Ron Green Sr.: What Pinehurst No. 2 lacks in sizzle it makes up for with ‘pure golf’

5/19/05: A statue showing the pose struck by Payne Stewart when he sunk a putt on the 18th green to win the 1999 U.S. Open stands not far from the spot where he hit the famous shot at Pinehust No. 2. CHRISTOPHER A. RECORD – STAFF PHOTO

Editor’s note: This column originally published in The Charlotte Observer on Sept. 9, 2014.

With the men’s and women’s U.S. Opens coming just around the dogleg in Pinehurst, the question raised by the gentleman at the next table was a good and timely one – what makes Pinehurst No. 2, which will host both championships, so special?

Continue reading “Ron Green Sr.: What Pinehurst No. 2 lacks in sizzle it makes up for with ‘pure golf’”

Ron Green Sr.: Rounds of golf highlighted former UNC coach Dean Smith’s retirement

Former North Carolina head coach Dean Smith practices on the 10th hole Monday morning Oct. 13, 1997, prior to the start of the James Worthy Legends of Sports Charity Golf Classic held at the Peninsula Club. Patrick Schneider/Observer file photo

Editor’s note: This column originally published in The Charlotte Observer on Sept. 29, 2003.

Since he retired as professor of basketball at North Carolina in 1997, Dean Smith’s golf handicap has crept up three strokes, from 8 to 11, but that is the fault of the calendar and not lack of effort. He is 72 now and has lost some yards off his shots, but you don’t have to twist his arm to get him to the first tee.

Continue reading “Ron Green Sr.: Rounds of golf highlighted former UNC coach Dean Smith’s retirement”

Ron Green Sr.: Ranking golf’s 4 greatest players is easy. Then comes the challenge

Jack Nicklaus watches his drive from the 1st tee as part of the 1st tee ceremonial drive at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia on Thursday, April 5, 2012. (Jeff Siner/Charlotte Observer/MCT)

Editor’s note: This column originally published in The Charlotte Observer on Aug. 3, 2010.

So you’ve laid in steaks and lobsters and duck and tacos and a little haggis and plenty of sparkling stuff suitable for raising toasts, and you’ve invited the best golfers in history to dinner. Now comes the hard part – the place cards. Who sits with whom?

Continue reading “Ron Green Sr.: Ranking golf’s 4 greatest players is easy. Then comes the challenge”

Ron Green Sr.: He was the first black player to ever play Quail Hollow. Later he watched Tiger Woods

Charlottean James Black, a pioneer among African American golfers, was featured in the Golf Channel documentary “Uneven Fairways.” Photographed at Renaissance Park Golf Course in Charlotte, N.C. DAVID T. FOSTER III-
dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com

Editor’s note: This column originally published in The Charlotte Observer on May 8, 2004.

He sat in the shade near where Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson and all the other PGA Tour players walked to and from the practice range at Quail Hollow Club on Friday.

He was yesterday watching today go by while he took a little rest.

Continue reading “Ron Green Sr.: He was the first black player to ever play Quail Hollow. Later he watched Tiger Woods”

Ron Green Sr.: Remembering when Tommy ‘Two Gloves’ Gainey ‘went to golf heaven’

05/04/07 Tommy Gainey chips up onto the ninth green during second round of play in the 2007 Wachovia Championship at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, N.C. Friday. DAVIE HINSHAW — dhinshaw@charlotteobserver.com

Editor’s note: This column originally published in The Charlotte Observer on May 3, 2007.

He was golf’s ultimate minor-leaguer, a 31-year-old who had knocked around the bushes on and off for 14 years, circuits like the TearDrop Tour, Hooters Tour and Tarheel Tour, where a bunch of guys put up entry fees and play for it and where they don’t need gallery ropes.

Continue reading “Ron Green Sr.: Remembering when Tommy ‘Two Gloves’ Gainey ‘went to golf heaven’”

Ron Green Sr.: How Leon Crump, ‘the best money player in the world,’ came out on top

​Leon Crump (center) in 1999 at Eastwood Golf Course in Charlotte. Charlotte Observer file photo.

Editor’s note: This column originally published in The Charlotte Observer on Dec. 18, 2006.

I went looking for a legend the other day.

His name’s Leon Crump. Talk golf​ for a while at any course in the Carolinas and, sooner or later, his name will come up.

Continue reading “Ron Green Sr.: How Leon Crump, ‘the best money player in the world,’ came out on top”