Dick and I became good friends when we were seniors. I heard about him, he heard about me and we did not meet until he was retired and living in Phoenix. We took a little road trip 7/8 years ago and played some partners golf on ‘Bertha’ in Bellflower. We got hammered on that trap table.
Dick was well known in Northern CA long before I moved up here in the 80’s. His glory days as a player was when he was in Texas and there are quite a few stories about him from those days.
I started playing golf in the 50’s in Southern CA On tight 5 x 10’s. There were snooker tables at almost every pool room and you could find snooker or golf action at a dozen rooms within 20 miles. Many of the bowling alleys had pool rooms in them and golf was a popular daytime game. In the late 60’s Verne Peterson at The Billiard Palace in Bellflower, rebuilt a 6 x 12 snooker table just for golf. The table was so tight a three hole run was pretty good. We also played a lot of snooker on it, but there was golf action on that table at three different rooms for almost 40 years until the table got so bad you could not play on it. They tried to level it by sanding the slate and that was the end of it. We played anywhere from $10/1 to $50/5, double on sellout. It usually was a great game with knowledgeable players who would protect the weaker players to keep the game going. Worst place to be might be a few holes in front with everyone trying to keep you on hold and get your man in the game. It was such a good gambling game a couple players started doing business and ruined the game, so they played more liability snooker or heads up or partners and no more 4/5 handed ring games. They still had a 6 x 12 At Hard Times in Bellflower, but nothing like the action we had on ‘Bertha’ over the years when the Markulis Family had the room. Chuck loved the action and would keep it open all night.
I took a road trip in the 80’s with my friend ‘Poker Paul’ from San Jose. We hit several western states and found quite a bit of golf action. Back then, Phoenix was a hot spot, Alb., New Mexico and Denver. I booked one loser the whole trip and that was in Denver at The Family Fun Center to a guy called Cigar Sam. We put up 1k and played $100/10. He had me stuck $7/800 and I made a little comeback before they closed and got it down to around $400. Paul did not want to try him again, so we headed to Montana, and after that Salt Lake City.
The only golf action around NorCal now is at CA billiards on their 6 x 12. I have not been down there in months and do not know when I might make it. Whenever Chris has a big rotation or one pocket tournament some of the out of town guys get together and have a $20/2 ring game. If there was a local room that had action in a golf game I might go every day.
Thank you for the stories! I had guessed,from reading here, that you were also a very accomplished golf player as well as one pocket player. I,myself like golf the best of all games but have become a fan of one pocket in recent years but seldom play.