JACK FLECK WAS STILL A VITAL MAN when I first met him in March 2007. It's hard for me to believe he's gone. In fact, Jack was a young man of 85 when I picked him up at the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport and took him to the Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort for the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf. We hopped in a golf cart and headed out to the course, where I watched in amazement as an octogenarian hit silky smooth 260-yard drives.
For the next several years, I followed Jack into tour locker rooms and dining rooms. Sometimes I caddied for him. (Once, by chance, I caddied for Orville Moody, but that's another story.) Along the way, I met several of Jack's peers, all legends. In May 2010 I spent several days with Jack in Fort Smith, Arkansas, where he lived, and even hit balls with him on the range at Hardscrabble Country Club. He let me use his clubs and told me I had a good swing. "You should play more golf," he said.
The USGA published these videos of Jack on the weekend.
While I hope you enjoy them, I also need to keep them here, on this site, archived. This is how I remember Jack, and how I want to remember him. I also got to know the 33-year-old Jack while writing the book. In a way, they're two different people, and, in a way, they're not.
There are a couple of things to mention about the above video that recreates the putt that tied Ben Hogan.
One, I was there, standing on the 18th green at the Olympic Club, as Kay Cockerill and Jack had their moment. If I remember correctly, it was on the Tuesday before the start of the 2012 U.S. Open. It was so cool to be there.
Second, about the putter in the video. It's the same Bulls Eye putter Jack used to sink the tying putt on the 72nd green of the 1955 U.S. Open. He made it when he was 33. Then he made it again 57 years later when he was 90.
That a way, Jack. Godspeed.
|(Courtesy of USGA)|
One more for the blog archives. This is Jack (and Billy Casper) being interviewed by Bob Costas before the final round of the 2012 U.S. Open at the Olympic Club.