Golfs’ madcap mustachioed messenger
Gary Dennis McCord – brief biography
- Born: May 23, 1948
- place of birth: San Miguel, California
- height: 6’2″
- weight: 190
- two-time Division II All-American golfer for the UC Riverside Highlanders
- turned professional- 1971
- joined CBS as a golf announcer in 1986
Why we love him
Would be pretty difficult to have a “comedy themed” website with no mention of McCord. Not to mention the guy was golf’s ultimate grinder. He played in 400 PGA tour events with no wins. But he kept on plodding. Did manage to secure two second place finishes at the Greater Milwaukee Open in 1975 and 1977. Maybe it was the Milwaukee’s Best that “fueled” his performances. Can’t know for sure, but I’d like to think so.
No request for sympathy
Highly unlikely anyone could feel too bad for the guy, as he did manage to accumulate @ 5.4 million in combined career earnings. He has alluded to his toils on tour often, but I’ve never heard him ask for any sympathy. On the contrary, he is more likely to thank the great game of golf for all his fortunes. Most of that money was earned on the Champions Tour-2 wins in his “rookie” year in 1998 at the age of 50. He also had a win on the Ben Hogan Tour in 1991, now known as the Web.com Tour.
Even for the most die-hard golf fans, televised golf can be boring. Mundane, staid, sleep inducing commentary seems to be the norm. Not that I don’t appreciate a good description of the action unfolding, but really some of the announcers could use a good kick in their sansabelts! McCord has the unique ability to seemingly always make it funny. Granted, some of his jokes miss the proverbial fairway. But how many people are “on” 24/7? One thing you can be assured of, if you’re not laughing it’s not for lack of effort on his part.
The Masters kerfuffle
It might have only been a matter of time before McCord butted heads with the powers that be at Augusta National. The pair could easily be likened to oil and water. The Masters want (demand) things be done their way. Their club, their rules. The announcers are not even allowed to refer to the fans as fans for cryin out loud! They are called patrons. So McCord’s dry wit and irreverence were bound to eventually sink him. Kinda surprised they didn’t oust him sooner. Everyone that follows golf knows the greens at Augusta are ridiculously fast. Strike one? McCord being McCord, decided to liken the speed of those greens to being “bikini waxed”. Strike two? as many an announcer over the year is known to say, that player is “dead there” when hitting a shot in an impossible spot to recover from. Instead of this tried and true euphemism, our hero went with “body bags”. As in “toe tagged. Call the morgue. He’s dead there.” No strike three needed- this is Augusta; their club, their rules. McCord’s Augusta obit was signed on April 10th, 1994. There are probably more underlying circumstances surrounding his dismissal that the general public is not privy to. Either way, he was 86’d.
Blessing in Disguise
From an interview with Golf Magazine:
When asked if he’d been back to Augusta since the firing, in standard McCord fashion he responds: “no, no. the snipers would get me.”
And in the same interview, he admits that they actually did him a favor. He became more famous post-dismissal. He was given a role in the movie Tin Cup (playing himself) because of this. McCord asked director Ron Shelton “why him (for the role)?” Shelton’s response? “Because “you got booted out of Augusta. That’s great.”
All of these things made McCord a more recognizable and polarizing figure. Not to mention wealthier than he already was.
Our plea to you Gary
McCord has stated that he “doesn’t give a damn” about ever announcing the Masters again. That’s cool, and I can respect that. Truthfully, he probably shouldn’t go back. But the selfish side of me, to paraphrase Colonel Nathan R. Jessup (Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men) says Gary- “we want you in that tower. We need you in that tower!”
Feherty hit the road to join Johnny and the gang over at NBC. Nothing against Nantz, Faldo et al. But the Masters, although still incredible as a stand alone event, can be a real snoozer without you now. Honestly, I could watch the Masters with zero commentary and be just fine. But since they’re going to have it………
Feherty did admirably in your absence, but Magnolia Lane could be calling. Will probably never happen, though. And even if you did take on that gig again, they’d just try to muzzle you. We wouldn’t get the true McCord. That’d be a shame in its own right.
McCord can’t be everybody’s cup of tea. That’s cool. But I know golf broadcasts can be far more entertaining when he’s in the tower. I’d like to say thanks for all your fans, Gary. Hoping there are many more years to come.
here a few “McCordisms” from his book Just a Range Ball in a Box of Titleists :
- Yassar Arafat: ugly and in the sand
- Mick Jagger : a putt that lips out
- A roseanne : to hit a shot fat
Comments are always welcomed at comical golfer. Thanks for reading.