Recently I read Leigh Montville’s 2006 biography of Babe Ruth, The Big Bam.
Ruth, of course, was baseball’s first great home run king who played in the late teens, twenties and thirties for the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees and, briefly, the Boston Braves. The Babe ended his career with 714 home runs, a record that stood for nearly 40 years until Henry Aaron bettered the mark.
After growing up in a strict Baltimore orphanage, Ruth had an appetite for life away from the baseball diamond that would make most hedonists blush.
One of his passions was golf. The Babe had limitless energy and would often play 36 holes a day, especially during spring training in St. Petersburg, Florida.
I found this in an article from the St. Petersburg Times about a 1925 visit:
He loved it here. He loved our weather, especially when it was sunny, when he could sneak out in the morning before practice and play golf. He loved our courses, especially the wide fairways that could contain his mighty drives. He was a lousy putter; the man didn't know his strength and sometimes threw his club in disgust when the ball rolled past the cup. But he laughed afterward.Indeed, the Sultan of Swat could hit a golf ball prodigious distances. He was known to hit 300-plus yard drives in the days of primitive golf club technology -- actual wooden clubs with hickory shafts.
Despite his poor putting, Ruth could shoot in the 70s, and when he retired he sometimes played in exhibitions with celebrities and top golfers of the day, including another “Babe,” women’s golf phenom Babe Didrickson Zaharias.
The Armchair Golfer