The Library

The Other Brother
By Pat Dolan

A golf trivia question.

As a youngster, growing up with a 100% Irish heritage, I was often involved in a fight. If I won the fight, more often than naught, the other kid would run home and get his older brother. Not having one myself, I of course had to fight the older brother. I often found myself wishing I had an older brother.

How many of you Golf trivia fans recognize these names:

  • Omer, Royal and Bobby (No, not Jones)?

    They are the older or other brothers of some very famous golfers. Can you give me their last names?

    The most amazing thing about these other, often older brothers is, in their youth they were better golfers than their legendary brothers.

    Here are some clues to their last names.

    Omer's brother won more professional golf tournaments than any male golfer. Because of his great smooth swing he was often referred to as the "greatest natural golfer of all time." A title he denies by saying, "Where was everyone when I was spending hours and hours on the practice tee developing the natural swing?"

    Royal's brother became famous for the fact that the doctors told him he would never walk again, let alone play golf. He was famous for his swing as well and it was often referred to as "mechanical." It was meant as a compliment meaning his swing was like a robot's, it was the exact same reliable swing everytime.

    Bobby's brother was actually his twin and he was on the top twenty list of money winners for an amazing twenty years. He was NOT known for his swing but was well known for his short game which included his drives. They were from the Abilene/Sweetwater area of Texas. (Bobby was a teaching pro with me at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas.)

    Give up yet?

  • Omer's brother was Sam Snead.
  • Royal's brother was Ben Hogan.
  • Bobby's twin brother was Billy Maxwell.

    (A true side story. One of Billy's closest friends and often business partner was Mickey Mantle. Yes, that Mickey Mantle. They were infamous for their partnership investments. They bought slow food restaurants just when the fast food restaurants became the rage. They bought Drive in movie theaters when T. V.'s were made affordable. The list was endless and truly amazing because they were absolutely snake bit but despite it all their sense of humor prevailed and they remained the best of friends. Billy often said between their businesses and his poor playing he was hoping someone would send him a care package. We did.)

    I also heard that Lloyd Mangrum had an older brother who was able to beat him when they were younger.

    While there were a number of famous golfers who had golfing brothers like the Heberts, the Hills, the Stranges, etc. I have no knowledge of which prevailed in their youth. I also know there are a number of other brother combinations out there and I apologize for not mentioning or being aware of them.

    It always struck me as amazing because I felt there must be an Aesop fable hidden in here somewhere. You see while the more naturally gifted brothers often continued to play and enjoy the game. It was their less talented brothers who went on to become legends of the game.

    Do the words perseverance and determination seem appropiate?

    However all I can tell you for certain is, I went home many nights in my youth with many bruises and one all consuming wish. That in the morning I would wake up and have an older brother to do my fighting. Knowing what I know now I'd change that wish for an older brother that would've beaten me on the golf course instead. No matter how you put it, all I can tell you is, GOD, I WISH I HAD AN OLDER BROTHER.

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