OH, BROTHER, WHAT A FAMILY
This is an article from the Feb. 10, 1997 issue
Almost every Tuesday and Wednesday, Joe Turnesa Jr., part of one
of the longest-running acts in golf, can be found on the
practice range at a PGA Tour site. That's where the 64-year-old
Turnesa tends to his duties as Titleist's Tour representative,
making sure pros have all the balls, clubs, gloves and shoes
they need; recruiting new players for the company; and telling
tales about his family's long and distinguished association with
The relationship began nearly a century ago with Joe's
grandfather, Mike, a farmer from Italy who immigrated to New
York City in 1900 when he was 18. One day he went for a long
walk and came upon some men plowing a field. He was handed a
shovel, and the next thing he knew he was helping to build
Fairview Country Club in Elmsford, N.Y. Within weeks Turnesa had
begun what would be a 50-year stint as the course's
Turnesa and his wife, Anna, had nine children, including seven
sons who all followed their dad into golf. Jim won the 1952 PGA
Championship, played in the Ryder Cup and had a 20-year Tour
career. Mike, 84, the only son still living, might've been a
household name if not for Ben Hogan. Mike, the pro emeritus at
Knollwood Country Club in Elmsford, lost to Hogan in the 1942
Hale America, the '46 Canadian Open, the '46 North & South and
the final match of the '48 PGA. Joe Sr. finished second to Bobby
Jones at the 1926 U.S. Open at Scioto in Columbus, Ohio, won the
'31 British PGA and 25 Tour events. Phil was the pro at Elmwood
Country Club in White Plains, N.Y., for 50 years. Frank held a
similar job at Metropolis Country Club in White Plains, while
Doug was pro at Briar Hall Country Club, in Briarcliff Manor,
N.Y. Willie won two U.S. and one British Amateurs, and captained
the 1951 Walker Cup team.
"All the boys worked for Grandpa on the course," Joe Jr. says.
"My dad had the horses trained to mow the fairways, so when
Grandpa would say do this and that and then disappear over a
hill, the boys would hit balls until he came back. Grandpa loved
golf because of the course. He thought the game was a waste of
time. When my dad was leading the Open at Scioto, Grandpa was
cutting weeds at Fairview and never looked up. Some members ran
out and said, 'Your son is leading the Open. He's four shots
ahead of Bobby Jones with nine holes to go.' Grandpa said, 'He
ought to win something. All he does is play golf.'"
Joe Jr. has been with Titleist since 1964. He has no plans to
retire, but when he does, he knows what he'll do. "I want one
hour a day, uninterrupted, to beat balls," he says. "When I can
no longer beat balls, then I'll know it's time to go."
SPAIN'S MARTIN SPARES SEVE A RYDER HEADACHE
By winning the Heineken Classic in Perth, Australia, on Sunday,
Spain's Miguel Angel Martin saved Ryder Cup captain Seve
Ballesteros a lot of grief. The 35-year-old Martin, who birdied
the 18th hole at The Vines to edge Fred Couples by a stroke
moved from seventh to second in Europe's Ryder Cup standings,
almost assuring himself one of 10 automatic berths on the team.
And no longer does Ballesteros have to choose between two
embarrassing scenarios: either making himself or another
low-ranking Spaniard a captain's selection, or fielding a team
in Spain with no natives.
CAMPBELL COMES CLEAN ON INTENTIONALLY MISSED CUT
A seemingly routine three-putt during a horrible slump may wind
up costing European tour player Michael Campbell a lot of money.
At the Heineken Classic, Campbell admitted that he purposely
three-putted the 36th hole of last May's Volva PGA Championship
in Surrey, England. "I had a 20-footer and knew that with two
putts I'd make the cut," he said. "I three-putted because I did
not want to be there."
When Campbell, who in 1995 placed third in the British Open and
fifth on the European money list, came to Surrey, he was nursing
a ruptured tendon in his left wrist, had earned only $3,014 and
was so depressed that he was considering quitting golf. He
didn't quit, but the rest of the year was a bust. The
27-year-old New Zealander wound up 120th on the money list and
lost his tour card by $10,835. Last place in Surrey paid $2,387.
Campbell's admission did not sit well with his peers. "Bottom
line, you always try," said Carl Suneson of England. "It was an
incredibly stupid thing to admit," said Northern Ireland's
What effect this will have on Campbell's future is unclear.
European tour officials decided not to fine or suspend him,
though John Paramour, the tour's tournament director, gave him a
stern lecture. "Rest assured it was more than just a quiet word
in his ear," said Paramour.
Campbell spent the rest of the weekend backtracking. "The
conference yesterday was very intense, and what I said was taken
the wrong way," said Campbell, who finished 45th in the
Heineken. "What I said and what I felt were two different things."
NEW HOLE ADDS FINAL TOUCH
By this time next year Pebble Beach will have a striking new 5th
hole that will complete the dream of designer Samuel Morse. When
Morse started building Pebble in 1919, he wanted to put the 5th
along the Pacific. But the five acres where he wanted the hole
had been sold, so he built a 166-yard par-3 inland.
Two years ago, the land Morse had originally sought went on the
market and last summer the Pebble Beach Company bought it for
$8.9 million. The company hired Jack Nicklaus, who had touched
up the course for the 1992 U.S. Open and will do so again before
the championship returns in 2000, to design the hole Morse could
not. "It's unusual to build a new hole, especially on a course
like this," says Nicklaus. "I want to be sure I don't screw it
Stakes outlining the hole's kidney-shaped green are in the
ground. The hole will play uphill at about 190 yards from the
championship tee. Additional tees perched along the cliff will
have unobstructed views of the famed promontory that is home to
the 6th green and the 7th hole. Construction will begin in late
summer and is expected to be completed before next year's
THE SHAG BAG
After pocketing $127,500 for winning the Senior tour's Royal
Caribbean Classic on Sunday, Gibby Gilbert said, "I'm not out
here necessarily to win tournaments, but to win money."...Ryan
Howison was thrilled when he won the season-opening Nike
Lakeland (Fla.) Classic--and not just because it was his first
win in three years on the tour. Every year since the Nike began
in 1990, the winner of the first event has gone on to earn his
PGA Tour card for the following season....Last Friday the AP
reported, "Tiger Woods sported just the bare outline of a
mustache and goatee. It wasn't clear if he was growing something
or just missed a couple of spots shaving."...Fred Brand Jr. was
given the USGA's highest honor, the Bob Jones Award. Brand, 87,
a retired insurance salesman from Sewickley, Pa., was on the
USGA's executive committee from 1959 to '69....The USGA also
gave Jumbo Ozaki, 50, an exemption into the U.S. Open, and spots
in the Women's Open to Amy Alcott, JoAnne Carner, Hollis Stacy
and Kelli Kuehne....Jack Nicklaus says Softspikes have helped
alleviate pain caused by arthritis and a bone spur in his left
hip. "Traction hasn't been a problem," he says....Before he won
last week's South African Players Championship in Durban, South
Africa's Warren Schutte, the 1991 NCAA champion while at UNLV,
had been winless in his six years as a pro.
ASK THE PROFESSORS
When a touring pro has a problem with his swing, he turns to his
teacher. We thought you might be curious about the wisdom they
impart, so we have formed an exclusive panel of the game's top
20 teachers--call them the Golf Plus Professors--who throughout
the year will offer opinions on everything from the biggest
myths in instruction to the faults in President Clinton's swing.
Our panel: Jimmy Ballard, Chuck Cook, Ben Doyle, John Elliott,
Jim Flick, Craig Harmon, Dick Harmon, Hank Haney, Ed Ibarguen,
Sue Kaffenburgh, Mike LaBauve, Sandy LaBauve, David Leadbetter,
Tim Mahoney, Mike McGetrick, Jim McLean, Craig Shankland, Randy
Smith, Rick Smith and Bill Strasbaugh.
Our panelists' average age is 48. Mahoney, 34, is the youngest,
Strasbaugh, 73, the oldest. They charge an average of $120 an
hour for a lesson. Strasbaugh ($50) is the best bargain, Ballard
($250) the most expensive. Twenty-one percent of their pupils
are pros, and 32% are female.
Our first question: When analyzing players' swings, which TV
announcer does the best job, and which does the worst?
Peter Kostis (CBS) 4
Gary McCord (CBS) 4
Ken Venturi (CBS) 4
Johnny Miller (NBC) 6
Steve Melnyk (ABC) 4
Ken Venturi (CBS) 4
Lee Trevino's first-day score in last week's Royal Caribbean
Classic in Key Biscayne, Fla., his highest round in eight
seasons on the Senior tour.