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  1. #1
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    GR's Golf personality of the Month - Mac O’Grady - Mr. Unpredictable.

    This month we're going back to the US. A few years ago I remembered reading a story about Mac O’Grady and Seve Ballesteros. Seve’s game was in the Doldrums and he had turned to the controversial O’Grady for help. The story has the pair out in the desert late one night. They apparently dug a deep hole and buried a chest. In it were Seve’s worst nightmares and swing faults, they were exorcising them. I knew Seve was struggling and desperate but I thought to myself what a pair of nutcases. On further digging of my own I found that there is more to the man Mac O’Grady and his own demons.

    Phillip McClelland O'Grady, better known as "Mac" seems to be one of those rare geniuses in golf, adding colour to his existence by being one of the most out-spoken and controversial characters of his era. A marvellous ball-striker, he was better known for his opinions than his scores. In today’s drone "playa" environment you need a Mac on the scene, if only to make things interesting.

    Born Phil McGlenn in Minneapolis, Minnesota on April 26, 1951, he changed his name by deed poll in 1978 to Phillip McClelland O'Grady - the surname being his mother's maiden name.

    One of seven children, he learned to play both left and right handed and once tried to enter a foursomes tournament on his own, saying that he would play alternative shots right and left handed. After attending college at Santa Monica JC he turned pro in 1972. Then followed a record of 17 appearances at the PGA Tour Qualifying School before succeeding.

    O'Grady's PGA career had some highlights. He won more than $1 million between 1981 and 1999. During his peak years, from 1985-87, he won the 1986 Canon Sammy Davis, Jr. Greater Hartford Open and the prestigious Mony Tournament of Champions the following year. At Hartford, he fired a 9-under-par 62 in the final round to tie Roger Maltbie, then won the playoff with a birdie on the first hole. At the Tournament of Champions, he opened with a 65, then held off the likes of Greg Norman, Mark Calcavecchia and Hal Sutton to win by a stroke. In 1985, after what he called then two years of "my residency program," following all his futile attempts at Qualifying School, he finished third three times, set the course record of 64 at the Byron Nelson Classic and wound up 20th on the money list.

    Though he competes right-handed, O'Grady is a scratch player from the left side as well and had a dream of getting a big lead in a tour event and playing the last hole left-handed. It's still on hold. A few years ago he planned to go back to q-school, trying left-handed as Mac O'Grady II. During his career, he often putted left-handed while playing right-handed, but now he says he's a full-time southpaw. He also played a tournament a few years ago using old forged irons and three persimmon woods and still shot an unbelievable 66.

    Mac also had incredible talent as a player. His talent allowed him to copy many of the great swingers of his day such as Lee Trevino, Johnny Miller, and Jack Nicklaus. Mac would use these copied swings depending upon the shot or his mood. Unfortunately, it appeared that Mac's mind got in the way of his great talent. He had so many different types of swings and so many different types of swing thoughts that he most likely got confused about simply trusting his instincts and playing with one main swing he had practiced. As a result, Mac never fully realized his talent as a player.

    But O'Grady, best known for his frequent run-ins with former commissioner Deane Beman, once he wrote a letter to the United States Golf Association asking them to rule on whether he could be classified as a pro right-handed and an amateur left-handed. He claims he never got an answer. Accordimng to his once friend Gary McCord Mac would use him as a conduit. “It was intense. Our phone calls lasted hours and hours. Trying to get Mac to back off. He would vent his rage through me. I didn't take it to Deane. I just sat there and listened to him. Mac is very stubborn. And Deane is definitely not going to back off. So we had two immovable objects. I was in a no-win situation.”

    Mac is now a very successful teaching guru to many of the touring professionals and an expert on golf swing mechanics. He claims there are more than 60,000 variables in the golf swing and has developed a swing technique called MORAD with a buddy of his, Dr. Zaben Manjikian. That was the "M"-Manjikian O'Grady Research And Development or Mankind's Objective Research And Development. It is a work in progress, an incredibly advanced golf research, based on biomechanicals. He has a loyal following on Mac devotees including Seve Ballesteros, Vijay Singh, Steve Elkington, Grant Waite, Tommy Armour III and Chip Beck. It is Mac's ability as a player that sets him apart from other instructors, someone who's “walked on hot coals himself in competition”. But others say O'Grady is a whacko who lives among the sheep in the hills above Palm Springs.

    O'Grady's days on the leaderboards have been limited, but he remained in the spotlight in the early 1990s with some outrageous comments on a wide variety of subjects, many of them having little to do with golf. He's quiet now. He doesn't give out his phone number and corresponds most by e-mail or through a spokesman. He still plays golf and lives a serene life in Palm Springs.

    But probably the best stuff to be uncovered is from the man himself. So as the child’s game goes. “O’Grady says……..”

    “My brain is much more emotionally serene when I go left-handed”.

    “When I putt, my emotions collide like tectonic plates. It's left my memory circuits full of scars that won't heal”.

    “A hole in one is amazing when you think of the different universes this white mass of molecules has to pass through on its way to the hole”.

    “One minute you're bleeding. The next minute you're hemorrhaging. The next minute you're painting the Mona Lisa”. (Mac describing a typical round of golf)

    “If you get a chance to win, win any way you can”.

    “You need a fantastic memory in this game to remember the great shots and a very short memory to forget the bad ones”.

    “You must attain a neurological and biological serenity in chaos. You cannot let yourself be sabotaged by adrenaline”. Yeah right Mac!

    “The ball just didn't go in the hole today, there are times when the ball has its own consciousness. There's a word called anthropomorphic, which means to bring to life an inanimate object. That golf ball is alive. It has its own personality, its own character, its own spirit”. I feel that way myself every time. ;)

    “I'm very, very weird, I play the game just for the art of it. The art of the discovery, the art of seeking, the art of the real deep enthusiasm the game gives you. There's always something to learn”.

    “I've played so many places around the world during the last 10 years or so, being on the tour is like celebrating Christmas every day”.

    “I developed osteoporosis of the personality. My thought processes became brittle.” Mac O'Grady, explaining that he would play in fewer PGA tournaments after discovering that competing every week caused too much stress.

    “There's a certain reputation I have. They (the PGA Tour) think I'm beyond the ‘Twilight Zone’. I like that."

    Asked what makes him think he can be successful at age 50, when he didn't do much in his 40s, O'Grady had an answer so typical of his freethinking. “Because the side of my brain that controls my left side is still young. It's not beaten down with bad memories.”

    “They quoted every slimy, sleazy, upright walking scumbag invertebrate (that) life and the game of golf unfortunately introduced me to during my 47 years on earth. They delightfully called me every name in the book except a liar, a cheat or that I was gay. So maybe (Golf Digest) has a conscience after all. They didn't say I was Dennis Rodman's half brother.” O'Grady’s reaction to an article about him in Golf Digest.

    “I hope so. But you know me. I might be in Paris painting.” O'Grady’s thoughts on playing on the Senior’s Tour.

    God Bless you Mac. You are what keeps people like me interested in this game.

    Any suggestions for next months GR's Personality of the Month?
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  2. #2
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    Sounds like a cool guy, I'm sure he'd be fun to play a "round" with.
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  3. #3
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    Im sorry but that was way too much to read.
    "Always repair your divot."

  4. #4
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    wow

    Did you type that whole thing? It's like more than 2500 words.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by shooter mcgavin1
    Im sorry but that was way too much to read.
    You should see what I'm writing about you....ha!

    I like researching it and writing it, I assume some like reading it.
    You know me you know the score. Keep them satisfied in bed and they wont bother your golf - wise words from The Master, Feb. '05

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Irishgolfer
    He claims there are more than 60,000 variables in the golf swing.
    Dude, I have a headache...


    Quote Originally Posted by Irishgolfer
    Mac also had incredible talent as a player. His talent allowed him to copy many of the great swingers of his day such as Lee Trevino, Johnny Miller, and Jack Nicklaus.
    This is interesting. I saw Jim McLean briefly on TGC last night, and he was reviewing the swing of Johnnie Miller. The interesting part was that Miller said he used 3 swings: his, when he wanted to hit it straight, Trevino's, when he wanted a fade, and I forget whose for the draw. Cream rises, I guess.

    Great work, IG. I suppose he never passed Q school for the senior tour (lefty or righty)?

    As for future suggestions: Jimmy Demaret, Johnny Revolta, Jimmy Thomson, or, for s***s and giggles, Orville Moody.

  7. #7
    Hello,
    Yes i heard about him. he is very good in his game and he is really a GR's Golf personality of the Month. and he is Mr. unpredictable. it looks very interesting.

    thanks!!
    Last edited by ashucccc; 08-05-2010 at 03:59 AM.

  8. #8
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    Thanks for resurrecting this thread spammer. That was a well written and interesting "article."
    The views expressed by The Purist do not necessarily represent the views of The Purist. Any posts by the Purist should not be relied upon for truth or accuracy, and should be viewed at your own risk.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Purist
    Thanks for resurrecting this thread spammer. That was a well written and interesting "article."
    Something to balance the ruthless, inhuman, "terminator-like" mechanical precision of the Pingman approach to golf.

    I never knew that stuff about O'Grady. He's a wack job but interesting. I can relate to his chaos of impulses during the putting stroke.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by daveperkins
    Something to balance the ruthless, inhuman, "terminator-like" mechanical precision of the Pingman approach to golf.

    I never knew that stuff about O'Grady. He's a wack job but interesting. I can relate to his chaos of impulses during the putting stroke.
    Mac isn't a nutjob, just eccentric... he is the most brilliant mind in golf behind homer kelley... all that both MORAD, and SnT are based very much so off TGM writings... because of this IMO Homer is the smartest man in terms of golf swing material, then 2nd are Mac, Andy, and Mike (in no particular order)

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