With the world focused on Pinehurst #2 and two US Opens, Golf Connections host Mitch Laurance continues ‘US Opens Month’, and connects listeners to one of the iconic shops in the Village of Pinehurst, Tom Stewart’s Old Sport Gallery.
Mitch begins the show, recorded during US Women’s Open week at Old Sport Gallery, by recalling his first visit to the Gallery, and he and Tom talk about visitors’ reactions to the Gallery during their first visits. Tom explains why the ‘spirit of golf’ is so important and visible, and Tom explains why, after 18 years in the shop, and 45 years in the world of golf, ‘this is the most fun I’ve ever had’.
Mitch asks Tom about the favorites in the Gallery, and Tom describes the collections that he loves most, the paintings and the books. He loves both, and talks about the golf book collection that he believes is one of the largest in the world. He mentions that they are affordable to people, which makes them unique. Tom describes two historic trophies in the gallery at the moment, and talks about the ‘aura that’s hard to explain’ by having them in the shop.
Mitch asks Tom about the historic nature of the back-to-back US Opens (usopen.com) in Pinehurst and the excitement that they bring to the Village. Tom’s opines about the nature of living in Pinehurst and what it means to have two majors at one of the few places where ‘golf and the town’ come together. He talks about what it takes to put on the Opens, and the behind the scenes work that was done by volunteers (7500 of them!) and staff to make the two weeks a seamless experience.
Mitch asks Tom about Martin Kaymer’s win and what the Women will face in Pinehurst. As a great player himself, Tom delves into Kaymer’s win, and why the first name out of his mouth for the Women is Michelle Wie. Stacey Lewis follows close behind in his opinion. A pretty good advance pick, given the outcome of the Open! Tom explains the ‘geometry of the greens’ and why it was important in 1999 when Payne Stewart won the Open.
Mitch and Tom then discuss why having the two Opens together is important for reasons bigger than just the two weeks in Pinehurst. They discuss the crossover between the two Tours, how certain stories resonate on a huge scale, how Eric Compton’s 2nd place finish on the Men’s side was a truly amazing story outside the game, and why Tom was rooting for not only Compton but Kaymer.
Mitch thanks Tom for his time, urges visitors to come to Old Sport Gallery, or visit Tom online at OldSportGallery.com, and reminds listeners that Golf Connections is produced and broadcast by the Zeus Radio Network for TheGolfDirector.com.