I feel this golfing anecdote perfectly sums up the charisma of Muhammed Ali. Every sport in the world has come forward to pay there respects, and it will be these stories that ensure his legacy lives on.
Golf Digest’s October 1974 issue ran a story by Brad Wilson, at the time an associate professional at the Stardust Country Club in Mission Valley.
Angelo Dundee, Ali’s trainer, was accompanying the fighter as stayed in a nearby hotel as he prepared for a fight. “[The course] is a great place for him to run,” Dundee said. Seeing an opportunity wilson asked Dundee if Ali would have a swing at a golf ball. “Ali’s his own man,” Dundee said. “You can ask him when he gets back. It’s entirely up to him.”
Ali returned and agreed to Wilson’s question. He was handed an 8-iron with no clue how to hold the ball or what to do with his movement. The accounts suggests Ali pumped it 140 yards straight. “How ’bout that Angie! You didn’t know I was a champion golfer, did you?” Ali yelled.
Ali hit a second ball solidly and continued his raving glee:
“Look at that ball go! Nobody can knock the ball that far. Nobody but me, the great, the one and only Muhammad Ali!”
A crowd of people started gathering to watch, and that just fueled Ali’s stage presence. He suddenly jumped away from the ball at one point and raised both hands into the air and crowed, “Muhammad Ali is the world’s greatest golfer! Nobody can beat Muhammad Ali! Not Arnold Palmer, not Jack Nicklaus, not nobody. I’m gonna make ’em look bad, predict the score, how bad I’m gonna beat ’em, everything — just like I do in boxing!”
— Alex Myers (@AlexMyers3) June 6, 2016
Looking at Dundee, the champ said, “Hey Angie, let’s quit boxing and start playing golf. We’ll get rich–and besides, that ball can’t hit back!” An inspiring personality, a true legend. Rest in peace.