This week I am joined by 2 legends of the game, John Cook and John Mahaffey, plus one of the great players in Western Pennsylvania history Bob Friend Jr., and Top 100 Instructor and Pittsburgh native Eric Johnson.
John Cook and I go back to his epic victory at the 1983 Canadian Open when he defeated Johnny Miller on the 6th playoff hole. We hear how, in his 2nd season on Tour, he held up to the pressure of trying to win arguably the 5th biggest event on Tour at the time, over a legend like Miller. We also get into the great things his father Jim did to advance PGA Tour purses plus John’s course design work.
John Mahaffey won the 1978 PGA Championship at Oakmont. We go back to that tournament and hear what it was like for him to get that win after having lost 2 previous US Opens. John would double down on that PGA victory by winning the very next week at the American Optical Classic over the only Optometrist on Tour, Dr. Gil Morgan. John also shares his memories of being a part of the victorious 1979 Ryder Cup team and why it’s the most scared he’s ever been.
Bob Friend Jr. was a grinder on Tour for over 20 years. He’s also one of the best players in Western Pennsylvania golf history. He won the 1984 & ’85 Western Pennsylvania Amateur Championships. He backed that up by winning the ’85 Pennsylvania State Amateur Championship. We hear about all 3 of those victories plus insights into some of the other great area courses he enjoys including his own club, Oakmont Country Club.
Eric Johnson has been named a Top 100 Instructor for over a decade now. He spent 17 years at Oakmont CC, several of which were as the Director of Instruction. He’s now at Yellowstone Golf Club in Big Sky, Montana. We hear about Yellowstone and some other great Montana courses that should be on our list to play. Eric recently took a trip to Southern California where he played Monterey Peninsula CC, Pebble Beach, Cypress Point, and Spanish Bay. If that wasn’t great enough, he followed that up with a visit to Pine Valley. We hear about all of that plus we get a tip for how to play better as the temperatures go down and the turf gets harder.