on one hand and represent the game on
the other. I know Ty and I have a great
affection for this now but there is no way
that I or he can do it as well as our everyday jobs. That’s out of the question. There
are many other fish for us to fry. We have
to find a way of interfacing with the IOC
yet keeping all the good things that we
already have in the way golf works.
GGP Could we ever have a single set of rules?
PD You wouldn’t start with a clean sheet of
paper. But, in a sense, having the USGA
with half the world’s golfers and The
R&A with the other half and getting quite
detailed views from their constituencies
and coming together and bashing them
out is no bad thing. I’ve often thought
having one body would be good but I
wonder if we’d actually do it as well as two
bodies working closely together do, and
it’s got a long history to it, this, well over
100 years now. We’ve had our ups and
downs in the past but I think it has served
the game not too badly.
GGP Final question: A personal one. You’ve got
an interesting job and you’ve spent time
with a lot of interesting people from Clint
Eastwood to former U.S. President Bill
Clinton to the Duke of York. Do you have
one interesting story or a special memory?
PD I wouldn’t have guessed 11 or 12 years
ago that this would have happened to
me and it has. The people I’ve met have
been astonishing. Bill Clinton, as you’ve
mentioned. Clint Eastwood. I remember
when he came to lunch at The R&A he
was most impressed when I remembered
the name Gil Favor, the foreman in the
old TV series “Rawhide,” where Clint had
played Rowdy Yates. We were like that
And stuff like. F. W. de Klerk left quite
an impression with me after lunch. You
might argue he sorted out the South African problem more than Nelson Mandela.
Funny enough, I think the thing that
stuck with me the most was I remember
being interviewed four or five months
before the 2005 Open Championship and
I was asked what we were going to do for
Jack Nicklaus, and I said, “Well, we’ve got
several things in mind. But I’m sure Jack
Nicklaus would rather be remembered as
a competitor than as a monument.” And
Jack comes up the 36th hole, holes the
putt for a three, hugs his wife and family, bear hugs Tom Watson, comes up the
steps past me, comes back and says to me,
“Hmmm, competitor rather than a monument. I like that.” (Laughter). I must say
that has stuck with me. It was quite a few
months after it had been reported.
And I’ll tell you who impressed me
massively when we went to give our reports (to the IOC) was Annika Sorenstam.
What a lovely person she is. No false side
to her at all. She just helped out. And
Michelle Wie is somewhat of a star. She
stepped up at Copenhagen. She’s a showgirl. She can do it — play the audience.
GGP Were you nervous at Copenhagen?
PD Actually, I was feeling pretty good. Then
24 hours in advance it was decided I was
going to do the first bit in French, one
of the official languages of the Olympics.
That reduced me to a gibbering idiot. My
French was schoolboy, but I got through
it. The only problem is if you make a
mistake in English, you can get out of it.
If your French starts to go wrong, you’re
in trouble. l