Thanks to reader John for catching Jim McCabe's excellent overview of practice round gambling in pro golf:
"It's different out here. It's way too serious," said Brett Quigley, who isn't against tossing down his own money to back his game, except his colleagues seem to prefer the company of swing coaches, sports psychol ogists, and agents as they walk the fairways in practice rounds. A spirited Nassau? Not enough of his peers seem to go for that sort of thing anymore, "at least, not like when I was watching Dana grow up."
That would be his uncle, Dana Quigley, who at 60 is old enough to remember when money games during practice rounds were standard.
"I'm sure guys would still want to do it, but the fact is, they're all in their private planes, going home between tournaments, so they don't travel together," said Dana Quigley. "It's too bad, but there's no one around to have money games with."
Certainly not like the days when players such as Doug Ford and Bob Goalby were part of the traveling PGA Tour show.
"We had to play the money games," said Ford, a two-time major champion. "We made our money in the practice rounds."
To illustrate his contention, Ford recalled a practice round at the 1957 Masters when a colleague challenged him. Accepting the game and the stakes, Ford pocketed a sum of money that nearly matched what he made later in the week when he captured the coveted green jacket ($8,750).
OK, that pales in comparison to the gaudy sums that Mickelson and Huston took from Daly, but Goalby offers reminders of inflation and perspective.
"You'd probably have to play a $100 Nassau to match the $5 and $10 Nassaus we played for," said Goalby. "The only difference is, we didn't have the sort of money that these fellows do today, so the pressure was probably greater back then, because we couldn't afford to lose what little money we had."
Still, Goalby doesn't begrudge today's players for their treasures.
"They're so much better than we were, it's unbelievable," said the 1968 Masters champ. "They drive the ball better, they putt it better, they practice more."
But Goalby offers a disclaimer.
"But I think we had a better time playing golf in our day," he said. "We definitely had better times in our practice rounds. I'm sure of that."