David Eger On Frank Hannigan

I'm going to randomly post remembrances and some old Frank correspondences going forward.

Some of the luminaries who have posted here and here have told some great stories.

And there's this from former USGA Director of Rules and Competitions, David Eger:

When I started work for the USGA in 1992, Frank's too infrequent visits to Golf House always included his faithful black lab, Sparky & an invigorating conversation in my office (which was P. J. Boatwright's during Frank's tenure). He persuaded me to bring a putter and golf balls from home so he could practice putt while we solved golf's problems.

My first round of golf with Frank was where we both belonged--Somerset Hills. I complained that some of the tees were in poor condition. His response was that because I could tee up my ball and had a perfect lie, there was no reason to bitch.

When Frank was working for ABC Sports, I stopped in the broadcast booth early one Sunday morning. He was always interested in the European Tour and told me that Padraig Harrington had just won that week's event. I then reminded him that I'd beaten Padraig in the second day singles at the '91 Walker Cup Match at Portmarnock. Frank's response--"He's a much better player now!"

I spoke with Frank just after he returned home from surgery about a month ago. His wife was screening his calls. I remember thinking, after we ended our 35 minute conversation, he valued our friendship of 31 years by insisting with her, to speak with me. My real purpose was to ask a favor. Of course, we touched on all the trigger points of golf. Even in his frail health, he was happy to help.

I really think P. J. Boatwright appreciated Frank being his boss. Frank's presence allowed him to do not only what he loved but, what he did best--the Rules & running the competition inside the ropes. My sense was that Frank understood how to manage & support his staff.

In '72, when a contestant complained about parking at Pebble Beach, Frank's response to him was that he was worried more about his newly planted tomato plants back in New Jersey than where players could park.