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Friday, 30 December 2016

Eddie Lowery the Bunker Wizard

When Francis Ouimette won the US Open, beating Vardon and Ray, he had a wee lad as a caddie named Eddie Lowery. Lowery ended up being a wealthy car dealer in California and a golf fanatic who played to an eight handicap. Eddie was good friends with the top players in the game, regularly arranging matches and money games for them. 

According to Byron Nelson, Eddie was also a wizard out of the bunker. In fact, Nelson wrote about Eddie having a money game with Henry Cotton, seeing who could get closest to the pin out of a bunker, and beat him soundly. Byron said Eddie was the best bunker player he'd ever seen.

In his book, How I Played the Game, Byron spoke about Ken Venturi and Eddie Lowery. He wrote:

    "One of the reasons Kenny's short game is so good is his bunker play, and he and I both learned that from Eddie Lowery. We were at Palm Springs, where I was working with Kenny one time, and back of Eddie's house was a green and a sand bunker which he and three neighbours had paid to have built there. Guess they played a little golf, too. Anyway, one evening after dinner Eddie, who was about an 8-handicapper, challenged us. 'I'll play your best ball out of the bunker, twenty-five cents a shot." We did this three evenings in a row and lost a lot of quarters, but from then on we both became excellent bunker players, thanks to Eddie."

Just imagine, an 8-handicap ex-caddie and car dealer taught Byron Nelson and Ken Venturi how to become better bunker players. That's why you should never be too proud to take a tip, or to learn from someone who does something better than you do. He needn't be a qualified teaching professional. On the other hand, you should probably adopt the approach Lee Trevino took when he said he would never take a lesson from someone who couldn't beat him. Makes sense to me.