Thursday, May 21, 2015

Tee Time! (Pt. ll)

Time to tee off with JK!

Yep, that's JK practicing on the set of Maverick for the Bing Crosby Golf Tournament which would take place on Sunday, January 22, 1961. Just look at that concentration, that stance, that dark outfit--why, JK is a veritable Gary Player in cowboy boots! :)

Here we have a funsome foursome consisting of JK, his golf instructor/occasional Maverick actor Art Stuart, wife Donna Kelly, and a poodle. (Not to be confused with a puddle, which is
 what JK is hitting from.)
Time to go home! Donna lends a shoulder as JK checks his score. (And they'd better watch out for that giant golf ball behind them!)
Another day, another 18 holes. Here, Donna watches as JK pencils in his score at the Rogers Sports Center in the
 San Fernando Valley near Chatsworth, CA.
By the way, that's "Rogers" as in Roy Rogers. The "King of the Cowboys" was
 part-owner of this sports center,
which also contained a skeet-shooting range.
NEXT TIME: More golfing fun with JK! :)

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Tee Time! (Pt. I) :)

Hello Everyone!

Not so long ago, the game of golf seemed to be losing its grip on the American public after years of enduring popularity.

Tiger Woods' phenomenal career crashed and burned; casual duffers lost interest in the game; once-thriving country clubs were repurposed into housing developments.

But, thanks to a pack of bold young Tiger cubs such as Rory McIroy, Justin Spieth and Rickie Fowler, interest in golf is on the upswing again. Even Woods himself is making a comeback.

So, what better time to look back at Jack Kelly's love of the links.

First, some stats:

According to an early 1960's-era article I found in a Golfer's Digest anthology which belonged to my dad, JK had a 14 handicap. He's described as an "excellent golfer" with "a number of low net trophies on his mantle at home to prove his ability."

JK explained to the writer why he enjoyed golf so much: "I like the exercise and the chance to meet people, and when things go wrong I don't get upset. The game is just fun for me."

The writer continued, "Jack is in heavy demand for movies and TV but when not working he likes to get out on the links every day. Even when working, he makes it Saturdays and Sundays. His preference is to play with as many different people as he can. For company--('not her game')--he likes to take along his wife, Donna (professional name May Wynn). He does most of his playing at Lakeside Country Club in Hollywood, or one of the Palm Springs courses."

The Maverick soundstage also became a makeshift practice green for JK. An October 9, 1960, story in the Buffalo NY Courier Express stated, "Art Stuart, a Los Angeles golf professional who helps Jack Kelly with his golf, is also an actor. Art appeared in several Maverick episodes last season, and between 'takes' he and Jack practiced with a bag of shag balls in a remote corner of the set.

"'Since Art started working in the show my game has improved by three or four strokes', says Kelly. 'I wish they could find a running part for him so we could practice every day.'"

NEXT TIME: Stay tuned to TDS for fantastic photos of JK practicing for a big event in that "remote corner" and teeing up with Donna (and friends!) :)