by Jeff Skinner
It was an entertaining night at the World Golf Hall of Fame induction ceremony. The five inductees, Hollis Stacy, Sandy Lyle, Dan Jenkins, Peter Alliss and Phil Mickelson all gave heartfelt speeches with Jenkins and Alliss showcasing their collective wit.
Phil had a few light moments as he thanked the fans:” I want to thank the fans because the fans have made this such a fun ride. There have been a lot of highs and a lot of lows that we’ve shared together. There have been a lot of times where I’ve struggled, and it’s been their energy that’s helped pull me through. I’ve tried to reciprocate by launching drive after drive in their general direction.”
Jenkins had a great opening line, “I’ve read they put me up here first because Tiger Woods and I have an early tee time tomorrow.” He also had a great closing line,” The first one is going to be, “I knew this would happen.” But I’ve got a better one. The better one is you guys hold it down here, I’ve off to the next great adventure. Thank you all.”
But it was Peter Alliss who brought down the house with his closing story about a school teacher that never thought he would amount to much. “So it’s time to‑‑ I could waffle on for another four or five hours. I just want to say this: I think of it often because I did leave school early. I was quite bright, but I remember my last report which was sent home. We had a headmistress that my modest school was called cross by house school. She was a Mrs. Violet Weymouth, and she was a short Welsh woman. She always had a cigarette dangling out of her mouth and the smoke used to trickle up here, and you could see where the smoke went. There was sort of a brown line up there. But she was‑‑ you didn’t mess about with Mrs. Weymouth, I can tell you that. I’m always staggered today where I read that children go to school and beat up the teachers. They wouldn’t have done that in my day, I’ll tell you. But I remember the last report she sent back to my parents, and it went something like this: Peter does have a brain, but he’s rather loathe to use it. His only interests appear to be the game of golf and Violet Pretty, a girl I liked. She never knew about Iris Baker, but they were the two that introduced me to some of the ways of the world, for which I’ll be eternally grateful. And although we were very young, I wish to God we could do it today.
I fear for his future were the last words she wrote on my report. So mom and dad died a long, long time ago, and if there is such a thing as heaven and if people do look down, well, mom, dad, here we are. Look at this lot. Look where I’ve been, look what I’ve done. Never worked very hard at it. But it’s all fallen into place. Lovely family, lovely wife, looks after me, shouts a bit occasional. But they are remarkable. They put up with all my nonsense, and I love them dearly.
And Mrs.Weymouth, if you’re there, (holds up middle finger).”
It was as wonderful night for the inductees, their family and friends. Click here for a transcript of all their speeches.