Thursday, February 02, 2006

Happy Birthday, Lord Byron

John Byron Nelson Jr. was only 34 years old when he retired from full-time competitive golf in 1946. He was just a year removed from winning 18 tournaments. He played a few more tournaments here and there over the years, winning a couple more to make his total 52. But people always asked Lord Byron the same question: Why did you retire so young?

One answer Nelson gave often was that golf - more specifically, 3-foot putts- was killing his nerves. But his usual answer was simple: all he ever wanted from golf was to make enough money to buy a ranch.

By 1946, he'd made enough money. So he quit golf and bought a 550-acre ranch at Roanoke (on the northwest side of DFW - back then way out in the sticks, but today surrounded by communities like Trophy Club and Westlake, Keller and Grapevine).

And it's on that 550-acre ranch at Roanoke that Mr. Nelson still lives. And still lives quite contentedly, from the sound of things:

Byron Nelson has just finished making a mahogany table in his woodshop. He plans to make more, once he completes the wooden clock frames and bases that he gives to his friends as gifts. He says he has plenty of friends, more than he can count. "I feel that I'm the most fortunate man I know," Nelson says. "Everybody likes me, everybody thinks I'm OK. They're probably thinking I'm better than I am, but I do know for sure, I was born under a lucky star."

Byron Nelson turns 94 years old on Saturday. Let's all remember to wish him a happy birthday.

The paragraph quoted above is from a profile of Nelson in the Los Angeles Times. The article is hidden behind a subscription wall, but if you know how to use bugmenot.com, you should be able to get to it. Here's another short Byron Nelson biography that hits the highest points of a career filled with highlights.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the post and the links. This is what makes Blogs so special.

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