Wednesday, April 26

VIDEO: Tony Jacklin Drives the Thames River

I RECENTLY HAD CONTACT WITH TONY JACKLIN, who has been great to me in recent years. We first got acquainted beginning in 2012 and as I wrote DRAW IN THE DUNES about him and Jack Nicklaus at the 1969 Ryder Cup at Royal Birkdale.

I was searching for something when I ran across the above oddity in Jacklin's breakout 1969 season, during which he won the Open Championship at Royal Lytham & St. Annes.

As you'll hear in the clip, Walter Hagen and Jack Nicklaus also drove golf balls across the Thames.

Reporting in January on "An Evening with Tony Jacklin," the Bradenton Herald wrote: "[T]he video showed him ripping a drive 356 yards from the top of a building in England across the Thames River.

(It was atop the Savoy Hotel.)

"That was a publicity stunt," Jacklin said. "... There was a ship in the Thames with a ... light measuring the distances. They made a performance of bringing the golf balls on the silver tray. ... When you swing and looking at traffic down (there), you get this feeling you're going to go with (the ball). So I was on my back foot the whole time."

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