Tom Weiskopf’s golf talent went far past his 16 victories on the PGA Tour and his lone main at Royal Troon within the British Open. He was all the time candid, usually outspoken and unfailingly correct within the tv sales space. He discovered even better success designing golf programs.
Weiskopf died Saturday at his house in Big Sky, Montana, at the age of 79, his spouse stated. He was identified with pancreatic most cancers in December 2020.
Laurie Weiskopf stated Tom was working final week at The Club at Spanish Peaks and attended a legacy luncheon at the signature membership the place he’s designing “The Legacy: Tom’s Ten,” a set of his 10 favourite par 3s.
“He worked to the end. It was amazing,” she stated. “He had a big life.”
The son of a railroad employee in Ohio, Weiskopf as soon as stated he fell in love with the sport earlier than he even started to play. His father took him to the 1957 U.S. Open at Inverness and he was mesmerized watching Sam Snead make such pure contact.
“You had dinner with Tom and loved every minute of it,” Andy North stated Sunday. “The sad thing that gets lost his how good he was. Every time he hit a shot, it was beautiful.”
Pure contact was his hallmark at Ohio State and then his profession on tour. At 6-foot-3 – tall for golf in that period – Weiskopf had a swing that was highly effective and rhythmic, pure and athletic. His greatest 12 months was in 1973, when he received seven occasions around the globe, together with the claret jug and the World Series of Golf at Firestone earlier than it was an official tour occasion.
He was recognized equally for the majors he did not win and the competitors he confronted – notably Jack Nicklaus, the star from Ohio who preceded him by a couple of years on tour and forged an unlimited shadow over Weiskopf for his whole profession.
Weiskopf had 4 runner-up finishes within the Masters, probably the most of any participant with out having received the inexperienced jacket. Most memorable was in 1975, when Weiskopf and Johnny Miller stood on the sixteenth tee as they watched Nicklaus gap a 40-foot birdie putt up the slope that carried him to a different victory.
He was well-known for saying of Nicklaus: “Jack knew he was going to beat you. You knew Jack was going to beat you. And Jack knew you knew he was going to beat you.”
More telling was his interview with Golf Digest in 2008 when Weiskopf stated: “Going head to head against Jack Nicklaus in a major was like trying to drain the Pacific Ocean with a teacup. You stand on the first tee knowing that your very best golf might not be good enough.”
Weiskopf was a lot good in so many areas, and but he usually stated he did not take advantage of out of his expertise. He attributed a lot of that to consuming, which he as soon as stated ruined his golf profession. He gave up alcohol in 2007 and thought-about that one in all his nice victories.
Nicklaus as soon as stated of him, “Tom Weiskopf had as much talent as any player I’ve ever seen play the tour.”
He additionally stated he was by no means passionate sufficient about golf. His love was the outside, notably looking and fishing. Weiskopf as soon as skipped the 1977 Ryder Cup so he may go sheep looking.
His free spirit and unfiltered ideas had been an enormous a part of his character. His mood led to nicknames just like the “Towering Inferno” and “Terrible Tom.” So a lot of it was traced to his excessive requirements when it got here to golf.
“I could not accept failure when it was my fault,” he stated after profitable the U.S. Senior Open in 2005 at Congressional. “It just used to tear me up.”
Weiskopf’s final PGA Tour victory was the 1982 Western Open. His final full 12 months on the PGA Tour was a 12 months later. He performed on the PGA Tour Champions, and maybe it was solely becoming his lone main was the Senior Open by 4 photographs over Nicklaus.
His commentary on TV for CBS at the Masters and for ABC/ESPN was all about candor.
He was working the 1986 Masters when Nicklaus was charging his technique to victory at age 46. Nicklaus was on the sixteenth tee when CBS host Jim Nantz introduced in Weiskopf and requested, “What is going through Jack’s mind right now?”
“If I knew the way he thought, I would have won this championship,” Weiskopf replied with amusing.
Weiskopf partnered with golf course architect Jay Moorish and their first collaboration was Troon Country Club in Scottsdale, Arizona, which Golf Digest rated as the perfect new course of 1986. He did 25 programs with Moorish and then labored with Phil Smith.
Among 80 programs Weiskopf designed had been Loch Lomond in Scotland and in 2016 a renovation of the North Course at Torrey Pines that match his customary – difficult at the very best degree, fulfilling for all.
A regular of his design is the drivable par 4. The inspiration got here from taking part in the Old Course at St. Andrews, the place he may drive 4 of the par 4s, relying on the wind.
“I should have done more,” Weiskopf as soon as instructed Golf Digest of his profession. “But I don’t dwell on it anymore. I will say this, though: If it wasn’t for the fact that I love so much what I’m doing now (golf course design), I would probably be a very unhappy person.”