He is the most immeasurable of all golf champions. But this is not entirely true because of all that he has won, or because of that mysterious fury with which he managed to rally himself. It is partly because of the nobility he has brought to losing. And more than anything, it is true because of the pure, unmixed joy he has brought to trying.
The Dogged Victims of Inexorable Fate
. . . “the pure, unmixed joy … (of) … trying” to win. I would challenge the reader to contemplate this aptly stated characteristic of Arnie in a vacuum, as if it was his only trait. Once duly considered, ask yourself which current professional golfer(s), or any competitive athlete for that matter, shares this characteristic? They do exist in my mind, but like Arnie, are a rare breed.
For me the key word is “joy” as if it is part of the word “enjoy”. Yes there are others today who play with boatloads of intensity and emotion but do they display joy. In my mind Arnie had that rarest of qualities we often see in a virtuoso entertainer but less often in an athletic champion, he always looked like he was enjoying the exhaustive atmosphere of the competition. This is where Jenkins got it right-it was the nobility we knew he would bring to losing that validated in the mind of the beholder the unbridled joy he displayed in to trying to succeed.
In today’s game there are a couple of Irishman that come to mind.
For anyone that grew up playing golf in the sixties, Arnie will always be the all time favorite.