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Dave Hill

Aug. 05, 2002
Aug. 05, 2002

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Aug. 5, 2002

Dave Hill

By Dave Hill Edited By Alan Shipnuck

The 1970 U.S. Open was the public unveiling of Hazeltine Golf
Club in Chaska, Minn., and Dave Hill gave it a lasting epithet,
saying after the second round, "All it lacks is 80 acres of corn
and a few cows. They ruined a good farm when they built this
place." With the PGA Championship returning to a revamped
Hazeltine in two weeks, we caught up with the retired Hill, a
13-time Tour winner who was the runner-up at the '70 Open.

This is an article from the Aug. 5, 2002 issue

SI: Tell us about your farming credentials.

DH: I was born and raised on a farm in Jackson, Michigan. We had
cows, pigs, a lot of chickens, and my sisters had horses. My
brother, Mike, and I have been farming for fun forever. I own 79
acres now.

SI: Did you regret uttering that memorable quote?

DH: I regretted it because I hurt the membership. I don't regret
it because it was the truth. You can call Arnold Palmer and ask
him, because I got a lot of my lines from him. We played together
for the first two days.

SI: What did you not like about the course?

DH: It was too young. There were too many blind shots and too
many doglegs. There were more damn doglegs than at a kennel.

SI: How did fans respond to you after the quotes appeared in the
paper?

DH: They wanted to kill me, but by the time I finished the
[third] round, I had them split 50-50, like a football game. I'd
hit a putt or a shot, and half the group would yell, "Get in the
bunker!" and half would yell, "Get stiff!"

SI: Did your comments affect the way you played?

DH: It made me play harder. It made me concentrate because I knew
they were waiting for me to fall dead on my ass.

SI: Do people still remind you of what you said?

DH: Yeah. It will probably never go away.

SI: Ever think you'll be remembered more for the quote than for
your career?

DH: More than likely, because I never won a major. I played well
enough but never putted well enough.

SI: Have you ever been back to Hazeltine?

DH: Oh, yeah. It turned out to be a hell of a golf course. After
the 1970 Open, I went in there with Robert Trent Jones, and we
made some changes. We spent a day and a half going through the 18
holes.

SI: Why did he ask you?

DH: Because of my criticism.

SI: So will you watch the PGA?

DH: Just the last nine holes.

COLOR PHOTO: DAVID H. SCHREIBER HOME ON THE RANGE Hill lambasted Hazeltine as a good farm spoiled. Now he keeps cattle of his own.