "I'm going to write a book about it."
"No, you're not," Brown said, "because I'm going to and I write faster than you."
Before the evening was over they decided on a collaboration, and the first part of a three-installment excerpt from their book begins on page 62. It is a candid look at the tour—told by one of pro golf's freshest and most engaging figures, with Brown's expert assistance. Says Lema, who lets Brown outsmile him for once in the picture above: "It was close to a psychoanalytic experience."
Gwil Brown, who was Harvard '51, has been following the pro tournament circuit as an SI writer longer than Lema has been playing on it, and between times has helped such experts as Bill Casper, Mickey Wright, Jerry Barber and Jack Nicklaus prepare their instructional articles for this magazine. A man who likes a suntan as much as anybody else, Brown agreed with Lema that they should try to write the book Champagne Tony-fashion—"by putting it all on tape while we lie on the beach at Acapulco for a week." But the collaborators never did get to the beach, and the project took achingly longer than a week. The tape recorder, of course, came in handy. They did their work in hotels and motels in New Orleans, Memphis, Boston, Hartford, Philadelphia, Las Vegas and elsewhere around the circuit.
March 23, 1964
Lema found the taping sessions wearing, and set a maximum of two hours each as Brown schoolmastered him into bringing his fullest introspection to the subject. Tony went along with the demand, moaning afterward, "An hour with Gwil has harder than 18 holes of tournament golf." The end result was a 70,000-word book, Golfers' Gold, which Little, Brown and Company will publish next month ($4.95).
It is no accident that the golfer that Brown picked to work with two years ago is now emerging as one of the tour's most magnetic stars. In what we would like to feel is a tradition of knowledgeable golf coverage, SI readers—and most fans—were introduced to Lema a year ago by Brown himself (SI, March 25). They found there what they will also discover in Golfers' Gold: both Brown and Lema are determined enemies of the worn thought. "And how did you find the greens?" a network announcer recently asked Lema after a tournament round. "I just walked down the fairways, and there they were," said Tony.