Starting with his longtime friend, Tom Watson:
Frank D.Tatum Jr. passed this morning leaving a rich and passionate legacy to golf. We owe a great deal to him for what he did to enhance our wonderful game and we will sorely miss him and his infectious love for golf which indeed inspired so many of us.
Jaime Diaz shares several memories for Golf World. This was fun for Hogan-philes:
There was a round at Cypress Point, where on the 13th fairway Tatum’s description of what he’d observed in his several rounds with Ben Hogan gave me a more palpable sense of what Hogan was like than anything I have ever heard.
“When it was Hogan’s turn to play, it was on the basis that he had been accorded the privilege of playing that particular golf shot,” he said. “And that privilege carried with it a responsibility. And that responsibility was to give that shot all the thought and effort that he could, and to make it as effective as he could. It was a very distinct characteristic.”
Michael Bamberger at Golf.com reminds us of the legendary Hinkle Tree incident at Inverness and enjoys just how much Sandy could, if you didn't know him, annoy the elite player.
I'm talking about guys who won major championships. They thought of Tatum as the USGA president from central casting, with his patrician bearing and his pipe, his $5 words. They thought he was high-minded and egotistical, a self-appointed golf god. And to a degree he was.
Yes, he had resounding admiration for Bob Jones, for Arnold Palmer, for Jack Nicklaus, for Tom Watson, men he knew well. But he didn't think they understood golf in toto (the Latin is a tip of the hat to Tatum) any better than he. That gave him the courage of his convictions. In his long tenure as a pro bono USGA official, the organization was the stern father of American golf, and father knew best. The game was better for it.
Telling me about it years later, Tatum said, "The players complained. 'You're changing the course, you're changing the course!' I said, 'We're rectifying a problem.'" He was a Stanford-educated lawyer and a dean of the San Francisco bar. He could make words dance. The Hinkle Tree is a footnote in the game's lore.
Sam Weinman at GolfDigest.com on Sandy's more enduring line.
AmateurGolf.com's Pete Wlodkowski has a nice obit and roundup of quotes from golf folks on Sandy's incredible life.
An unbylined NCGA pieces includes a mention of Sandy's affinity for Youth On Course, which I have made a $100 donation to in memory of Sandy, an option you can pursue here.
In an article in the Spring 2009 edition of NCGA Golf, Tatum wrote about his passion for Youth on Course.
“One of the basic premises for the Youth on Course program is that it fills the ultimate gap that has almost always existed in respect to getting golf into the lives of young people,” Tatum said. “Access is the name of the the game, and Youth on Course provides it.”
Few, with the possible exception of Bobby Jones and Bill Campbell, have done more for amateur golf than Tatum.
Diaz also wrote this piece on Tatum's surprising NCAA Championship win in 1942:
But Tatum rode what the Associated Press called a "peppery putter" to defeat his first five opponents, including future Walker Cupper and USGA Senior Amateur champion Dale Morey in the quarterfinals. Against de la Torre, Tatum shot 69 in the morning round, and never looked back. "I played better than I knew how," he says. "I was in a zone, one like I never reached again the rest of my life."
The satisfaction was immense. When he called his father in Los Angeles, all Tatum could manage were the words, "Dad, I won."
Here is Tatum's Stanford golf history page at their wonderful website.
His affinity for Stanford was acknowledged by his alma mater:
Sad day for all of us @StanfordMGolf with the passing of legendary alum Mr. Sandy Tatum. NCAA champ '42, past USGA Pres, and friend to all!— Conrad Ray (@cardcoachray) June 23, 2017